Google: F#@k You, I won’t do what you tell me

Tad Chef recently explained how and why he blocked Google from his SEO blog.

I tweeted the link and Martin asked for my insight.

Before you continue, read the original article. It’s a good’un – with some solid reasons. Go on – I’ll wait.

Here’s what I think (in a random list stylee)

It’s weird that it’s weird

It’s definitely a contrarian play but isn’t it bizarre that ignoring Google seems so shocking?
Seriously, Google has such a stranglehold on our mindshare it’s almost viewed as ‘being’ the internet. That’s just not the case anymore. We forget that it’s a business, with shareholders and self-serving goals. Fact is, you probably don’t need Google and cutting it off will force you to find better alternatives for reaching your fans.

Most sites don’t need SEO rankings

When I started SEOLab, I thought carefully about the audience I was looking to build and the channels I needed to reach my peeps. I deliberately decided not to chase the classic SEO route. Primarily because it’s volatile and unpredictable. But also because it doesn’t matter to me. Most of my audience (entrepreneurs and small business owners) are not searching for the stuff I write about.

You don’t have to compete in Google

90% of the good stuff at SEOLab is published for inbox fans. I rarely write publicly on this blog (it’s just for supplementing emails – like embedding rich content like video or infographics). That’s why there’s a huge email form right next to this article. Email is the fulcrum of everything at SEOLab. It’s a better filter – I write for those who truly want it.

Traffic is rarely the solution

Most bloggers / businesses think that more visitors will result in more revenue, more attention and more sharing. But – unless you depend on ad impressions for revenue – traffic for the sake of it just sucks up bandwidth. I prefer to focus on interactions and how people behave when they arrive. Create a message that connects with visitors, guide them through the sales process and measure conversions.

A #1 rank is just a penis extension

If nobody is searching for your keyword, you might as well rank on page 100. If a tree falls in the wood and nobody is there, does it make a sound?

Some keywords suck

Ranking for the term SEO Blog just attracts comment spam, automatic scrapers and content thieves. In fact, if you need to term ‘blog’ in your keyphrase, you’ll attract more readers looking for free information. There’s no intent to purchase and few blogs are engineered to include a reliable revenue stream.

When ranking really matters

Some people are ready to buy this instant. Being at the right end of their search means they might buy from you. Personal health issues, moth infestations, payday loans, mortgage deals, fashion trends can all work well with SEO traffic if that’s your business model. Even then, it’s a hit-and-run type of sale. I prefer the slow-burn lifetime-value approach.

There’s no substitute for good content

SEO 2.0 is a full of sharp erudite articles. It’s worth reading, worth sharing. Tad is active on twitter and attracts a lot of comments to posts. It just happens to be a public blog format (as was the way in 2007) but it could work on another platform, like email. It’s the material and the audience that matter.

Do what’s right for you

Every site is different, every marketplace, every audience. There’s no way I can say whether it’s right or wrong. That’s for you to decide.

Burn Your Bridges

If you do decide to stop something, kill it. You’ll commit to your decision much more completely. You don’t need a safety net.

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