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Embracing Your New Responsibility: Businesses with Blogs as Internet Publishers

If you run a blog, quality content should be on your mind. Not just because Google has began implementing a series of algorism changes to rank quality higher, but because, as an internet publisher, you have a responsibility before your readers.

“Hey, who do you call a ‘publisher’?”

If you’re one of many entrepreneurs who got into this awkward position somewhat reluctantly—not out of any specific passion for the written word, but simply to keep up with the requirements of today’s marketing sphere—you may not like to think of yourself as one. You might say to yourself that you’ve only opened a blog—an unassuming little corner of the web—to promote your own business and couldn’t care less about writing, ideas, or any of that ‘artsy’ stuff... but that doesn’t matter.

The moment you begun putting content out there for public consumption, you became an internet publisher. Now the only question that remains is what kind of publisher do you want to be?

The Reluctant Publisher’s Dilemma

There are many choices out there, and more than a few are less than savory. You must make a decision about where you’re going to draw the line.

Is it enough to just slap a few sentences together and click ‘upload’? Whip up a bowl of keywords, pour into a tray, and bake for 15 min? Cut-and-paste a collage of virtual cut-outs? Perhaps hire an article spinner?

The point is, should you just do only the bare minimum?

The answer is ‘Definitely not!’

“Why not?” someone’s ought to be jumping at the back. “It’s quick, easy, and gets me the results I need!”

That’s a half-valid argument, but I’ve got an answer-and-a-half for you: because it shows.

Long-term vs. Short-term (or true Enterprise vs. fly-by-night schemes)

I could go on about polluting the blogosphere and dumbing down the population; about destroying the language and corrupting young minds—but you’re a practical man, so let’s just cut to the chase and talk business.

There are two ways of looking at your industrious efforts: as a long-term enterprise, or as a short-term scheme.

A long-term view assumes that you want to build something that will last. A short-term view means that you’re just out to make a quick buck and close your doors the following morning.

I don’t take you for a fly-by-nighter, so let’s just assume we’re both here for the long haul.

There are also two ways of evaluating any given campaign: long-term success vs. short-term results.

While we all feel the occasional sting for instant gratification, most of us grow wiser because we understand that short-term results can’t always guarantee long-term success, and that long-term success often involves short-term pains (just ask any successful investor).

When it comes to writing your content, a short-term view is writing for search engine robots, and a long-term view is writing for the human beings that use those search engines.

Writing for Humans vs. Writing for Machines

When writing for machines, you’re basically trying to guess what search engine algorisms are up to in the background and optimize your content to hit all the right spots. This approach is doomed to failure, not only because it’s virtually impossible to know for certain what the algorisms are doing, but because the algorisms undergo constant improvements and evolution.

So, even if you (theoretically) optimized your content to perfection at any given time, cramming it with all the right keywords to satisfy the hungry bots—what happens to your page when the algorisms change? If you were only concerned with plugging in the right attributes rather than with providing coherent, relevant, and engaging content, your page is going down the virtual drainpipe—which is probably right where it belonged in the first place.

(That’s exactly what happened with Google’s Panda update—you don’t hear much talk about ‘keyword density’ lately...)


Because, even though Google (and other search engines) utilize machines to process and evaluate information—they know that machines aren’t their end customers. Their true customers (and your audience) are the human beings who search, find, and read information using Google's service. Since Google, too, has taken a long-term view, their goal is to constantly improve their customers’ experience. This means bringing more relevant search results—and relevant search results aren’t pages where the search phrase shows up repeatedly; they’re pages that say something meaningful about the subject of interest.

Now let’s look at the flip side, suppose you had written great content that wasn’t very well optimized for the robots. It may have dragged slowly through obscurity up the search engine pothole—but it’s there. As the algorisms continue to improve and learn to distinguish quality, your diamond-in-the-rough will start pushing its way upwards and—most importantly—when people find it, they’ll actually find it useful (unlike the SEO-laden verbiage that will go spiralling down).

The point is that, in the long-run, quality has nowhere to go but up (and the reverse goes for the reverse)

Too often companies make the mistake of thinking that the important thing is only to be found—in any way, shape, or form. But even a child soon enough learns to distinguish between positive and negative attention. Being found with your pants down (or in any other equivalence to literary embarrassment) is actually worse than not being found at all.

After all, you only get a chance to make a first impression once, and the last thing you want to do is to blow it.

Besides, when you make an investment to create or acquire content, wouldn’t it be wiser to get something that will actually hold a lasting value?

So what should I do, not optimize at all?

The sensible suggestion is to focus on your content when dealing with the on-page aspect of your blog/site, and to optimize off-page (read this article from Hubspot for some great suggestions on both). Of course, there are things you can do on-page, like use proper title-tags, alt. text, etc, that won’t take away from your content and will improve your ranking, but the important thing on-page is to write compelling content. Do that, and you can’t go wrong.


Whether you like it or not, Publishing is just another hat you’ll have to wear. But you can still decide how you’ll end up looking. If you’re going to wear it, wear it with pride. You wouldn’t do the bare minimum in any other area of your business—why start here?

Customers can tell when you really put your heart into something. So give it your 100%. Remember—it shows.

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posted by Anonymous @ 4:46 AM