So the mighty Google decided to remove an article of mine (on another site, not this one) from their index this week.
I find it strange. I think the article I wrote is far superior to the current first page results in that niche (for South Africa, in any case).
If you think I’m being arrogant, keep in mind that the very first result led to a 404 error page. In other words, a two-year old baby could produce something better than what Google.Co.Za thinks should be in top position.
I spent days testing a product and many hours writing an honest, rather lengthy review for it.
It ranked superbly for a number of keywords, until it completely vanished, and that, after only one week.
Now, the article might just be sand-boxed, so in future it could start ranking well. But for now, it’s gone.
I think I know why Google sent in the Gestapo to deal with this specific article.
Here’s the thing though…
I don’t care.
I’m not going to change the way I wrote it, I’m not going to change the way I write in future, and I’m not going to change the way I monetize an article.
I don’t write for search engines.
I write to inform the reader, and that’s it.
I couldn’t care less about what Google thinks of my content.
And I won’t be changing my position on this matter any time soon.
Pandering is not an option.
It brings to mind the time when Google removed two well-known entities from their search index.
One was BMW, the other John Chow.
BMW was involved in some sort of blackhat search marketing scheme (can’t remember the details), while John Chow was caught selling links on his site (something I recommend you don’t do under any circumstance).
I don’t know whether BMW grovelled their way back into the index, but as far as I could tell, John Chow couldn’t give a rat’s arse about what Google did with his site.
Both were eventually allowed back into Google’s index, but I can assure you it probably wouldn’t have mattered to them, if they hadn’t been.
BMW is a renowned car manufacturer. Their brand is so strong that people don’t need a search engine to find them.
John Chow had such a strong following (and still does) that all he needed was an email delivery network to make money.
BMW kept on making popular cars and John Chow kept doing what he was good at, which was teach people how to make money online. In fact, his website’s tagline at one stage was, “I make money by teaching people how to make money.”
Many people love BMW. Similarly, many people love John Chow, whether Google does or not. People want BMW, and people want John. By removing BMW and John Chow from their index, Google denied the people what they wanted.
Google was forced to reinstate BMW and John Chow.
Not doing so left them with egg on their face.
Just by the way: the buzz in online marketing circles created by Google’s removal of John Chow from their index, probably sent even more traffic to his website. Talk about Google cutting off their nose to spite its face.
This is a conundrum for the search giant.
“If you don’t stop being naughty, we’re not going to give you a sweetie,” taunts Google, while John Chow sits back in his comfortable leather armchair, his arms wrapped around a Guinness World Record sized lollipop, a smug grin on his face.
To be sure, I’m not BMW, nor am I John Chow. I don’t have their following.
But one thing is sure: I won’t let a search engine dictate how I monetize content, if I know I worked my behind off to create said content.
So here’s my advice to you: Don’t be bullied. Don’t be afraid of Google.
I’m not saying you should not abide by their guidelines. But don’t let fear of what Google might think of you, rule the way you produce content and monetize it.
If you produce well-written content and you aren’t breaking the rules, keep pushing hard and get your stuff out there.
Besides, there are magnificent places other than Google to market your content. Facebook comes to mind. Facebook is a great place to find in-your-face honesty.
Keep creating good content and run to Facebook if Google doesn’t want to be your friend anymore. But don’t be paralyzed by an opinion.