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When I started blogging frequently about 2 years ago, I wasn't very good. In fact, I was pretty bad. (Some folks might say that hasn't changed all that much.) But I started doing my homework – I attended Radius of Influence, I read Eric Turkewitz's Better Blogging: 12 Tips, I started following and reading more and more work by other bloggers, and over time (I hope) I've improved the quality and interest level of my writing.

One blogging tip though, really stuck out in my mind. One of the presenters at ROI said about blogging: What would Google do? Google doesn't gain users by linking to itself, but by building relationships for users (and with users) by sending them to other sites. The gist being, as a writer, one of the best ways to add value for your readers is to send them other places that might interest them.

Well, Google it seems has changed its tune. The headline from popular tech site Gizmodo: Google Just Made Bing the Best Search Engine. It seems Google has stopped sending its users out into the world and, instead, has heavily integrated its search results with Google-related products, such as Google+, Picasa, and YouTube.

From the Gizmodo article by Mat Honan:

A lot of people are crying foul, and even "anti-trust." Sure, it does seem pretty transparently designed to drive traffic and users to Google Plus, and to make Google Plus brand pages the go-to place for a company's social media presence. And it's true that results from Facebook and Twitter in particular have been noticeably kicked down.

But I didn't switch for political reasons, or as an act of protest. I don't care if Google hurts Twitter or Facebook—or even Friendster for that matter. Boo-hoo. I only care if it hurts me. And this does. Google broke itself.

Google got greedy and self-interested. Google broke itself… and people are starting to move away.

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(c) Copyright 2012 Brett A. Emison

Follow @BrettEmison on Twitter.


  1. Gravatar for Eric T.

    That was me that talked about Google creating one of the great brands on the planet by sending people away from its website. This is a concept that most bloggers never grasp, as they try to "hold" people on to their sites.

    But sending people away -- to reliable places -- builds trust with the readers. And with others. That's what built Google.

    And you've hit the nail on the head with the Google+ problem of self promotion. They built their brand doing exactly the opposite.

  2. Gravatar for Brett Emison

    Eric - I thought it was you who said that, but with the many speakers at ROI, I couldn't place who said it with 100% certainty.

    But as I said, your message really hit home with me and changed the way I looked at blogging - for the better!

    Thanks and have a great weekend!

  3. Gravatar for Eric T.

    You know, the great thing is that once you forget about trying to market, and just write stuff you enjoy, a few things happen:

    1. You have more fun;

    2. You have more readers;

    3. Some of those readers may send new readers over to you.

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