The Luddite Fights Back
I was munching on some kale salad and looking at my inbox today (for the sake of mindful eating, this a multitasking endeavor that I do not recommend) when I noticed a few messages to approve some comments on my recent post about unplugging. I’m no SEO expert – I’m fine with being up front about that – and the comments had helpful tips about what I should have done with keywords and links in that post so I could crawl my way to the top of the Google food chain. I guess they encompassed a sort of unsolicited editorial advice, which I would never give and am not too kindly toward taking.
I’m trashing them. I don’t want spam on my blog. These comments had links to sites and videos about maximizing search engine hits, and I’ll bet dollars to vegan donuts that there’s an offer I can’t refuse in there somewhere (just as long as I enter my credit card number). I’m interested in SEO, sure. I want people to read my blog posts and engage with me about technology, editing, veganism, animal rights, and whatever else I care to publish on any given day. What I’m not interested in, though, is tailoring my words to fit into some cookie cutter. Maybe I don’t want to put five keywords in the opening paragraph. Maybe I want to write what I write, for the sake of writing, thinking, creating, and moving forward with my ideas and career.
I’ve seen those articles and posts written with the resident SEO expert extraordinaire directly in mind. They’re linked up the wazoo, and they read like the author is playing Google bingo (if I can get in one more keyword, I will win a popular blog). The whole affair seems so, I don’t know, tacky.
I may fear it a bit, but I still think the social media revolution is pretty amazing. With a magazine institution like Newsweek announcing the end of its print edition, I know publishing as we know it is changing, so I better get on board. I’m thrilled that authors have taken their blogs and turned them into book deals – I’ve got many a vegan cookbook on my shelf thanks to them – but I’m not interested in an all-guts-no-glory approach to loading up my blog posts with hot topics and industry buzzwords just so I can get more hits and a book deal in a few years. I’ll save the keywords for my LinkedIn profile.
So, the Luddite fights back. I lapse, I pick up steam again, and I trash comments about SEO. I’m hitting publish on this post – which is, after all, my writing – without thinking about the number of keywords in it, and that little spammer can’t stop me.by