I shouldn’t be hard on Google. I’ve received some great traffic to my blog, and I still do. On the other hand, I’ve been punished enough. They’ve hit me hard, and I’m still shaking just thinking about it.
The last time I got hit with with a Google penalty, I had to contact an expert, to help me out. I had no idea why I had received the penalty, and the traffic to my site was terrible at the time. Like I said, I’m still shaking, just thinking about it.
A few weeks later, I started to ask myself a question; why do I want traffic from Google?
My first answer was this; I want people to discover my blog. If I focus on SEO, and if I do exactly what Google are looking for, I’ll be at the top of the SERP, and people will eventually find me.
But, the people who’re finding me through Google, they’ve never heard of me before. They’ve never read a single word I’ve written. They’ve no idea. It’s really hard to make them stay. I want them to continue to read, I don’t want them to leave. People who’re brand new to you, they need a really good reason to stay.
I started to ask myself a different question; how do I find people who’ll stay with me and who most likely will enjoy what I do? What I discovered, was that Google is not part of the answer (well, Google+ is).
If you focus on people, and not traffic, you’ll do it differently. You’ll start connecting with your readers on a different level. You’ll start engaging with them through social media, and you’ll start commenting on their blogs. You’ll be creating a strong relationship – because it’s worth it and because you really want it.
Tell your story, to people who’re interested in you, they’re already listening. Tell your story in the best possible way, so that your loyal readers will help you spread the word. That’s how you’ll find the people who care about you and your words.