Stop Publishing Garbage on the Internet

I’m offended by crappy writing.

Anna Burgess Yang

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a waste basket overflowing with papers, pop art
Image created via Midjourney

I didn’t plan to write today.

I woke up and joked (in my brain, to myself) that I didn’t want to contribute to “garbage on the internet.” Even though this is my normal day to publish, I didn’t have anything that I thought was worth sharing. And writing for the sake of writing isn’t worth it to me.

Then I found some blog posts published by a company I was once fond of.

And now I’m mad.

Because it was such utter crap that it was insulting as a writer. And insulting to readers. And insulting to words in general.

How did we get here?

At some point in the History of The Internet, companies started publishing blogs.

I remember the early days when having a blog seemed to indicate a level of legitimacy as a company: the writing may not be great, but at least the company is taking the time to put something out into the world. And in those early days, maybe the blog was no more than an employee who had some extra time and decent writing skills.

Then content marketing emerged. Blogs became a traffic driver through search engine optimization (SEO). Companies raced to publish content that would appear near the top of Google search results for certain keywords.

And here’s where the fork in the road began to occur.

Some companies played a game, publishing a volume of content with the best SEO “hacks.” The content would rank on Google, but was worthless to the reader.

Meanwhile, other companies played the same game but focused on quality. They knew that if a reader wasn’t rewarded by the article, they would quickly leave the site, defeating the purpose of SEO.

And a third era has emerged. Where SEO is so competitive that new companies can’t hope to compete against established players in the market, even with high-quality writing. So blog efforts rely on other methods of distribution, such as posting on social channels, employee personal brands, and newsletters.

This is the world I entered two years ago.

Content without purpose

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Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur. Niche freelance writer. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. • https://start.annabyang.com/