Why SEO is Dead Serious! Google is Kidding Me! #seohorrorstories
I mean to say “SEO is dead serious” of course! Excuse my poor immigrant English!
Now let’s return to the actual topic we are on! Shall we?
Humor has no place in the SEO industry!
Why is that? It’s dead simple. It’s rather that humor has no place on Google!
Google won’t accept satire as trustworthy or credible and rank it accordingly.
Now that’s a scary story indeed. Let’s stay dead serious about such SEO horror stories below.
Why? It’s because fracking Google is kidding me!
Google is Kidding Me! Here’s Why
Why do I think that Google must be kidding me? I don’t think so! I have proof!
I mean anecdotal evidence of course. Yet hear me out. The anecdote is fun!
So recently I noticed that my post on the SEO acronym ranks somewhat near the top 10 of the Google query for [seo acronym]. Yay!
In theory I should be able to improve my content a bit and rank on “page one” alias the somewhat visible area of Google’s “continuous scroll” search results.
So I rewrote and updated my SEO acronym post and how to use humor to get and memorize it.
At first it seemed to work. I ranked slightly higher. You won’t believe what happened next!
Luckily I have a screenshot from Google Search Console!
It literally vanished around July 22nd, 2023.
So why did Google demote my humorous article explaining the SEO acronym to mere mortals who haven’t been born with a screen in hand?
I mean non-geeks in plain English.
Well, I can only guess but consider the current focus of Google on the E-E-A-T concept!
There seems to be no room left for satire or humor when dealing with dead serious subjects like SEO.
The State of the Onion According to an SEO Zombie
In essence very popular sites like The Onion won’t rank high on Google for competitive queries!
Why? It’s because their information is simply not credible. It’s incredible, literally!
By Google’s limited search quality rater guidelines The Onion is a fake news source.
It might be a coincidence of course but The Onion lost at least half of its organic traffic!
When? It occurred during the particularly hot summer of 2023:
It happened while some high profile Google updates were running as noted by Barry Schwartz.
The above screenshot shows the Semrush tool to monitor Google algorithm fluctuations.
Here is another screenshot from Semrush. This appeared when checking theonion.com
It shows organic traffic in summer of 2023. Look what happened around July 22nd.
Apparently The Onion’s organic Google traffic dropped by approx. 50% overnight and has stayed there ever since.
So I set out to test it with my limited Google search skills and using Proton VPN to fake being in the US.
I checked the rankings for The Onion current top stories as featured on their front page.
At first The Onion seemed to rank fairly accurate.
Their top story on “woke brands” ranked on #2 for the query [woke brands] on Google search.
I also saw it on #20 on Google.com for the query [ron desantis slave] with their satirical, err, I mean fake news story.
It’s called “Ron DeSantis Announces He Will Live As Slave For One Year To Prove It Not Bad”.
Thus “Ron DeSantis” and “slave” seem to be the only relevant keywords in that headline.
You won’t believe what happened next when I switched my whereabouts to the US using Proton VPN.
The Onion story disappeared altogether from the results.
Despite the millions of links that lead to The Onion, much less prominent publications ranked there.
Some examples of obscure news sources ranking are:
- New York Amsterdam News
- Tallahassee Democrat
- Tampa Bay Times
Never heard of those? Me neither. That’s why I mention them.
OK, they have some quirky sounding names on top of that.
They were many others with even less memorable names.
Are they really more important than The Onion?
Probably not. Google just demotes fake news!
Checking the “woke brands” using a VPN still shows it at #2 though. Why is that?
The woke brands story is not fake by Google’s standards.
It has some humorous infusion and cheeky ambiguity in the headline yet it’s also a real list of actual woke brands. So no penalty applies here apparently.
So it’s literally “good news” (sorry for the cheap pun! Humor sucks!) that The Onion hasn’t been demoted completely.
They just have been cut in half like in The Middle Ages.
Will they survive now that SEO is dead serious?
And more importantly now that Google is kidding them?
Don’t Let the Undead Tell You Horror Stories!
So is this just another SEO horror story on how to get a horrific Google penalty?
So I guess it’s not up to me to complain about Google! After all, I don’t hate them! They hate me.
Why? It’s because I was so damn funny! Yet now that SEO is dead serious I will quit being Mr Nice Guy!
Now can please some real SEOs stand up and check that for me?
I’m not into scraping millions of results and analyzing them by means of technical SEO!
Please “leave a reply” to add your results or analysis in the comment section below!
In case it makes sense I will add it to the actual article and credit you!
In any case: SEO is no comedy! Even though Google is kidding me!
Just stop laughing. It’s one of those #seohorrorstories!
This Blog is Horrible! Go Away!
So do we have a specific article or domain based “fake news” penalty for satirical content?
This may be the reason why this blog does not rank for anything anymore!
Yes, despite constant updates and new links from the likes of Search Engine Land or Search Engine Roundtable!
Still here? Just go away! This blog is horrible! It’s horrific! Did you mean horrendous?