I am realizing that blogging is a lot like swimming. Just like you have to keep kicking to stay alive in open waters, you have to keep writing to maintain your relevance and findability in this world.
If I stop writing then I am effectively dead to someone searching for me on the web. Unless of course:
– I have published many journals and am linked on University websites. It does not matter if the article was written in 1992, as long as your name is on a university website.
– Or I have enough drama in my everyday life, that other bloggers, paparazzi cover my activities. Unfortunately that’s not the case either.
– Or I genuinely know a lot more about something, that no one else who is blogging is covering. The chances of that are pretty slim as well with over 70,000 posts in wordpress itself…per DAY.
– Have a truly unique name which no-one else has. This one is not that hard, but either you have it or you don’t. I am somewhere in between. It’s kind of unique, but not exclusive. There area few other Roli Gupta s out there, and some of them are active bloggers. Urghhh!!! (Btw, this has turned out to be the only semi-convincing reason so far to take Rishi’s last name and become Roli Deshpande…or some permutation of Gupta, Roli, Deshpande. I have not found any Roli Deshpande yet)
When I started the blog, I suddenly saw my name come up as the first search result. That gave me quite a kick. I thought I had achieved personal findability nirvana and I was set forever. It matters if someone recently starts blogging. Slowly as my enthusiasm dwindled, the ranking of my website on Google moved to second, then to the third, and then to the fourth page. Many search related studies have shown that hardly anyone goes beyond the top 3-4 pages. I don’t, I know. At one point, when after a blog-lapse of about a month, I had to put my name in double quotes, with 2-3 other words about me for the link to show up. Nothing about me had changed in that month, but suddenly, I had gone from being the most relevant to irrelevent.
Don’t get me wrong, I work for a search product and understand many of the factors that affect search results ranking. Algorithmically, this makes sense. But it’s frustrating nonetheless. There’s something about this which does not feel right, and personally it just sucks!
I am not much of a swimmer, but I guess I’ll keep kicking just to stay alive!