For those of you who don’t know, I work in internet marketing, focusing a lot on search engine optimization. This means we pay a lot of attention to Google. Other search engines are useful to pay attention to, but Google sets the standard. Because of this, their algorithmic changes and website policies get a lot of publicity in the internet marketing world- and that’s exactly how they want it. Google has all the people who manage websites watching their every move, trying to appease them, and talking to their clients, colleagues, and even friends and families all about Google.
I read an article today about how there’s a lot of writing advice on the internet, and a lot of it contradicts, not because people are liars, but because everyone’s writing process is different. While I believe this makes sense, I think that a lot of the reason there is contradictory writing (or any) advice out there is because there are a lot of people writing on the internet about things they are clueless about.
With the SEO world’s recent emphasis on content marketing, companies are hiring writers to write about anything and everything with any miniscule relationship to their industry or field. That means there’s a lot of recycled garbage out there, written by people who are just re-writing other people’s advice. Since a copy of a copy is going to be a bit blurry (Thanks, Multiplicity, for that concept), you can imagine how watered down advice can ge.t
I’m not saying don’t believe writing advice from the internet. After all, I hope to offer some writing, publishing, and other advice on this blog. What I am saying is: take it with a grain of salt. Really think about whether the advice makes sense for you and look up other people’s opinions on the subject. You can also look up the advising author’s experience to see if they’re reliable, but it’s not that hard to generate a legitimate-looking online presence, and just because someone’s written 10 articles on the same topic don’t make any of them true.
For some people, this is a “duh”- don’t believe everything you read. But in this social media world, how often do you read headlines or skim an article and just take it for granted that the information is reliable?