Why I Killed My Most Popular Blog Post
On June 9th, 2013, I published my infamous article on the 22 reasons to hate Apple.
My website was just a few months old and didn’t have much content or any backlinks (still doesn’t, for that matter). Yet my article jumped to the top search results on google.com for a number of interesting keywords, such as: reasons hate apple (#2), hate steve jobs (#2), why hate apple (#3), hate apple (#5), and a bunch of others.
Apple is evoking a lot of emotions, both positive and negative, to many people, so it’s not surprising that my article started receiving quite a bit of organic traffic. Actually, this single article was generating up to 95% of organic traffic to my entire website – yes, that’s massive.
So how come if you google ‘reasons to hate apple‘ now, you won’t find any sign of this blog post?
Because I performed a modern days online homicide – I NOINDEXed my blog post. This means that search engines will not index that article and it will not appear on search results. And as everyone knows, if it’s not on Google, it doesn’t exist.
But why did I do this?
Well, there are at least three reasons.
First, the content is out-dated and not (as) relevant anymore. At the time of writing I was rather pissed with Apple and was looking for as many reasons to hate Apple as I could, no matter how minuscule or ambiguous they might be. Even if I didn’t agree with something, I still put it on the list. And yes, that makes the article populistic, but it proved to be effective.
During this year, however, Apple made some big improvements from their side, and I don’t stand by everything I wrote in the article anymore. I could have updated the article, but I decided not to, as it wouldn’t have solved the larger issue – the type of audience.
Sure, it made me feel super proud to see my article rank among the top places on Google search and have a constant flow of daily visitors (even if it was still tiny). But who were coming to my website, exactly?
Let’s have a look at the search queries that generated the most visits to my entire website during the past three months, ranked from the top:
The comments speak for themselves too:
Still, this article was generating almost 95% of the entire organic traffic, so who in their right mind would decide to kill it?? Any promotion is good promotion, right?
It does raise some brand awareness about me as a writer and a marketer, but at what cost?
Do I really want their first impression of me to be as a guy ranting about Apple products? Do any of these people really care about Facebook marketing or social media?
If I only cared about visits, I could jump on any other hot topic, like Justin Bieber’s fight with Orlando Bloom, the tragic death of Robin Williams or write about 35 reasons to hate Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus for that matter, but any traffic is NOT better than no traffic. I realised that by having the article available on search, I can do more harm than good to my online image, and it is the third reason why I had to kill it.
[Tweet “*Any* traffic is NOT better than *no* traffic.”]
In short, that blog post was not contributing to my goals. The content was out-dated and attracting random Apple hatters, people that are completely not from my target audience. I would much rather have 5 people coming for the right content from the right target audience, who’d be interested in what I have to offer, than have 500 random visitors – and I am actively working on it.
Maybe that’s just me. Maybe you would have kept the article as it was, accessible to everyone.
But I truly think that all bloggers should periodically audit their content and critically evaluate if it’s helping them to achieve their goals or not.
And if it doesn’t, improve, or just kill it already, will ya?