Most of the blogging advice says that the longer post are better. Better for SEO, ranking, everything related to driving traffic to your site. But are they also better for the readers?
When I’m looking for a quick recipe, I always end up on a page that starts with the author’s life story about asparagus that I need to scroll through to get to what I’m really looking for. If there is a site purely listing ingredients and preparation steps, I have yet to find it.
All these sites, actually the entire web, the internets, the information superhighway (remember this term?!), is designed for one reader: Mr. Google. Not for you, not for me. For Mr. Google.
I don’t know whether that’s right or wrong, but I know it helps me find things. In the days of Alta Vista (WTF) and Yahoo, you had to struggle through the search engine to get to results. There was stuff buried on the fourth and fifth pages of the search results. Google gave us this minimalist input field with one search button, and the results were so awesome that the world forgot that there is actually more than one page of results. What’s the purpose of the second page — nobody ever goes there.
We have one single search engine and one single page of results. But there are bloody gladiator battles of millions of creators fighting to make it to the first page. To show up where they can be found. So we all fight according to the rules of Rex Googleus and its invisible ranking system that gives us thumbs up or down. Thumbs down don’t mean we die; it means we don’t even exist.
The second page might just as well be one big photo of a tombstone for the unknown soldier. For millions, maybe billions who never made it to the first page.