Google Search Liaison ‘Politely’ Fights Back Niche Site Mob

Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan took shots from all sides on X from the niche site community but kept his cool by politely fighting back the negative comments.

The sparring match began when Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits posted that “Google is slowly killing blogging.”

Here is the post on X:

Haws said that Google’s algorithm has flip-flopped on the type of content it rewards in the search results and potentially penalizes bloggers who want to share “off the cuff updates [and] unique perspectives” through the Helpful Content System.

Haws said, “Google has forced bloggers to make everything SEO optimized, long form, and tightly focused around a single keyword.” But now, “with the Helpful Content Update, they’ve gone so far as to say that ‘unhelpful’ articles on your site can penalize your ENTIRE site!”, referring to the fact that a blogger cannot just blog for blogging’s sake.

Haws then said, “The ironic thing? Google ranks Reddit extremely well [after the Helpful Content Update] BECAUSE people are providing off the cuff comments and doing what bloggers used to do!

“So, Google is killing the individual bloggers, but sending tons of traffic to a major corporation (Reddit) instead, because Reddit users are doing what bloggers used to do.

“Thanks for crushing traditional blogging, Google.”

Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan responded to Haw’s post by saying: “Writing about something that’s fun, or a personal update, or whatever anyone wants to write about on their blog is not an issue. We haven’t said don’t do that. Nor do blogs don’t have to somehow only about one particular topic. Perspectives & experience are welcomed, as we’ve talked about before as to why E-A-T became E-E-A-T: Learn More.

Here is the reply on X:

Sullivan went on to say, “Unhelpful content is content that’s generally written *for search engine rankings* and not for a human audience. If your audience wants to know about what fun thing you did today, and that’s why you wrote it — that’s helpful. Write away! Write about anything that you think human beings coming directly to your blog would like to hear about. That’s all great.

“But if you wrote ’20 fun things you can do today’ because your *primary purpose* in doing so that you wanted to *rank well* for ‘fun things’ rather than this being something you’d typically write about, that can be a sign you’re producing unhelpful content. It wasn’t something you wrote for you. It wasn’t something you wrote for your audience. It was something you wrote for search ranking purposes — and that often can align with unhelpful content.

“For more, this is our guide about how to create helpful, people-first content: Learn More.”

The flood of comments then started rolling in from the niche site community on Haw’s post and through re-posts on X with jabs at Google. But Sullivan dodged each punch with a polite and helpful reply.

Here are a few of those reposts and comments by the niche site community and Sullivan on X:

Stay tuned to X to find out what others are saying about Google slowly killing blogging as well as Google’s @SearchLiaison account to read more of Sullivan’s replies.