A rejected PSA for the de-Googling community on Reddit

Pity, this was just removed from the De-Google subreddit. Oh well, you try to do a public duty as a netizen … Here it is, as I’m not about to let it go to waste—I was hoping to share the love a bit more so legitimate websites had the full story.

We all probably know how people in the “SEO” business use Semrush to massage their writing to a point where it becomes soulless, just so they can game Google. But what if Semrush is spitting out a load of BS in a never-ending loop of GIGO, with Google willingly allowing itself to be gamed?

I began seeing google seo jackyan as a search term coming into my blog in December, and had no idea why. It’s not a line of work I’m involved in. Then someone on Linkedin told me that he had seen Semrush give him this search term, and told its users (a 10 million base) that there were 8,100 references to it. While I can’t see 8,100, I have seen a few dozen people use their LLMs (or “AIs”) concoct entire BS pieces about me, how I’m a Google algorithm expert, and in one case, how I work for Google and the algorithm is named after me. The other Semrush term is google seo jackyan updates 2024. It seems that whatever Semrush says, there are a bunch of people desperate to game Google and do whatever Semrush tells them. It has nothing to do with massaging one’s writing: it’s literally helping generate BS to put on to Google, and Google is all too happy to index and prioritize it—even pay for it through Adsense.

I blogged about it a few times, initially because I was trying to work out what was happening—the result of that was I got hits from these fake articles and Semrush users. Maybe you can say I profited from it, but my blog has often been about alerting people to bad stuff on the ’net that I experienced. I wasn’t going to change my approach and maybe I discouraged the more scrupulous SEO people from writing something. (In fact, a couple of them put up articles supporting the truth, and one of the folks, in Pakistan, has been helping me get to the bottom of it.)

It’s like how Facebook doesn’t deal with bots any more. It figured out that the more bots there are, the more people will pay to boost their posts to get to humans. Google does the same: the more junk results there are, the longer you spend on the search engine finding the things you need (and this has come out in discovery in the US DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit—it is a strategy of theirs). Enshittification means Google search is pay-to-play.

I have seen sites get so overwhelmed by bots that they eventually die out. If I really did have any Google SEO advice, it would be to tell people in that game to get out of it.

Yet another reason to de-Google, at least not use its search product! They love rubbish, and are quite happy to pay for it and serve it up while making the real information harder to find.

This was quite the surprise on that subreddit though. Are people waking up to how bad Google is? (Having said that, this was posted on OnlyKlans …)

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