Opinion: Android sites are killing themselves for short term Google SEO gain

Two weeks ago I mentioned that due to a change in Google’s SEO rankings that sites are more and more posting how-to articles in order to get ranked as “useful.” Sites on Google are ranked by usefulness, keywords, not being written by AI, a variety of factors that if you happen to know makes you the front page of a Google search.

TL;DR – observation of SEO attempts by seven major Android blogs makes me worry there will be two left next year.

A month or two ago Google search made some changes and many sites saw a huge drop in search engine referred visitors. Pocketables included.

As some of our Android how-to articles have been being hit, we’ve been regaining some momentum, but whatever. There’s no AI that’s going to rank Pocketables particularly high when it’s whatever tech on whatever platform catches our interests and some PR firm is willing to take a risk on us. Am I complaining? Probably, but not really. I get to play with toys and get beer money for it.

Larger Android sites have people getting paid to write for them, and for them the attempts to churn out what Google thinks is useful content is a paying gig. What they’re missing is that the sites are and were about Android, not how to negotiate a better deal on Netflix, not how to do basic math in an Excel cell, how to modify a playlist order, gaming guides for beginners, literally how to press a button, how to cancel YouTube Premium.

See, these are all useful articles, I won’t deny that a social media menu option that’s kind of hidden requiring two taps is somewhat useful, but it’s not Android. It’s an app guide, it’s a re-hash of instructions in the app description, it’s information nobody on your site asked for in an attempt to fluff the search engines. It’s an attempt to point Google away from the right location to your article about changing your Hulu plan.

There’s not a lot of Android news these days, so the sites that are dedicated to it being 50% attempts at “useful” so there’s content, and SEO spam, it’s a mix that’ll come back to haunt them in the next Google update when the AI starts asking “why do we have instructions on how to get into developer mode, and the next article is how to change a clearly displayed option on Facebook, then how to report a missing delivery to the company that shipped it?”

It pulls the focus from what you’re doing. I don’t claim superiority here, Pocketables is basically the Squirrel! (looks around in Dog,) of ADD tech blogs, and having that distinction I think I know what shoots yourself in the foot.

I mean, I have no problem with off-topic help, I write about ISP disputes, carriers, Android, stuff to save money, tech gripes, Bluetooth everything, and sometimes just random stuff that people sent in by accident. I, however, don’t claim to be an Android exclusive tech blog. I also don’t post multiple how-to articles daily that have nothing to do with my reader’s user-base.

So yeah, if you see something and want your Android site to continue you might want to send in some Android related tips and how-tos to those blogs to get them pointed more in the right direction.

Don’t take away from this that I’m bashing these sites… I’m not. They’re doing what they think they have to do to maintain profitability and in the end it’s going to work against them. I mean, that’s my opinion man…

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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