Our overlords at Google don’t like the way the Wine Curmudgeon writes. Nuts to them.
You may have noticed some changes on the blog this summer – a subhead at the top of every post, the annoying way I repeat the name of the wine in some reviews.
I don’t do those things by choice. I do them because our overlords at Google have decided that’s how blog posts should be written, and my search ranking will suffer if I don’t.
I’ve been writing professionally since I was 16 years old, and I’m good at it. Nevertheless, after more than 40 years of writing success – awards, seven books, and earning my living at a profession that doesn’t make that easy – I have to take writing instructions from an algorithm.
But that’s the way the 21st century wine world works on the Internet.
I won’t bore you with a lot of philosophical maundering about what Google as copy editor means for the quality of writing in the Information Age. It’s enough to know that there are other things that I’m supposed to do that I won’t, because they’re silly. If I wanted to write for third-graders, I’d write children’s books.
But I will note an overriding contradiction: Every post I write gets parsed for readability, and my numerous errors are listed so I can correct them. Yet, somehow, every post – no matter how many faux pas I commit, like this phrase between hyphens – gets an excellent rating for “reading ease.” How can I break so many of Google’s rules (this post, in fact, “needs improvement”), but still be easy to read?
Suck on that, our overlords at Google.