Saturday, December 30, 2006

There's a Downside to Everything

There's a Downside to Everything

Back when I first started this blog, I wrote a post called "The Danger of Positive Feedback". It was all about how, when you're a writer, it's great to have someone read your work and say, "oh, that's great!" and "I loved it--write more!" but it's not really helpful.

Recently, I finished a novel in a new genre for me, and I handed it off to two friends who are both writers and avid readers, and they both said it needed another chapter. One of them also said one of my secondary characters needed more backstory. I was overjoyed; I love clarity. It was also convenient, because I was 4,000 words short on the target length for the genre, and those two things together put me right in range.

But in my day job I'm doing an entirely different kind of writing these days, and search engines play a much bigger role in my life than I would ever have thought possible. Yesterday, I had my first experience in THAT arena with being thwarted by success.

I sent out a time sensitive press release on the Friday before New Year's Eve and then went home. When I got home at 9:00 on Friday night, I found an email from our press release distribution company requiring documentation of several items in the release.

They were high profile events, so I figured it would be easy to find major news sources to document them, and I sat down (at 9:00 on Friday night, remember) and started poppping relevant terms into Google. And I company website. For the most important term, THREE of the top ten results pointed to my website. If you're not familiar with the search engine game, let me tell you that that's a coup. 30% of the "real estate" on the first page of search results generates a lot of traffic, especially since I had the # 1 and # 2 slots.

I know you're not feeling very sorry for me right now (and I'm not either), but it did present an unanticipated problem. I was looking for a credible source of documentation for a large number of related items, and it turned out that source

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