Could Albert Einstein create a successful blog? An open letter to Matt Cutts

by admin on October 8, 2013 · 5 comments

Kids at Computer P5


Question: Could Albert Einstein create a successful blog if he was brilliant and successful but unknown?

Better question: Can successful subject level experts create a meaningful digital presence from scratch  if they are not connected to an organization or extremely popular topics?

Matt Cutts:

Writing Matt Cutts is like writing a letter to God; he’s the head of webspam at Google. A notation from his Google+ account:

“I’m the head of the webspam team at Google. That means that if you type your name into Google and get porn back, it’s my fault. Unless you’re a porn star, in which case porn is a completely reasonable response.”

Matt is responsible for what works and what doesn’t regarding our search and web experiences in Google.

Why would Matt care about my web presence? If my digital experience sucks, it must mean that my contributions are simply inadequate; my work is unreadable or my poop stinks.

But it doesn’t. I’ve been doing social media and websites longer than most and I’ve created very successful social media and web experiences for organizations. My government site is very successful with lots of national and local awards. I’ve helped others develop workable sites.

But when you take away the organizational aspect and start from scratch (like this site at or the experience is simply a disappointing slog.

So why should Matt or anyone else care?

I’m talking to several people as they near retirement who want to contribute digitally. They want to create websites; they want to podcast, they want to engage others through social media.

I also talk to others who have spent years creating their digital experiences. They, like me, are subject oriented experts who want to add their insights to the common good.

We want (and need) these people to contribute. We want them to participate; yet our collective experience as to traffic, comments and website spam is dismal.

I warn others who are beginning their digital experiences that it will often take years to build a following. Many drop out; their voices are lost.


Sites that succeed:

The sites that succeed get links and they are often organizations backed by traditional advertising, a staff and an e-mail list the size of Montana.

Or they are devoted to sex, porn, entertainment, comedy, religion or politics (interesting combinations).

Is there room for the teacher, cop, historian, social worker, stock broker or hundreds of other professionals to contribute on their own? Are they all doomed to little traffic and endless spam?

We’re not asking for charity; we’re asking for a fighting chance.

Digital facts:

Most websites get a small number of daily views

If you are not at the top of a Google search, you’re not going to get views

Most followers don’t see new items on your Facebook  page


From Search Engine Land: “Truth be told, around 95% of all websites are below 30 visitors a day. Unfortunately, this number tends to include friends and relatives and seemingly random visitors from countries around the world.”

From Marketing Charts Addressing Google Searches: “The top position enjoys 32.5% share of traffic, almost double the 17.6% afforded the next result. From there the declines continue, with the 10th position garnering just 2.4% of the search traffic. The results are remarkably similar to another study conducted by Chitika 3 years ago, which found the top position fetching about 34% of traffic.”

 From TechCrunch: “After his Q&A session about ads during the Facebook Marketing Conference, I followed up….asking if the 12 percent average distribution rate hampered communication. He defended Facebook’s news feed, saying “No, there are pieces of content you create that are interesting, and there’s some that are not.” And the 12 percent doesn’t just apply to users. Business Pages meanwhile only get 16% of their fans seeing each post, which is why Facebook is launching its new “Reach Generator” to help marketers buy extra distribution of their Page posts…..”

So What’s The Message?

People need to be realistic when starting a website or blog as to the number of people and interactions they are going to attract. I suggest that many (most?) will give up and drop out due to the frustration of  small numbers and endless spam.

A Suggestion:

Matt, there should be a place in Google’s search algorithms where true professionals who have something important to share can find respectability.  Are you telling us that we should simply go away; our contributions are not worthy?  There is no way to separate seasoned insights from true professionals from cute cats or photos of attractive women?

I believe that Google could and should do better to figure out the wheat from the chaff and I believe that you agree with me.

Best, Len.

Please share or follow. Thanks. 






Adrian October 8, 2013 at 10:38 am

Nice post Len.

I guess you answered your own question with the “…sex, porn, entertainment, comedy, religion or politics” line, i.e. people are interested in a few things that attract the crowds online.

Could Einstein have created a blog that technically could be found by Google? Absolutely. Would people want to search it out? Of course, a few academics totally would but unless he included photos of kittens or a few funny gags (or worse), it is unlikely he’d get a lot of web traffic. Nothing to do with Google; all about human nature.

admin October 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

Hi Adrian: I appreciate the conversation but I believe that the onus is on Google to figure out well-written original posts and separate them from the unceasing trash. My conflict is giving people what they want yet supporting worthy subject level experts. There’s gotta be a way. Best, Len.

Josh Light October 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Great post Len,

You have an enjoyable writing style. Makes it easy to read.

I think Google is trying to accomplish this with incorporating personalized search. From my understanding (I’m no expert) personalized search looks at who you are connected with in various social networks as well as what you look at when you’re browsing to produce search results. This means if you tend to search for certain academic things frequently the probability of search results catering towards academic content increases.

I believe that only 20% of searches are personalized search and you have to be signed into Google for it to work.

Personalized search is kind of interesting because it opens up the ability to create niches around subject matters that aren’t really mainstream. Suddenly results are more personalized for what you’re looking for…so for academics they may have Einstein’s blog appear.

Obviously porn and other entertainment based media will win out in most searches due to their mainstream appeal, but I feel like the future is looking brighter for niche subject matters (that’s the optimist in me).

The pessimist part of me feels like we are headed towards an “Idiocracy” (the movie) type of world. If the masses are attracted to entertainment garbage or pornography…it is the natural tendency for marketers who want to turn a profit to start focusing on filling that demand. As a result…Google wouldn’t be such a great search engine for most people if it didn’t cater to the masses….resulting in search results that push out the Einsteins.

Anyways…thought provoking piece. Thanks for writing it.


admin October 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

Hi Josh: Very interesting comments. The really interesting thing is that all of us could build an internet business. I had a discussion with friends that we create a site where we accept photos of women (nothing overtly sexual) discussing their thoughts on just about any topic. That’s it.

We could create thousands of daily page views and profit from the advertising.

But we are all subject level experts on our own topics and that’s where we want to contribute.

Internet success is a funny thing. Do we contribute to the social good or do we make a buck? The ultimate question is why can’t we do both?

Best, Len.

Josh Light October 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm


“Why can’t we do both”…very true. Hopefully internet entrepreneurs will work to accomplish this.


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