The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
How Confessions of the Professions Recovered From a Google Penalty
Confessions of the Professions operates in several ways: A portion of the articles are written by me, the other portion of articles are written by other English-speaking authors from around the world. I started the Confessions of the Professions website with the intention of it not being my website, but “The People’s Website” — because I do not know everything, but every person together has a little knowledge about something, and all of us together can certainly figure stuff out!
Confessions of the Professions is a website that features multiple authors and while I do run the backend, this website could not continue to function without the support of the contributing authors who are willing to share their knowledge and stories about the workplace, their jobs, their careers, their lives, and their expertise. After all, we’ve all got a story to tell or something to share, but where can you show and tell?
A percentage of the articles are written by people who make a confession, while another portion are from people who send emails requesting to submit a suggested confession, article, infographic, or ebook and email the confession upon approval; and still, another portion of confessions are sought after from networks of people looking for websites to publish their articles.
The whole process is not a simple one and everything does go through a through review, proofreading, editing and potential revision, SEO optimization, image matching, scheduling, and eventually publication. Believe it or not, I love it. It is not my primary job, but a hobby and a passion.
I want to know what you do when you go to work, how you feel about your job, why you chose the job or career path you chose, and why you keep going to work everyday. If you have additional information related to your job, I want to know that too! That is the main reason why this Confessions of the Professions website exists. I hope I am not alone in my quest to understand jobs, careers, and the workplace. There are people who absolutely love their jobs, to people who are just okay with their jobs, to people who hate their jobs with a passion, but still show up everyday and do their job. What makes everyone tick this way?
In March of 2014, Confessions of the Professions was penalized by Google. Everyone was kept up to date with this news, as we had nothing to hide. For anyone with a Google toolbar or a PageRank toolbar, they could easily see it. Anyone who had a link to their website from Confessions of the Professions knew it too. Within just a few days, dozens of companies and authors sent me emails requesting that their links be removed from Confessions of the Professions, and in some cases, the articles themselves, as if the site had the plague.
Fortunately, I am both a nice and reasonable guy, but with my limits. For example, I wrote up the Terms of Service and read it over several times so I and everyone else could understand it. The author officially owns the content they submit on the website but grants Confessions of the Professions permission to use it and consider it as its own. In order to preserve Confessions of the Professions and ensure the process of confessions, articles, and knowledge is not lost, all requests to remove articles are denied. Authors willingly gave the article over to Confessions of the Professions to use as its own. Requests for link removal – however – since we cannot own “links” is another story.
We (me and the wonderful authors of this website) do not want to see any website or company hurting on the Internet, especially by the hands of Google. We are here to help people, not harm them. Therefore, we will honor all link request removals from anyone free of charge. With that said, we will not deny any requests for removal of links because it only helps us to grow our website.
There is a strict policy on Confessions of the Professions that no articles should be for purely self-promotional reasons. For example, “I wish I had an Oscar Meyer weener because that is truly what I’d like to be. If I was an Oscar Meyer weener… buy Oscar Meyer weeners because they are delicious! Get them through our website at…” Believe it or not, when I was a child, I almost had an opportunity to dress up in an Oscar Meyer weener costume and sing that song to star in a television commercial. Yeah, I suppose my virtually nonexistent acting career was dead before it ever got started.
During the editing process, I try to weed out sentences or articles like that where you read it and you can just tell it is not really contributing much value to readers or the Internet. Very seldom, though the article is high quality, there may have been links in there that were self-promotional, and well, Google must have detected it on Confessions of the Professions.
While under penalty, Confessions of the Professions still received the same amount of traffic, if not more. Confessions of the Professions was cleaned up, some links were removed, and nearly every link that remained on the website was made nofollow, and just two days later, we resolved all issues that Google had against Confessions of the Professions.
Links within the Author Website field are selectively nofollow or follow, but all links within content are now nofollow by default, in order to sway authors who are more interested in earning PageRank than potential visitors.
The majority of traffic comes from Google, therefore we must abide by Google guidelines because there is so much more value in Google traffic than any PageRank value that Confessions of the Professions could ever provide. Unless you are getting an authentic link from the New York Times or CNN, rely on multi-author websites to help your authenticity as an author, and traffic to the links you provide in your article.
We are relieved that there is no more Google penalty on Confessions of the Professions. We still receive dozens of emails a week with authors wanting to contribute to Confessions of the Professions. Penalty or not, we were still publishing articles everyday because we believed in the value of the article to the Internet and our readers.
Since the Google penalty was lifted, Confessions of the Professions has only doubled in traffic and continues to acquire new readers and new fans every day. We appreciate our readership and loyal fans of this website. We are not here to penalize our authors and their articles. We welcome all thoughts and walks of life who wish to help others, contribute knowledge, and provide advice and great articles.
Why do we keep doing what we do? We have a passion to try and understand why people go to work everyday.
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.