Looking back at my feelings and journey with SEO

So many of you made comments about SEO last week and it was fantastic to hear what you thought. Some didn’t know what it was, if I’m truthful I don’t think any of us really know what it is. Some thought it was important if you were trying to run a business and others didn’t care about it all. Interesting.

So where am I in amongst all that, I don’t care about it now.

You could probably tell from that post that I was trying to make it work. I had that plugin Yoast, I think it was called. It would go through your post and tell you what you needed to do to get the best results for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

As I said last week, I felt like I was writing for an algorithm and not for me, or for you. I had friends saying why do you keep repeating yourself? When I was writing I couldn’t have three sentences starting with the same word in a row. Then it would tell me to do things that I just didn’t understand. It was crazy and frustrating.

I thought I needed it because I was trying to run a business. I thought it would help get my work out there. Well, it didn’t.

The lightbulb moment

I’m sure I’ve told you how my husband is a computer programmer and he has lots of opinions on lots of things, but when it comes to things like this I like to think he knows what he is talking about.

He told me that Google hates SEO and if you are using it or trying to make your posts so they fit that SEO model Google will punish you. This could explain why I never had any luck using it. His thoughts were to get rid of the plugin and not care what it said and just do my own thing.

The other thing he said is that SEO is 20 years out of date because Google doesn’t use keywords. They look at your post and look at how many other pages reference it. Not sure how to make that happen, but that is what he said.

To be honest, I really was sick of it. SEO that is and not my husband.

I decided to get rid of the plugin and just write however I wanted to write.

The outcome

I did notice a difference. I noticed that I was getting more subscribers and my stats were maybe a little better. Overall, it probably didn’t really make any difference.

It is hard to know because when I ditched it I wasn’t blogging much. However, now that I am doing it more, the numbers are fine and I’m happy with it all.

It is so good to be writing just for me and you. I don’t miss Yoast or SEO one little bit. Especially now that I no longer want to run a business, it seems completely irrelevant, perhaps it always has been.

Really, Dave thinks the only people who make money from SEO are the people who try to sell you their services.

So what do you think, did I make the right decision?


The photos in this post are of the same shearing shed that I showed you last week.


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  1. It’s nice to read this side of the story, as SEO seems so pushed as a method of success…but to me, also feels contrived and tedious for honest expression!

    1. I have to agree, it does seem to stop that expression. I feel so free since ditching it. Thank you Elizabeth, good to hear your thoughts.

  2. I personally think it’s a waste of time and I heard that it’s outdated just like Dave said. I would never do it for myself but when you do freelance marketing work like me, you don’t really have a chance because there’s still so many clients out there who want you to write texts with SEO in mind. Ugh!

    1. Yeah, I have come to the same conclusion, not worth it. That is a shame about your clients, oh well, at least you get paid for it, I guess. Thank you for that Debra.

  3. I’m still using an SEO plugin (not Yoast), but not following any of their analysis to improve the post. 😅 Too tedious to do such a thing. I know some people (especially businesses, solopreneurs) work very hard on SEO, and I just feel that I cannot match their efforts, so don’t want to waste my time and energy competing against them.

    1. You hit the nail on the head, it is very tedious. YOu have to wonder about those people working very hard on it, does it really work for them, they aren’t going to tell us. Thank you Joey.

  4. I only pay attention to SEO in terms of using fewer than 14 tags, looking up the most popular tags for my subjects, and attempting to make interesting titles with numbers, questions or mystery. My paragraphs (not blocks, WP, paragraphs) are my own style to suit myself. 🙂

    1. I don’t think the tags is a SEO thing, I am fairly certain that is a WordPress thing, Can’t hurt to have interesting titles. I try to do that as well. Your style is what you should do. Thank you Rebecca.

  5. Hurray! Yay for being human! Even if SEO weren’t out of date (which I didn’t know), I’d still say, Stuff SEO; just be your own human self. Yay.

  6. I completely agree with you. I recently (several months ago) added Yoast and spent a lot of time checking to make sure that my posts fell in line with their criteria. But the same as you, I felt that I wasn’t writing for my readers, I was writing for an algorithm. Some of my posts got more views and others didn’t. There was no correlation to the SEO. I’ve struggled with getting more followers, more readers, etc. and have tried different “gimmicks.” I’m learning that SEO isn’t the best choice.

    1. That’s great to hear Christopher. I also found it could take a lot of time to do all that stuff too.Yeah, writing for the algorithm was so annoying. SEO isn’t the best choice. I think just writing and doing what you love is the best thing. Thank you for sharing your experience Christopher.

  7. Hi Leanne, Thank you for writing about SEO. This was one big topic that over all these years since I started my blog in 2009 that kept me from reaching my goal of turning my free WP blog into a real website/blog. between all the plugins that they want you to believe you need vs what is actually needed vs picture optomization plugins and the list goes on and on and on,,,,! We also had SEO etc, in the end all it did is to give me one huge pulsating throbbing vein in the side of my head!! Hence I just gave up!! Sad though as I really enjoyed writing the post & doing the photography for the posts. I have always enjoyed your blog and an happy to hear what you have learned about SEO. When I was thinking about doing it, I ended up feeling like they imposed so many rules of what &how to go about it, it just took all the fun, creativity and spontenaity out of doing it 🙁

    1. I think if you love what you do people will see that and hopefully come and see more. I agree about SEO it was annoying and such a headache. The rules is what got me in the end, there were so many. I totally agree Mitchell. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.

  8. Interesting…..at least I know what it stands for now, and…….seems I am not missing anything much. Thanks!!!! And as for your writing …….Freedom!!!!!!!!

    1. Haha, that’s good, I should have said what it was in the other post too. I don’t think you are missing anything. Exactly, I feel so much better about it all now. Thank you bronlima.

  9. I had the Rank Math plug-in installed on my WordPress site, and I also got fed up of ‘trying’ to follow the guidelines that Rank Math was telling me to do, so I just got rid of it! But I do still use captions and alt text on my images just out of consideration. You’re right, we should just write what we want to write and that’s final! Also, do you fill out Jetpack’s seo section when creating your posts? Thanks for sharing your post!

    1. I have to admit once I got rid of everything I stopped doing everything. I have got quite lazy. No I don’t do anything that has SEO in it. You’re welcome David, and thank you for your sharing your experience.

  10. Thanks for this post Leanne. The images are great. I also appreciated the data from your husband about SEO. It’s good to get data from someone who knows the subject as so much of the Internet info is hype. Give him my thanks and to you for sharing it.

  11. Good for you for kicking the SEO thing to the curb, Leanne! I’ve never bothered with that stuff. Yoast is one of the many plugins available to me on the Business plan but I’ve never used that either. I’m surprised that you don’t get more comments on your photography!

    1. Thank you John, it has made doing blog posts much more enjoyable. I don’t think blogs are what they used to be. It is sad, but sometimes it is nice to not get too many. It is a funny thing. Though it can take me a while to approve comments.

    2. Maybe you can not approve them, but approve them as you come upon them? This is what I’ve done for years, it works well.

  12. In all the time I’ve posted content to my blogs and podcasts I’ve never followed SEO advice or written for an algorithm, I just share my story in voice, word, video no matter what others think. I have very few subscribers and my content is all over the place, photography, video, reflections, experiences, my faith journey, my love of my queen, family, repeated themes, injustices, I don’t care what people think of me or my thoughts. I love sharing and helping people globally find their voice and freedom to create and express themselves.

    1. I have to say I think what you have done is the best way, just share your story. YOu cover a lot of stuff Tony, I’ve always made my blog about photography and I am happy with that. Good way to be, I wish I didn’t care what others think, but I have to say, I am getting better at it. Thank you for sharing Tony.

    2. One last thought 💭 for this morning. In the beginning I tried to stay focused on photography alone but life is messy and one thing connects to another and so on, those connections and the stories that connect them are often a great encouragement to me and remind me of how everything seems connected.

    3. I can understand that, during the pandemic I wasn’t doing a lot of phototgraphy during the pandemic and I found myself doing posts on other subjects, but ultimately I am all about photography, so it was nice to go back to that. That is great that you find those connections Tony.

  13. I don’t worry about SEO but I was told that if I didn’t put in key words that were in my post I would be penalized. I don’t run a business on my blog. It is all about authentically posted content so you made a good choice to do just that.

    1. I have never done the keywords and I don’t think I’ve been penalized. I agree, it should authentic posts that come from you. That is what I’m trying to do now. Thank you Donna.

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