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Epiphany Search

<p>Whenever looking for blog inspiration, one always comes across a particular type of article that will probably never end to fascinate me.</p> <p>These can be described as the ‘ X things Y taught me about Z’ articles, often used in SEO blogs. I call them 'XYZ blogs' as that’s the formula they all follow.</p> <p>I couldn’t find any ‘XYZ’ posts written by my fellow Epiphanites. Fortunately there are a vast array of these available online, and I thought it was time to add to the ever increasing critiques of this style of post.

Whenever looking for blog inspiration, one always comes across a particular type of article that will probably never end to fascinate me.

These can be described as the ‘ X things Y taught me about Z’ articles, often used in SEO blogs. I call them 'XYZ blogs' as that’s the formula they all follow.

I couldn’t find any ‘XYZ’ posts written by my fellow Epiphanites. Fortunately there are a vast array of these available online, and I thought it was time to add to the ever increasing critiques of this style of post.

The Good

Before you think that I’m here to simply criticize these articles, I’d like to say that’s not the case. So I’ll start by focusing on the things which I like about XYZ articles.

For one, they draw from genuine personal experiences that impact on attitude toward work. Paddy Moogan wrote how non-SEO books had been positive influence on his productivity and there things one can learn even from reading that entry.

Pulling from personal experience is always a powerful method to articulating a message. The author knows better than anyone else the lessons they learnt and can often put their thoughts down better after having the experience. Often, anecdotal stories are more powerful as the author holds a unique tale that is relatable and offers a genuine lesson.

The Bad

The sheer volume of XYZ articles dilutes the impact and reach of the really good ones. There are exceptional SEO professionals who write these incredible posts, but in a majority of cases there are versions that just pollute the others  - you can find many examples of this on the ‘content is king’ concept for example, where unfortunately the bulk of these entries are just filler.

If you do a general Google search for XYZ blogs (using the search term ‘taught me about SEO’) you can spend hours going through them. As with anything, too much of a good thing can ruin it for you - unfortunately in this case, too many low quality entries drown out the good ones.

and the Ugly.

The one thing the most people dislike with XYZ blogs is those which have really awful connections to their titles. More often than not, I think that some of these entries are written with a title in mind before the article is written, which makes for a poor article.

I won’t name and shame any writers here, but you won’t struggle to find some examples of a poor XYZ articles. More likely, you’ll struggle to find a good one.

Richard Falconer satirizes the sheer volume of XYZ articles with bizarre titles in the article ‘What [insert random topic] taught me about SEO’  which takes a look at real articles that have unintentionally become a  self-parody of the XYZ format. The idea of a minority ruining the fun for everyone else is clearly reversed here.

 

Recommended reading: What part-time jobs taught me about SEO by Barry Adams

10 SEO influencers that changed my my life & made me becomes a better SEO  by Jason Bagio