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Google’s Blogging

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Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land interviewed Karen Wickre, “mother of Google’s blogs”, on her work as editor & “gatekeeper” of the official Google blogs.

These days, almost every product team at Google has their own official blog to broadcast to the world. Most of Google’s blogs are not real conversations, as comments are closed and the Google employees writing will not talk to you directly as they are channeled through Google’s press relations team*. But then again, these blogs can be the start of a conversation – and how many companies have as many blogs as Google does? (This blog’s tracker follows 46 official Google blogs, and that’s just counting the English ones.)

Now, how personal are the voices of those who blog on Google? Karen explains:

While it’s important to have a review, I never want to overwrite what a Googler is saying about their topic or product. All posts are reviewed by a few relevant people on the immediate team, plus a PR person for approval. As a rule, this isn’t labor-intensive or overbearing. We try to encourage original perspectives and stories insofar as company blogs can feature those. We share drafts in Google Docs and do edits there. Again, I try hard not to overwrite or have the team wordsmith to death. That’s not going to get us interesting reads.

Karen adds that the Google blogs are “a PR platform, but we try hard to make it not traditional PR-like.” She says that “Much more often than a press release … we’ll issue a blog post.”

Karen also told Search Engine Land that eventually, Google plans to move all their official blogs to the address blogs.google.com. This move makes a lot of sense; right now, blogs are all hosted on *.blogspot.com, making it hard to judge their authenticity as anyone can register a subdomain at Blogspot by signing up with Google’s Blogger service.

*The Google webmaster blog, as well as the public policy blog, are noteworthy exception as they are comments-enabled. Google employee’s Matt Cutts’ semi-official blog has open comments as well.

[Thanks Danny!]

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