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A Letter to Google’s Senior VP of Humor about Web Design

This is a letter I snail mailed to Google Today.

Senior Vice President of Humor
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Dear Lover of Mirth:

I didn’t see a Senior Vice President of Humor on your management team web page, but I’m assuming any company that has Doodles must have lovers of mirth.

This letter is concerning my two cartoon websites: mchumor.com and thekomic.com. I’m worried Googlebots might view them as mirror pages and ding me.

Short story long: in February I uploaded a “new & improved” version my almost 20-year-old website, mchumor.com. The revised site is beautiful and elegant, and almost over night I went from having 3,000 page views a day to three.

I’ll never again make fun of the initial designers of the Affordable Care Act’s web site.

And, yes, I had professional web designers. And not cheap ones. They are a reputable firm in Portland, Oregon.

They were flummoxed.

“There’s not enough content,” was one theory. Over four-thousand cartoons is not enough content? What happened to a picture being worth a 1,000 words?

“The algorithm wants real words. Blog,” my “Web Gurus” said. I’m a cartoonist, not a blogger, but I’ve been blogging away … and there is no improvement.

“Maybe Google’s algorithm sees too much duplicate content,” was another theory.

For example, this cartoon about a low flow toilet appeared on three pages: Cat Cartoons, Plumbing Cartoon and Environmental Cartoons.

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“Reduce the number of categories each cartoon is assigned,” my “Web Gurus” said.

Much as I hated to, I did.

Still nothing. Well, not nothing. I have had two sales this month: one for $25 and another for $12.50. That doesn’t even cover the fees I pay to accept credit cards.

“Contact Google,” was another piece of advice my “Web Gurus” gave, so, figuring I have nothing to lose, that’s what I’m doing.

Why did I revise my site in the first place? What’s the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” The old site wasn’t broken, but it did have problems.

In 2012 I was getting 10,000 page views a day and sold more cartoons than I had in the previous three years combined.

I decided to use the extra money to upgrade my site so it was usable not just on computers, but on smart phones and tablets and to set it up so people could pay using regular credit cards and would be able download cartoons as soon as they bought them. I still use a phone with a cord (or as my niece calls it, a phone with a leash), so I figured it was best to hire pros do the design

I knew there was a chance of there not being an increase in sales, and I knew there was a chance that there might even be a dip in sales, but I never dreamed I go to no sales.

Cartooning is not a hobby. It is my day job. No sales means no income.

“We can put up your old site free of charge,” was the last thing my “Web Gurus” offered.

I thought about it.

Instead of taking down the new site entirely and replacing it with the old site, I uploaded the old one to a domain name I bought years ago for a project I never got around to: thekomic.com.

I’m hoping thekomic.com brings in a bit of income while the new site gains traction. Once that happens (or should I say assuming that happens?) I’ll remove the content from thekomic.com.

Of course I fear that with my luck Google will penalize me for having two sites and I’ll go to zero page views per day. Thus this letter because I really don’t see myself as Walmart Greeter material.

Well, I’ve got to go write today’s blog.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and if nothing else, I hope you get a laugh or two from my sites.

Mirthfully yours,
T- McCracken
humble cartoonist

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2 thoughts on “A Letter to Google’s Senior VP of Humor about Web Design

  1. Hi Theresa,

    Your cartoons are incredible and I’ve just recently learned that you’re a great writer too. So if Google wants you to blog, at least you have the talent!

    I’m not an expert in SEO but would cartoon captions (more words) help? I somehow doubt it.

    Barbara

    1. Thanks for the kind comment about my writing.
      T-

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