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There are several issues associated with this leaked memo: allegendly, many, many posts were written in concert by quite a few professional writers and journalists. So, there's the literal writing for robots -- or at least really considering keywords and literalism -- and there's the conspiracy of synchronizing an entire team in concert. So, this article has nothing to do with becoming a top-5 result for "books" but it has more to do with seeing behind the curtain of what's going on in the modern newsroom. Google loves the Hot Fresh Donuts.
You may well be completely true, everything changes when it comes to Google and its love of Hot Donuts!
Also, "simply have to write great content in terms of value (facts, ideas, originality, etc)" is complete BS because Google, even post-2005 Google, is terribly literal. So, that's why you need to write for Google.
If you want your article to come up when you search for "Robin Williams dead at 63" you had better write the literal string, "Robin Williams dead at 63" -- and it is even better if it's in the title.
And, when it comes to the feeding frenzy of breaking news, all bets are off.
And, in my article, I am only talking about Hot Donuts and Google News -- and also how this whole thing was a concerted effort by organizations fighting for #1, all of whom are allegedly trained professional journalists who have "simply have to write great content in terms of value (facts, ideas, originality, etc)" -- and who really need to unlearn that all a little bit, to speak Google.
That said, I really do not believe anything that Google tells me about the way they really do work versus the very basic and simple way it really tends to work.
The reason why Facebook stil dominates is because it isn't willful, it's passive-aggressive. I have piled in tons of active and past email addresses that are associated with me onto Facebook -- LinkedIn does that same thing -- and so no matter what, Facebook and LinkedIn know me across the known universe. Heavy users on Google have a Gmail account and AT LEAST one Google Apps account, so I am having the same crappy experience you are: my experience on Google (and G+) is completely schitzophrenic. My "verified" G+ account is through my firstname.lastname@example.org account but I also have G+ accounts I don't use on my email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com accounts... it's insane. And it needs to be fixed -- there must be a better system. Until then, #fail, as you say.
One of the thing I hate about G+ is how hard it makes to to cross-post to G+. I tend to do all of my content-creation using Instagram and G+ is not one of the sites I can cross-post to. I know that Instagram is a Facebook property; however, G+ blocks this sort of posting on everything -- except HootSuite and G+. Rule #1 -- you can't force our behavior -- we on the Internet tend to be both stubborn and a lot Libertarian.