What should I do with my draft posts?

Over the last 2+ years, I’ve written a lot of draft blog posts that I never published. Most of them are pretty sucky/rough, but not all of them. At this point, I’ve published ~584 posts and I’ve got about ~219 draft posts. After WordPress had a recent security hole that could expose draft posts, I’m planning on clearing out most of my draft posts. The question is: should I delete them all, or should I push some of them live, even though they’re mostly low-quality?

Anyone have strong opinions either way? Should I unload some of these leftover posts onto my blog, or try to keep my blog mostly higher-quality and just delete all those old/junky drafts?

147 Responses to What should I do with my draft posts? (Leave a comment)

  1. Alan

    Publish them, of course!! What is worthless/trash for you, might be a treasure for others.

    Take care Matt,
    Alan

  2. Like they say: Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

    Bring it on! ;-)

  3. Please outsource it to us.

    We novices will publish it. with or without credits and as you want it.

    Tech For Novices

  4. Dump them. If not even you would like them, why should anybody else?

  5. If you don’t think that they’re ready for the public eye, delete them. Keep up the high quality of your blog postings and leave a bit of mystery for us to ponder, Matt. :-)

  6. Keep them for when you go on holidays next and unload them then or if you know your going to be extremely busy one week.

    Regards,

  7. Dave (original)

    No strong opinion either way, but less is often more :)

    Why not start a special category for these “old/junky drafts”? You could block SE bots.

  8. I’d say if they aren’t high enough quality or completeness that you’re comfortable publishing them, then there’s no reason to lower your standards at this point.

    Any writer, regardless of medium, writes some sort of drafts as part of the creative/thinking process.

  9. Let me start a site called Matt’s Cuts and I will post them there. Get it?

    The internet world hangs on your every word, and my doom and gloom opinion is that the only danger Google faces in the decade or decades ahead is the possibility of lack of trust due to the perception of Google having secrets that it keeps from the public.

    The exact solution for that is a continuous stream of data and information, the more the better. Obviously review the posts again for truth, so you don’t suffer from criticism for release of incorrect information.

    I don’t think anyone can compete with Google, and I don’t think the black hats will win if you continue to expose the guts of Google. So I say let it flow!
    dk

  10. Maria P.

    Combine them all together into one crazy post. :)

  11. Chip

    Bind them in a book and put it on eBay, then donate the money.

  12. veeks

    Isn’t one of the promises (or at least perceived) from GOOG that their services tout the concept of ‘don’t have to delete anything, we will provide you unlimited storage’ or at least a large storage size that is potentially enough for most people – gmail, picasa, docs etc….

    I suggest that you don’t delete your drafts and store it somewhere – I am pretty sure it will come in useful somewhere down the road – when you ask? I say – you never know.

  13. It’s admirable that you apparently self-edit somewhat strictly. However, your unpolished thoughts could be helpful or insightful to any number of people. So while it would certainly be better for you to review and develop your draft posts, I think you should post them. And you definitely shouldn’t delete them.

  14. Johanna

    Hi Matt,

    Well you know just put them in the sandbox and nobody will find or read them do not worry.

    I wonder about our fanatic “wish” to keep information do not destroy it, organize, improve… that makes no sense! Here is why.

    If you are person with normal sight then you trough your eyes only receive more then 5TB of information every day + hearing + all other senses. What happens to all that info? We simply delete it. Less clutter that better.

  15. Harith

    Matt,

    “The question is: should I delete them all, or should I push some of them live, even though they’re mostly low-quality?”

    DON’T delete anything :-)

    Those drafts must have at least a historical values, both for you and us. At least you can post the part of those drafts covering Gadgets, personal and productivity.
    he part covering SEO related, I would’t post but just keep for historical values.

    Again..

    DON’T delete anything :-)

  16. Create a new subdirectory and ORGANIZE them there. If they are SEO related posts, they might be worth debating or elaborating on.

    Make the new directory more like a forum or message board – so that others can freely add to and enhance the information.

    What is meant by low quality?????????????

    These posts passed muster – so are you saying the other posts are WORST

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/meet-my-other-cat-ozzie/
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/frickin-cold/

  17. Martin

    Delete them. You know you want to.

    OK, maybe – just maybe – scan them and see if there’s anything that’s worth finishing off properly. But you didn’t think the drafts were good enough to publish at the time, and they haven’t got better…

  18. Keep them in your draft until you can publish them in high quality.

  19. Keep them.

    You have kept them all these years so there must be some value into it. Low quality is subjective so a post that’s classified low quality by you may provide insights and helpful to someone in the audience.

    Unless a draft becomes irrelevant as time progressed with recent developments.

  20. JLH

    Title them all Paid Links Part 1,2,3….etc.
    Publish them all.
    At the same time.
    On a Monday morning.

    Nothing will get done in the SEO world as everyone scours the posts for nuggets. :)

  21. Just delete them Matt! Even the Saviour of SEO must dream up a few screwy ideas now and again that should get the chop. And it will take less time to migrate to your next PC….

  22. Do like any band would at the top of their game, release a blog of b-sides, covers and rarities. The fans will lap it up and there’s not much more work for you to do ;)

  23. Self editing is best. What ever YOU think.

  24. Just publish the ones with cute cat pictures.

  25. You should post high quality stuff only on your blog.

  26. I think that you should find some time and rewrite the bad quality drafts and when that is done, then you can publish them. As far as the really drafty articles, dump them.

    Cheers from Athens, Greece

  27. I wouldn’t delete anything, but it doesn’t sound as if WordPress is the ideal home for your drafts. I version control anything destined for (or published on) my website, so I can move things around, “remove” stuff without losing it, rename, rewind, etc.

    I also wouldn’t publish something rather than lose it. If you’ve left a draft for a while, you’ve probably distanced yourself enough from it that you can judge what you need to do to finish it — or whether you should simply discard it.

  28. It’s a blog, not an encyclopedia. This means that you are free to publish anything you want (as long as its legal :P). Don’t let drafts you spent time on wash away but share the information. As mentioned above the internet hangs on the words you say, so please us and share those thoughts.

    I agree however that a special category or some tag is wise to be able to destinguish the drafts from ‘completed’ posts.

  29. Matt,

    Please do not publish those post, instead copy the content to your hard-disk and delete it from the draft. You can review each and every post later and publish them one-by-one in your free time.

    Pratheep

  30. Mat, not that I don’t enjoy your posts, bur for relax’ sake: Hit ‘em delete buttons! Time to clear up!

    Rolf

  31. I myself have several such posts as well … :p most of them i can’t post any more as i lost the chain of thoughts that started them .
    on the other hand , the vulnerability you speak of has been rectified in the 2.3.2 wordpress version i believe .

  32. That’s weird. I absolutely can’t stand having even one draft article. I either have to finish it publish or, more often, just delete it.

    Any positive number next to ‘Your drafts’ just taunts me about all that unfinished business. 219 drafts would probably tip me over the edge.

  33. Publish them all in one go under a Drafts category with a disclosure at the beginning. If nothing else, it makes for very interesting reading in terms of developments/changes over the years!

  34. Sell them on Digital Point, you might get good $$ for them. ;-)

  35. “Q: Why are you doing this now?
    A: Just in case. If I say something stupid in the future, it’s better to be able to point out that the stupidity is mine, and mine alone. My stupidity! You can’t have it!”

    After you have written this….. There is nothing you need to be afraid of publishing those drafts ;)

  36. I agree with Pratheep. Save them locally or to your cloud, deleting the obsolete ones, and edit and release them as you see fit. If you wish someone would write about a particular topic but you don’t have the time or domain knowledge, pass on the request to a colleague who does.

    And thanks for trying to keep the quality of your posts high.

  37. Harith

    SEW!

    “These posts passed muster – so are you saying the other posts are WORST

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/meet-my-other-cat-ozzie/
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/frickin-cold/

    The first one covers the first time that Matt succeded in shooting a photo of Oz. If you followed what Matt mentioned previously about Oz; a cat which is always on the move, you would for sure understood the value of that post.

    The second post was the one which included the most effective anti-cold recommendations including the one to “drink boiling water” . I consider it an evergreen post :-)

  38. You are constantly telling us about quality and relevance so trash them. If they were good enough, you’d have published them by now. The basis of your thoughts is still in your memory and so you’ll never lose the basis of your idea .. well, not until you’re a wee bit older anyway!

  39. I say why not? As long as they are not ‘secret sauce’ then i would love to read them, however low quality or ‘crummy’ they are.

  40. I’m with Harith + John (JLH). Please publish them in a “random thoughts” or “drafts” category, will be an interesting reading.

  41. While there are probably lots of Matt fans that would want to digest everything you’ve ever written, unless the posts are of the quality you deem necessary for “go live” status, I’d save them but not let them go. Perhaps the ones that are almost there can give you impetus for a series of posts over the next few weeks that you finish the thought on or re-polish? Two cents from a dummy. Still two cents. ;-)

  42. I think you should definately post them but I would say: create a new category and maybe block spiders’ access to it. That way we can all read your posts and you still feel confortable about things not going public on search engines.

  43. Shahid

    Hi Matt,

    Agreed with Harith+John, its definately worth posting them in “misc thinking” section.

    Its always good to get an idea of what your line of thought may have been when drafting a particular post etc.

    You could even go a step further, show the draft posts in the “misc thinking” section and if applicable offer a link to the final post in the correct section.

    One other thing, you could prioirtise your draft posts in order of importance. As opposed to flooding all your draft posts at once, post them on a drip feed basis…. Not that you need any advice on how to manage your blog :-) :-) Oh wise one….

    Shahid

  44. Ros

    Don’t publish them, just keep hold of them. Every writer has drafts, but sometimes it’s what you leave out that matters as much as what you publish. Some you will use for later posts, and others you’ll ultimately bin, but trust your first instincts.

  45. Delete them. If you don’t think they’re good enough, why would we want to see them? I’ve got a 1000+ posts in Google Reader that I haven’t had time to read yet whose posts the authors did think were good enough to publish. I don’t need 200+ of yours that you don’t think are good enough to publish.

  46. Matt,

    publish them all!

    Maybe they’re just drafts for you, but other people can take a lot from them.

  47. Matt, I would assume that at the time of your writing the post, the topic had some value to you. Content is content and many people struggle to even pump out small handfuls for their own sites.

    In my humble opinion, I would publish them under a “Random Ramblings” category and at least get some value from them. You have many loyal practitioners that visit your blog every day (avg of 6,200 visits a day based on your 2007 stats). I am sure many of the loyal visitors here would love to thumb through your unpublished thoughts.

    Random Ramblings that get a lot of comments would ultimately hold some significant value and can be used as a metric to determine what topics to expand and edit.

    Then again, thats just my 2 cents.

    OK who am I kidding. I would create a silent auction with the post topic and number of words and auction them off for people to put unique “Matt Cutts Content” on their own blog.

  48. I agree to create a special category for these draft posts. so we can read what you had wrote in the past. but i am curious , why you save the draft posts and do not publish them?

  49. Well, I think it just comes to what you really want, and the time you have.
    Don’t be bothered thinking about the quality: if you could write efficiently so far, you will probably find a way to do it with your drafts if you really want to.

    In much the same way, if you don’t feel like using them, just trash them, and show no remorse! New and bestter stuff is to come!

    Bestest,
    S.

  50. run over them i think will be the best thing, edit the good ones and delete the others.

  51. Hi Matt,
    Do not delete anything, particularly if it is related to seo. Keep them coming, we are still hungry enough here ;)
    ans

  52. spamhound

    Any SEO related drafts you should push out. Dump the others.

    I’m starting to wonder if you still work in the SPAM area as you don’t talk about it much and there still is a lot of wonkey stuff going on with the results.

    What ever happened to the mysterious Google Guy (Wink Wink) who used to post on the Webmaster World, is he still around?

  53. I’m of the mind that your drafts are drafts, and just that. If it’s time to clean them up, then maybe it’s time to chop the ones that would give us no value and publish the ones that are worthwhile.

    If you create a separate folder for them, then how will you decide in the future what goes in that separate folder? Will things get dumped there every 6 months or so?

  54. Polish and publish one post per day.

  55. make an ebook of all your draft posts and sell it. Give all the profits away to an environmental charity project. Your bosses will love you for it.. :)

  56. Omar Yesid Mariño

    I think you should create a special category for those post and put a warning note saying those post are low quality posts (mostly). If you have more content on your blog, then maybe you can attract more people by an effect of “long tail search”.

  57. Post them on MattCuttsBrainDump.com and get adsense on there!

    Failing that you could email them to me? :-)

  58. Anyone who has written a blog will tell you that a lot of the posts that they liked the least were the ones that were commented on and enjoyed the most. The problem with your perspective on the subject of your draft posts is that it’s your perspective and doesn’t necessarily reflect that of the majority.

    So…I say publish a couple of them. See what people think. If they respond favorably, publish a couple more. And so on and so on.

  59. JustKidding

    Matt,

    I hardly comment on your posts but this is the one i am forced to do.

    You never know your junk might be something inspiring to others; you have innovative thoughts, wonderful ideas on wide range of topics so let others to decide whether it is worth reading or not.

    End of everything this post is also a crap but as I said people might be having similar issues and find an answer here and don’t forget your site is not a .edu site, it’s just a blog which can contain anything to everything.

    Thanks
    JustKidding

  60. Marko

    Publish tech posts, please.

  61. Does it really matter? Are you worried about people quoting your bad articles or linking to them? What’s the worst that happens when someone finds your drafts? If it’s really bad then I think you should copy them out and gradually weed them out over time and if the worst isn’t bad at all, do nothing.

  62. PUBLISH IT Matt! It will be great to see the underlying make over process that develops into a complete story under certain other categories as suggested above.

  63. sdf

    post them to a category “abandoned drafts”. perhaps you can omit that category from the feed (?).

  64. Interesting, I see good arguments on both sides. I really feel like doing spring cleaning and clearing them all out in some way, but there are different ways to do that:
    - publish them all
    - delete them all
    - back them up somewhere else and then clear out the drafts

  65. Harith

    Matt,

    Ok. If I have to choose among thos three options, I would say:

    - publish them all :)

  66. What makes them low-quality?

    Are they thoughts on now-forgotten news, thoughts which you didn’t publish in time to be timely? If so, move them to your hard drive. In a few years when you’re writing your memoirs, they’ll help you to remember how you felt, what was going on.

    Are they flames? Move those to the memoirs-notes folder.

    Are they half-formed thoughts? It’s OK to publish a half-formed thought, as long as you end it with a question and then encourage your readers to post responses.

    Are they fully-formed thoughts, but after you typed them up they seemed… uhm, boring? You might try salvaging a couple of sentences from each, putting them together into a list of little thoughts.

    Deleting’s fine and easy, of course. But it sounds like you don’t want to do that, like you figure there’s something in there worth salvaging.

  67. Brennan

    I vote publish them, but make it separate from this blog and post a link. No room to complain if it’s a little rougher than your usual content when you state so to begin with.

  68. I agree with Pratheep. Save it, if you can, and publish it when it’s high quality.

    If you can’t save it, delete it.

  69. Phantombookman

    matt,
    I’d say selectively publish some.
    Those that you feel are no longer relevent delete but at the end of the day if it was worth your time to write them I suspect it’s worth publishing them.

    You could gradually filter them out on days you aren’t or cannot do a post.

    As to whether they are junk or not depends largely on the reader and their interests

  70. A wise editor told me once that if I hadn’t put something in for publication, there was a damn good reason. Let them go, Matt. Use your time for things you really feel should be published. 2 cents!

  71. Matt,

    Chose the best of them and to use for fill-in when you don’t have time to write new ones.

    Delete the worst ones if they don’t contain any useful information.

  72. Dan

    I would publish them under a different category and then hide that category from the homepage using a plugin like sideblog,
    http://katesgasis.com/download-page/

  73. EASY, publish them all, put them all in their relevant categories PLUS a “published drafts” or similar category.

    Then;

    edit the post’s time-stamp to say a year ago. This way they won’t be shown in your feed, but they will be available to anyone who wants to read them

  74. Auction them off on eBay as a ready made content site for Adsense:-)

    If you thrown in some links from mattcutts.com you could really clean up.

    Morris

  75. Publish the SEO ones…;)

  76. seo

    Because we love you, as well as your articles. Your articles are always of great significance to us, so I hope that you put those articles published, and that will not remove anything. If you can annotated the publicated date of those articles, and add a footnote to this article in the bottom of the articles, we will be very grateful for your work.
    If you are hard to take a decision,please follaw an old saying in China: letting nature take its course!

  77. Matt Cutts

    Matt, thanks for removing those comments. Look forward to hearing from someone on your team.

    Just to add something to the current discussion:

    What I personally would do is not post them but to save the drafts in a personal archive and use them for inspiration for future blog entries. This archive is good to look back over when blogging on a “rainy day.”

    P.S. Post the SEO ones.

  78. Never delete anything you wrote! Collectively, i’m sure you have countless hours into these 200+ draft posts! I would suggest taking the following steps.

    1) Back them up on another location
    2) organize them into three categories: needs polishing, needs rewritten, little content.
    3) Go through the “little content” category and delete short or irrelevant posts, incomplete thoughts, anything that can not be saved!
    4) For the next few weeks, aim for revising 3 “needs polishing” posts per week.
    5) Every once in a while when you feel motivated, pull out a “needs rewritten” post and elaborate the idea.
    6) repeat until all “low quality” drafts are transformed into your masterpieces!

    But don’t publish anything until you can be proud of it. It’s more rewarding that way.

  79. ABSOLUTELY PUBLISH. With all due respect, you might not necessarily be the best judge of what you’ve written…there might be some hidden gems that folks who follow you would love to see.

    You do know that much of the best music (e.g. Springsteen) is on bootlegs, don’t you?

    I would put them on a new site however.

  80. BT

    Make a “B” sides blog – an alternate blog of all your beta-posts that didnt quite make the cut, but might be of some use to all the thousands of readers out there like myself.

  81. BlenderBoy

    Chop them into sentences, dust. Make one page per sentence. Build a ‘golden compass’ circle of images, (or should that be Google compass?).
    Each image represents a SEO keyword. Let user click on 3 images around the outside of this ‘Alethiometer’, think of a question, click, and Google searching on those keywords will magically choose a page of Matt Cutts gibberish ^h^h^h wisdom in a search result. But only those with a white hat may understand the words.

    Call it art and post it to BoingBoing.

    That might be fun, heck why do you have to publish it or not publish it, why not do something fun with it.! :)

  82. A forth option: for some of them that are still of value to your users, polish them or do whatever so that you no longer feel they are lower quality, then publish them. Hopefully they don’t take too much time since you are not starting from scratch.

    The rest, if they are out of date or otherwise not worth any efforts, can go to your hard drive or trash can.

    A fifth option would be sending them all to me but I doubt that will fly :-)

  83. the way some people treat this blog I would just delete them and spare yourself the hassle.

    If it were mine -print them all to PDF’s and put em on your new NAS for deep storage and delete them off the web.

    Just my 2c

    J -

  84. Matt
    Somday Someone might want to just check what your opnion was upon certain post, it would be a good thing to keep it. It might be of use sometimes.
    Just my thoughts
    Suresh

  85. push them out – knowledge and opinions are better shared then kept away tightly or discarded (regardless of how ‘sucky’ they may be).

    Also the SEO benefits..lol yea right…like I’d really need to tell you..

  86. Charlie Bowden

    Delegate them!
    (or some of them at least…)

    Why not reach out to people you trust, with tasks for them to collect the related research, compose their own findings, diagram a process, or explain a methodology.

    You have many fans — and some who are quite respected for their own merits.

    If you’ve got an idea to share with us — and just need the time to pull that in to a “fully formed blog entry”, you may find you’ve got plenty of willing assistants.

    I’ll be glad to help.

    Charlie

  87. I think you should cull through and select just the better ones to publish. Ditch the rest.

    I’ve had loads of posts build up at times, too. Those that are no longer really significant due to time passing, just ditch em. I’d bet you have some interesting ones, though, which you might be able to do mild cleanup on and then pub.

  88. g1smd

    How much time do you have, to devote to whatever it is that you are going to do? You have more than 200 built up. That could be quite a time sink.

    If it were me, I would start with the oldest and resolve to deal with at least five of them every day: each on their merits. Dump or Publish for each.

    After two months of doing that, I would delete everything more than six months old, that hadn’t already been resolved. But, maybe that’s too analytical.

  89. I recognize your problem.Not all the things you think are ready to publish. Because people won’t like it. But its who you are.
    My opininon: Don’t hurt people and dont make a complete fool of yourself. When that is not the issue: publish it!

  90. EGOL

    Here’s your chance to make a stand for publishing High Quality Content.

    Imagine what would happen if every blogger on the planet dumped 200 low quality posts into the index.

    Although if you printed them out and sold them on ebay, giving the bid to DonorsChoose.org, I would not be disappointed. It might be fun to see if they fetch five digits. I might bid – just to keep ‘em from going to cheap.

  91. Hi Matt,

    I agree with Pratheep and some of the other posters. I never delete anything digital, but I sure wouldn’t want to expose my half baked,m incomplete and ill considered thoughts to the planet either.

    If you didn’t publish it, you had a reason at the time. Take them offline for added security.

    There likely are some gems of ideas in there… better polish them so they shine or keep them in the vault until they are ready.

    PS: Shouldn’t the Google Guy have a harder math question for the spam protection? :)

  92. Dump them – one of my art teachers said that an artists most important tool is the garbage can.

  93. Afriend

    Save them send them to me.

    Then when you croak it I can publish a blog called “The things Matt Cutts Wanted to Say” and publish the out takes.

  94. Afriend

    Better Still send them to me and I could do a Blog. “Matt Cutts Uncut” and sell the posts one by one. We could do maybe 60:40 after all you were gonna bin them :)

  95. Afriend

    In a few days I will set a domain up that prevents all posssible hijacks spam blackhat seo and deals with api abuse I will need you to look at and feedback on thanks.

  96. Hey Matt!

    “One man’s trash could be another man’s treasure!”

    Steve

  97. Avo

    Spring cleaning sounds like a good idea. I too would vote against simply posting not-ready-for-prime-time articles – no sense in lowering your quality. I would suggest moving your drafts off WP and deleting the sucky ones. You could review the remaining drafts and whittle down the main or promising ideas into a few catch-all posts. Or, you could keep these posts for the possibility of making them complete at some point and ready for posting.

  98. Have a contest, post them on different blogs under a pseudo name and give us Cutts points for each one we find and correctly identify them as yours even with the blemishes.

    Cutts points could then be redeemed for one on one sessions with Matt Cutts or 50 cents off a big gulp. your call.

  99. Hey Matt, I am new to this hole blog this. I would say ppst some of them. So fare I have like most of your post.. Well, all of them.
    g

  100. Wmr

    I think it happens for all. I do the same , some draft remains as draft , never goes live. Some information there has lost its importance being older.

    So my suggestion is publish those whose information is valuable for now and for upcoming time delete those that will be no longer important . It will be better as only those are good will remain . In future you will be in same situation to publish or delete from the then filed drafts . And selection will take longer time if no of drafts increase :)

  101. - publish them all
    If you publish them all, there might be posts that conflict in opinion with some of the published ones. At the least those posts can do it create some sort of disagreement in your users. Which ultimately can contribute to a bit of distrust in your opinions. It is a human nature and none can say “no” to it. Do consider this if you publish them all.

    - delete them all
    You might as well delete them all. But as many readers have pointed above, these posts are very likely to create historical value. And can really be a treasure.

    - back them up somewhere else and then clear out the drafts
    Okay, if you do this, then you have to consider if you are like a lazy guy like me who never bothers to take a look at his backups…hehehehe..

    There is no opnion is my post, but this might help you a bit to get closer to a decision.

  102. Harith

    So it seems we have reached to some kind of consensus:

    - Create a category “My Incomplete Drafts”

    - Upload to the above category those ~219 draft posts.

  103. I think the idea of taking them offline, since they aren’t safe there, shows nicely that “in the cloud” computing still has a way to go, mainly in the area of privacy and security. I mean, if YOU can’t keep things safe on the Internet, who can?

  104. Please delete. My time is valuable and I’m running out.

    Of course you could sell them and make more in one sale than a months pay :) I’m sure some SEO expert would love to be the only person with access to try and gleen some small morcel of knowledge.

    The SEO posts of Matt Cutts – an unfinished work, now on ebay!

    (ugh, silly writing just slapped me with another idea, has anyone ever tried to sell a blog post on ebay? lol.)

  105. Put them on a separate page (“incomplete thoughts”) and CC-license them so others can complete your thoughts.

    Lazyweb rocks!

  106. Just sell them on eBay!

  107. rob

    Was this a share your consciousness day Matt?

    Delete the sucky ones, and set the timestamp for the good ones to various days in the future.

    You’ll be able to get out and about and do real world stuff whilst everyone else thinks you are busy blogging – win win :D

  108. “or try to keep my blog mostly higher-quality”

    You’d better do so!

  109. You want to post drafts to prevent someone else from exposing them? Sounds like you’re not overly concerned about hiding them. Why even bother deleting them?

  110. I say push them live! just put the heading draft on it (meaning tag it “draft” ) so we know there was a reason we never saw it before.

  111. Harith

    No reason for those negative remarks.

    Matt asked as in good faith, as friends, and for sure with no hidden agenda. Lets look at this matter as such, please ;)

  112. Do not delete your drafts Matt, here is the solution:

    1. Compile them in a word document or something
    2. Put them somewhere secure
    3. Then in 10 years, open the document
    4. laugh :)

  113. Tamey McIntosh

    Purge purge purge. Quality content is so important…so if its no good get rid of it!

  114. I vote for publishing them in a separate copy of WP in a new directory (different URL structure) or subdomain. 219 is a lot, would clog up the more polished stuff.

    I’d be interested to read the drafts though, definitely.

  115. I think you should provide the highest quality posts possible and stop thinking about how you can manipulate the search engines with a bunch of low quality content. :}

  116. Let the ppl choose :)
    Post them all and let your addicted readers rate each post.
    The ones who will get low rate after a week or so – delete.

  117. Totally off subject, but my surfboard just hit google maps traffic view today.

    Boy am i stoked.

    All 8 foot 3 inches of her in 3D technicolor!

    Whoop Whoop!
    dk

  118. Delet them, unless they are good for the reader they are of little value and should not be posted.

  119. I have been trying to get Google to clear it’s cache of an entry for Sex and Dating pointing at our children’s dance group, you’ll be glad to know that a Google employee couldn’t give a toss about children being endangered as long as Google got the cash from the Adwords.

    http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webmaster_Help-chit-chat/browse_thread/thread/20e38ed7298c7d9e/d0913ca356bc0869#d0913ca356bc0869

    I won’t say anything more, it’s been a hard week – I eventually got the site to pull the page however Google is still churning out the entry in its SERPs.

    ‘Do No Evil’ – LOL

  120. Put them live, having a polished blog all the time makes a person look like a robot.

  121. Harith

    Matt,

    Lets also talk about the “finished draft blog posts” too :)

    You have recently posted very valuable info related to filing a reconsideration request.

    Now..is there a way to make you alert us on your blog in future, when you post somewhere else important matters that benefit webmasters in general?

    May be you create a category: “Posted somewhere else” etc..

    Thanks.

  122. Create a new category, like Doggerel or Ramblings. Then place it online. Never throw away work, even half-baked work!

  123. Just post them, it will be fun to look into the history of your thoughts.

  124. sam

    I think that you should delete them. Your blog is famous for your points of view from which can learn more about webmaster idea and thought.
    However, I suppose that the draft posts maybe take readers much more time and infection them.
    Any another idea?

  125. I agree.. it would be fun to read all those rough drafts!

  126. If you have a option to publish them, why are feeling so threatened of being exposed.

  127. tacone

    LOL. Put them on a wiki, with a big discaimer on the top of the page (which says they are community effort, not your opinion), let people edit them, and see what happens !

  128. John Douglas, it looks like the original page has been changed, so now when we recrawl that page we will index the crawled page and things should change. It takes a certain amount of time for us to crawl/index/serve changed pages though.

  129. Publish Matt, your THE expert in your field. Even your rambles provide the rest of us with something good. I cant even remember how many times I’ve come by and had a good laugh or smile from one of your non-tech posts. You have funny stuff about your cat, fun things about Google, a real human touch to every post you have ever done. Even your worst drafts will be better ‘quality’ than most blog posts online.

    You could even go all out and dual publish them both here and with Google docs make them shared and let the rest of us feel special :) not to mention show new ways to use good Google products.

    Just my opinion, but it’s a good bet most would agree. Even your ‘trash’ can be gold to the rest of us. Your insights and opinions are if not always right, always good in concept. POST PUBLISH let us know :)

    Peace bra

    Mich D.

  130. If you publish them now, would they not appear as recent items, but yet reflecting old news / topics?

  131. Hey Matt,

    I was going through my feeds and came across your post, and thought, well it would be cool if you maybe had a category called drafts, and have it no-followed for search engines to restrict Dupe content issues. But Dave already mentioned that, and that would be stupid for me to post the same thing so I am going to go with… I agree with Dave’s comment and i think it would be nice to read some of your other posts.

    My 2c worth :)

  132. create a subdomain (bsides.mattcutts.com?) and publish them there.
    That way it doesn’t dilute your main blog with incomplete/sucky/rough posts but those people still interested in them can view them.

    You might find that although incomplete the posts could spark some ideas with someone else who could then take the idea forward and complete it.

  133. Delete them because I am sure there are many “snarky” lines you will regret Matt!

    Or just cut and paste them into a .doc and send them over to me, I promise not to share! ;)

  134. I have about the same ratio of drafts and posts, but far fewer postings. I review older drafts periodically. Every so often an old article triggers new understanding as I realise the difference between then and now. If I write a new article on an old topic, and don’t re-use the content, the old draft is kept. If I re-use the content, then I delete the old article. I also do a review of previous postings, every so often, to see if they should be linked to/from newer articles and other resources that I’ve since found. I use my blog and the drafts partially like delicious – they store useful references, and catalogue screen shots and other historical images that might not ever get published.

    Summary: Keep them. Review them. Delete them if the topic is substantially covered in a later and better article.

  135. I think best to donate those posts to a google enthusiastic or create a wikipedia page adding those posts there. :)

  136. Adrian

    Publish them all under a “Sucky/Rough Drafts” tag!

  137. It has been said that you should always look your best when going out in public; that may be just a t-shirt and jeans, or a suit or dress, depending on what your best is. If it’s not your best, and you know it, why burden others with reading it? It’s like you always say…is it going to benefit the user? If you were certain that it would, in fact, benefit the user, would you not have already made the extra effort to publish it?

    On an aside, I was just watching CNN and Microsoft just made a bid to buy Yahoo! for nearly 45 billion dollars, and yahoo stock just went way up, while google’s stock is going down. I have always used google, because it gave me the best results. However, one thing I can say is that I am 1000% sure that google often does not give stellar results, and my own website is a testimony to that.

  138. 219 drafts are an awful lot to have sitting around.

    I guess the question needs to be asked why are they drafts? Are they drafts because you just have not put finishing touches on them or because the content is not up to par?

    You probably should do a combination of posting some and deleting others. It would be very interesting to preserve the timing of the drafts and correlate with other items going on in your blog.

  139. Personally I would dump them and keep the site high quality.

    One question you should ask yourself though is how much time you have wasted writing those 219 drafts. Perhaps you need to apply a ‘Google’ like algo to you ideas before you start physically writing to determine if it’s good enough quality to actually get finished and posted. Waste less time that way and have more for doing your own thing or writing some good ‘Best practices’ posts.

    For example I have been worrying about putting my WordPress Blog posts into just one category cos I thought I would get Dupe penalties. One of your latest posts suggests that may well not be the case. We need more stuff like this Matt so come on, start filtering your ideas and get posting quality stuff instead of wasting time.

  140. Matt,

    My personal opinion is to push the drafts live – with a highlighting note (like what we see in wiki) that says it is still a draft and needs some editing.

    If you want, someone like me can help you to “edit & finish” the drafts with instructions from you over a phone – may be for a small fee;)?

    -Sudha.

  141. At the risk of repeating this idea (already touched upon by Sudha and others).

    This is one of the reasons I love wikis so much. On a wiki, it’s understood that the content is fluid and unfinished. On a wiki, one can place a tentative link to a subject matter, and not even return to it if one doesn’t feel like it. For your audience, just seeing that tentative link is useful information, it’s a suggestion for them to write on that subject matter (although I find, very few people will take me up on that offer to write something from scratch), it’s a marker for yourself, and it’s a marker for a page for which your audience can subscribe to if they’re significantly interested in it.

    This is also one of the reasons I like Intuit (Quickbooks) also (although, obviously not everyone shares that opinion with me). Very early on, the online version of Quickbooks was missing some key features that were already included in the desktop version. One would just browse to the help page on that missing feature and just subscribe to it to get notified the next time it got updated. That’s it. I found that process very helpful. If I got stuck somewhere, I could just subscribe to that particular notification and then just forget about it.

    Personally, I find that this way of dealing with changes mirrors much more closely our reality, and I think that’s a good sign. And obviously, you could tweak the sitemap, tweak the tags, and tweak the notification system so that it doesn’t notify people/doesn’t index/doesn’t publish on the front page/doesn’t publish in “recent changes” — unless there is a significant update on your part.

    And just like in a wiki (or a presence app), you could have your drafts tag lead to the most “recent changes”, because in an environment like that — “recent changes” or “current status” — can become the most important pages regular readers pay attention to.

    - Stephan

  142. Publish everything. Tag the bad ones with an identifier like “Bad, bad post”. After all, this is your personal blog and the only reason you have it harassed by hundreds of people like myself is the unjustifiable fact that Google official blogs don’t accept comments.

    I would like to come here just to read your personal unofficial thoughts about Google and everything else. After all, you are a great online personality, always worth reading, so I wouldn’t mind coming here and read your “less than fortunate” thoughts, for even great professional writers publish regrettable texts from times to times.

  143. You could go though the drafts — combine those of similar subject and create a post “random thoughts on that particular subject or theme”.

    Refine the draft slightly if need be – group similar – publish as a Notebook category thought in process —

    The point is after cutting away the fat I’m sure that there are elements within the posts that could help spark ideas for readers.

    Just your revisiting some of them may spark completion.

    I use the drafts as a notebook — jotting down the concept for later use

  144. I’m sure most people would like to read them. You have very loyal and devoted followers. We did a comic about the Matt Cutts obsession in our SEO comic, “Ranked Hard” entitled “Cutt Her Some Slack“. We kid, we kid.

    http://www.bigoakinc.com/rankedhard/cutt-her-some-slack/

  145. Post them of course. I’m blindly pursuing my competitors unless I come here and read what you tell me what my SEO strategy should be.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

If you have a question about your site specifically or a general question about search, your best bet is to post in our Webmaster Help Forum linked from http://google.com/webmasters

If you comment, please use your personal name, not your business name. Business names can sound salesy or spammy, and I would like to try people leaving their actual name instead.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

css.php