Hello everyone! ♥
Welcome back to another discussion post 😀 today we’ll talking about reviewing books on different platforms and if there’s any difference between them. A few weeks ago I stumbled across a blogging tip post that talks about the difference between reviewing books on goodreads and on our blog and the blogger said that it should be different. It surprised me a little because I’m that kind of reviewer who practically copies-and-pastes my goodreads reviews to my blog 😁
Basically this is what I usually do :
- I write review as soon as I finish a book and post it on goodreads (and netgalley if I get the book from them)
- I copy-paste the review to my blog, add star ratings, add links too Goodreads, Amazon, and TBD, and break up my review so it won’t seem as long.
- Add pictures of the books
- Check for typos or offensive critiques and make sure they’re gone before I hit publish. This is probably the ONLY difference because I almost never proofread my goodreads reviews. They’re full of typos and I don’t really care
- Post the blog review according to my schedule (every Thursday)
- Sometimes if I remember, I put a link to my blog on my goodreads review
But after reading that blog post I started to question my credibility as a reviewer and whether I’ve been doing the wrong things all along :’) so I did some google search for everything I need to know about this topic.
The first result landed me on Kourtni’s post about reviewing on different platforms. On her post, Kourtni talked about a reviewer who posts significantly different reviews on her blog and on goodreads in which her blog reviews are way nicer than her goodreads reviews—which are pretty harsh and brutal. Kourtni than said that according to that reviewer, it’s because different kinds of reviews are popular on different platforms. I quote :
She felt that Goodreads reviews were more popular and taken more seriously if they were extremely critical, but noted that this was not a good strategy on a book blog, where readers expected a more fair and balanced but honest review. She seemed to change the wording of her review (and sometimes completely change the content) based on what she thought readers were looking for.
It’s probably a truth widely acknowledge that on goodreads, the harsher you get, the more popular your reviews become. If you haven’t noticed that, try scrolling through the review section of some of the popular books, you’ll see the top results are mostly harsh reviews. I did more google search and it landed me on Goodreads Review Guidelines. According to the guidelines, goodreads is for expressing our honest opinion about books. Harsh critical statements that apply to the book or the writing in it, such as “This guy can’t write a lick,” or “This book is absolute trash,” is allowed on Goodreads review—as it is an honest opinion.
Now let’s think about reviewing on the blog. As far as I know, there’s no guideline or rules about it. We are free to review the books however we want to, but everything we write is on us. I can’t imagine myself saying harsh things like “this book is absolute trash” on my blog just because it has messy plot or immature characters, that’s just… too brutal and I don’t have the nerve, or heart, to do it. We can’t forget the fact that behind every book, no matter how awful it is, there’s a person who’s done a hard work to write it. I’m not gonna bash them on my blog.
I guess my point is that on the blog, everything we write is our responsibility while on goodreads, we are still protected by the rules and guidelines. Also, I noticed that a lot of goodreads reviewers strive for popularity, that’s why the snarkier the reviews, the better.
HOWEVER, I wasn’t sure if the difference in reviews is simply because of popularity, so I did more research and it landed me on Ashley @ Nose Graze’s post : Goodreads Reviews Can Outrank Your Blog Reviews. I suggest you read Ashley’s post because she understands and explains this better than I could possibly do but bottom line is :
1) If you post identical reviews on goodreads and on your blog, your goodreads reviews will beat your blog in search ranking. This means that if you google your blog/goodreads username and the title of the book, your goodreads review will show up first on google search results. The first thing Ashley did to win back her blog SEO was to change her goodreads username so it wouldn’t be identical to her blog name. In my case, I’d have to remove “Sparkling Letters” from my goodreads user name so if anyone google Sparkling Letters reviews, they will be directed to my blog.
2) If you post identical reviews on goodreads and on your blog, Google would recognize it as duplicate content and pick only one result to display. In which case, see point number one. I admit that this never even occurred to me before! I post identical reviews on goodreads and my blog and the problem is, I post my goodreads review first and then post the same review on my blog a few days/weeks later. So by that logic, google would consider the review on my blog as the duplicate and the review on my goodreads as the original one, right? Scary! I don’t want google or people thinking that I’m the plagiarist one :’)
Now we’ve reached the point when I ask myself the question : what am I gonna do about it? Based on the discussions above, we could see that there are a few things we could do.
The first is to change our goodreads username so it won’t match our blog name. I already did it. In fact, my goodreads username has always been ‘Puput’, without my blog name behind it. I don’t know if there’s any other consequences if you do this (e.g. branding, recognition, etc) but I think I’m good so far.
The second is to not post identical contents. If you post different kind of reviews on your blog and goodreads, you could kill two birds with one stone. 1) google won’t recognize your contents as duplicate and 2) if you could make your goodreads review a little snarkier, you have the chance to be more popular there. Now this is the problem.
I really don’t have the time to write TWO different reviews for a book. I mean, it’s time consuming enough to have to write one review. There’s other solution to this problem, that is to write a shorter version of your review on goodreads, and then link it to your longer and more comprehensive blog review. This way google won’t recognize the contents as duplicate. The thing is, I… don’t want to do it. I love having my full reviews on goodreads so people (or at least my goodreads friends who don’t follow my blog) could still read my full thoughts on the book.
I’m honestly concerned about the duplicate issue, so I still haven’t decided if I’m gonna post a shorter review on goodreads or not. As for popularity, I don’t really care if my goodreads reviews are popular or not. There was the time when I did care but now, not so much. I’ve accepted the fact that I wouldn’t be famous there and that’s okay. Plus I use goodreads mainly to track my reading 😛
Alright everyone, those are my thoughts and research results about reviewing on different platforms? What do you usually do? Do you post similar reviews, or do you make certain changes so they’re not the same? Do you care about popularity, stats, SEO, and the duplicate issues? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥
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