Lean Blog and Long Term Thinking


Principle #1 of the Toyota Way says:

Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.

Back on April 14, I transitioned the Lean Blog from the old address of kanban.blogspot.com to my own domain of www.leanblog.org. I used to have leanblog.org forward to the blogspot address and I promoted the blog as “leanblog.org” but when visitors came, they saw kanban.blogspot.com. I thought maybe that was confusing to visitors and it seemed more professional to have the blog running fully on my own domain.

I'm not trying to whine, but that decision has hurt me in the short term. My Google search result placement plummeted with the new domain. I was showing as the #4 search result for “lean manufacturing,” now I appear somewhere on the 3rd or 4th page.

This isn't ego bruising. I started writing the blog because it helped me learn and gave me an outlet, somewhat regardless of whether people were reading it or not. But, I also have the goal of trying to expose people to lean manufacturing concepts, which I think this blog is effective in doing. Fewer people are finding the blog through Google (although the number of regular, repeat readers has stayed consistent).

The transition to “leanblog.org” was the right move for the long term, I am still convinced of that. I was pretty certain it would hurt in the short term, but I went ahead and did it anyway.

So why am I writing this? I'm asking for your help, if you believe in the Lean Blog (my writing, as well as the writing of my blogging partners, and the Podcasts), let's figure out how to promote the blog.

A few ideas:

  • Use sites like www.stumbleupon.com or www.digg.com to help promote the page
  • If you have a blog or site and linked to my old address, please update your link to www.leanblog.org

Any other ideas for myself or for the readers?

Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org



, , , on the author's copyright.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Mark, I just gave this page another thumbs up. If everyone who reads this post gives you a thumbs up on StumbleUpon this will help!

  2. Another reason it would have dropped for “lean manufacturing” is the blog used to be called the lean manufacturing blog and therefore many linked to it that way. It often takes months for changes to filter through (so you didn’t see the decline when the name changed but I am sure that is a factor as people updated links and used the lean blog name instead – and new links didn’t include manufacturing…).

    I firmly believe in providing good content and the rest will follow. The biggest factor to increasing the rank will be getting more and more links from other lean manufacturing related sites.

    Also remember Google is going toward customized search results which makes it even more difficult to judge. Basically, as I understand it, if people are clicking on your links when they do searches in the future your links will show up higher for them.

  3. Since the URLs all changed when you renamed your site, Google dropped all of your previous highly-ranked pages, and re-indexed your new pages.

    It takes 6 to 12 months to re-index all of your new pages. Make sure you have submitted your site to Google for indexing, but only do this once. There is not much you can do in the short term to influence the speed at which search engines will index you.

    To improve search engine optimization, make a long-term plan. Good content, links from other relevant websites, and and search engine-friendly coding of the site are important, among other things.

    If your goal is to increase readership, you should look beyond search engines and consider advertising in relevant industry trade publications, or sponsoring events like the upcoming TWI Summit.

  4. All you people that run blogs, I want to give you some advice.

    Don’t do this more than once.

    All the pages from Leanblog that I have tagged on del.icio.us have to be updated now. This,
    1) takes time for me to do and
    2) means that you will loose readers who use del.icio.us as a search engine.


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