Rethinking Headlines: How SEO is Changing the Balance of Media

by Dan Blank on February 2, 2007

As journalists, bloggers, and content producers for the web carefully construct their headlines in order to attract traffic from search engines, CNET reports on the success that they have seen. The reason for the change?

“Pithy, witty and provocative headlines–the pride of many an editor–are often useless and even counterproductive in getting the Web page ranked high in search engines. A low ranking means limited exposure and fewer readers.”

Using more descriptive headlines has shown measurable success:

“In November, Nielsen/NetRatings ranked Boston.com, the sister Web site of The Boston Globe, as the fourth-most trafficked newspaper Web site in the country, even though its print circulation is ranked 15th by one audit bureau. “We’re regularly beating the bigger boys, like the Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal…and part of the reason is SEO,” said David Beard, editor of Boston.com.”

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