Posted April 10, 2006 10:27 am by with 2 comments

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An interesting NYT article on how Google (and others) are forcing newspapers to change their approach to writing news headlines.

In newspapers and magazines, for example, section titles and headlines are distilled nuggets of human brainwork, tapping context and culture. “Part of the craft of journalism for more than a century has been to think up clever titles and headlines, and Google comes along and says, ‘The heck with that,’ ” observed Ed Canale, vice president for strategy and new media at The Sacramento Bee.

It’s not just traditional news media either, bloggers are also having to sacrifice creativity in order to have a greater chance of being found in news search engines.

I for one, am worried by blog posts will soon read – “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Firms Believe Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Sponsored Search Engine Listings are Subject to Fraudulent Clicks on Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.” – just so I can include keywords Google et al understand.

It’s not just news media though. Web designers are also having to change the way they create web sites. For years, they’ve been told not to use Flash or to limit JavaScript, otherwise the search engines will ignore them. As a result, we’re losing all sense of creativity on the web.

Isn’t it time the search engines start figuring out how to understand the mediums and languages we want to use, before our creative is replaced by “robot speak” for good?

  • Interesting the amount of thought that goes into blog headlines – comes back to compelling headlines with an SEO benefit as it always does. A rubbish keyword stuffed title might get ranked but gets no clicks. Moderation in all things!

    Rob Wilson’s last blog post..Search Engine Optimisation For Business

  • Hey Andy your right on the money with sharing this observation one point sticks in my mind when thinking up titles is there really is no new fundamentals when it comes to writing any thing online even a good title should be directed for the live eye not the robot eye one thing is for certain seems to me no one really knows how these big search engines operate simply because they are the same as good anti virus software protection … always one step behind the bad guys … lol

    All my best to you and your S.E.O
    Phillip Skinner