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This Boring Headline is Written for Google 317

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the always-a-price-to-pay dept.
prostoalex writes "The New York Times is running an article on how newspapers around the country find their Web sites more dependent on search engines than before. The unexpected effect? Witty double entendres, allusions and sarcastic remarks are rewritten into boring straight-to-the-point headlines that rank higher on search engines and news-specific search engines. From the article: 'About a year ago, The Sacramento Bee changed online section titles. "Real Estate" became "Homes," "Scene" turned into "Lifestyle," and dining information found in newsprint under "Taste," is online under "Taste/Food."'"
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This Boring Headline is Written for Google

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  • by tinkertim (918832) * on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:37AM (#15093809) Homepage
    Used to be to start a fire you took two sticks of about the same size and .....

    We don't do that anymore. Just like companies that hope to market their news agencies have got to stop depending on search engines to reel in traffic. The sites that attract visitors through searches and make revenue by serving ads are established and have consumed the available market share.

    To be successful doing what they do, one of them has to go under right around the time you have something similar already seeding in search engines. Its quite a long waiting list folks.

    If you want to reach a niche news market you need to hit people during rush hour in their cars with radio advertisements, or find another way of luring them to your site and when they arrive your titles had better not be crafted for Google.

    Look at the explosion of over a million .eu domains, many of which are going to be those article-wiki type affiliate marketing sites and search engines are already crawling them. Sorry guys, but the days of putting up hundreds of pages of content and waiting for Google to do your marketing are gone.

    Don't re-write the titles, take the hint that what you're doing just isn't working. Either change your marketing strategy or re-evaluate the fiscal sanity of continuing to publish.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over, and over and over again yet expecting different results. The market is flooded - get creative in your advertising and MORE creative with your content and you may enjoy some success. Otherwise the sad fact is .. nobody is going to find you.

    Go take a look at shitlance [scriptlance.com] and search for "need articles, need articles re-written, SEO content author". Trying to succeed doing what they're doing is like punching yourself in the nuts until you pass out.

    Completely *wrong* direction, imho.
  • by TopShelf (92521) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:39AM (#15093813) Homepage Journal
    Personally, I can think of nothing that would improve newspapers more than getting rid of those idiotic puns often seen in headlines...
  • by Shimdaddy (898354) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:46AM (#15093827) Homepage
    Idiotic puns? The English language is a beautiful one and not everything is about efficiency, speed and clarity. If it were, we'd all read dictionaries for fun and teach our children Lojban. I, for one, celebrate the wordplay practiced by newspapers and think it's intriguing.
  • by goldfita (953969) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:48AM (#15093833) Homepage
    I agree. It becomes irritating. I just find it amusing that the content on the web is being written for machines instead of the people make the content worth billions of dollars. Content should be made for human consumption, not HAL. Hopefully the bots will get better to the point that it doesn't really matter.
  • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation@@@gmail...com> on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:51AM (#15093838) Journal
    It used to be that to get modded up you could read the article leisurely, understand what it's talking about, and then post your comment at any time... letting the merit of what you wrote stand on its own.

    We don't do that anymore. These days, users become subscribers so that they can get first post and fool the moderators into thinking that what they wrote was insightful. Rather than discuss, as mentioned in the article, how a witty title that perhaps employs humor or puns is rewritten to something mundane so that a search engine can pick up on common keywords, people these days are engaging in what Linus Torvalds calls little more than a public wanking session trying to post comments more insightful than the rest.

    Don't try for first post. Instead, take the hint that your posts just aren't really all that informative nor insightful and re-evaluate the sanity of continuing to post such drivel. Go take a look at comments like this [slashdot.org] and realize that trying to succeed with content like that is like punching moderators in the nuts trying to get excellent karma.
     
  • Re:Kryder's Law (Score:3, Insightful)

    by matt21811 (830841) * on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:56AM (#15093852) Homepage
    "Some formulation of the hard disk law has been around long before the SciAm article"

    Yes, and that law was called Moore's Law. I think the role of an encyclopedia is to document, not invent.
  • by tuxedobob (582913) <tuxedobob AT mac DOT com> on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:00AM (#15093863)
    90% of puns are bad.

    100% of newspaper puns are bad.

    I'd rather read Variances and Zoning Volume XIV.
  • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:00AM (#15093864)
    but did you change the wikipedia entry to reflect that? :-) Thanks for pointing it out, I'm headed there now. Mind if I link you on the talk page?
  • Two headlines? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by laughingcoyote (762272) * <barghesthowl&excite,com> on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:03AM (#15093873) Journal

    Would it be that hard to develop a standard (perhaps much like meta-tagging), giving one set of data easily digestible by the bots (and not displayed to the human reader), while retaining an entertaining writing style for human consumption? Computers don't always have an easy time digesting data a human would find simple to understand, and vice-versa. Shouldn't that generally be acknowledged by design? (Disclaimer: I don't do much work with web design. If you do and you know why this hasn't been done or won't work, please let me know.)

  • I thought the boring, machine-readable stuff (i.e., not just headlines) was supposed to be in metadata. No need to do a hatchet job on a descriptive or witty title. Of course, I just may be an old codger in Internet time.

    What's more, I thought the whole point of Pagerank was to make your page associated with what others think your page is about... that if your obituary about Gene Pitney is entitled "Tulsa star: The life and career of much-loved 1960's singer." it'll show up in a search for Gene Pitney because (hopefully) that string will be indexed from the page body and that as other people associate your page with Pitney — irrespective of the <title> that obituary will float towards the top. And if they use your witty title, not only will you get more popular for "Gene Pitney", but also "Tulsa Star" as well.

    But there are unwashed masses that do use other search engines, but I thought the last people to rely absolutely on metadata were Alta Vista and WebCrawler.

  • GOOOOD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tehwebguy (860335) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:25AM (#15093927) Homepage
    the author didn't seem to consider the possibility that readers prefer this..

    i personally would rather actually know what articles are about based on their headlines, than be tricked into reading something by a misleading headline. most headlines aren't "creative", so much as they are "dishonest" in the newspaper.

    i skim through my university's paper every other week, and i usually am reminded why i don't read it more often.
  • Re:Two headlines? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tbo (35008) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:31AM (#15093940) Journal
    Would it be that hard to develop a standard (perhaps much like meta-tagging), giving one set of data easily digestible by the bots (and not displayed to the human reader), while retaining an entertaining writing style for human consumption?

    As another poster pointed out, something like this is already possible, via CSS and/or meta tags. The problem is that the system gets abused. Scammers will feed "NATALIE PORTMAN NAKED AND PETRIFIED" or some other high-demand content as the headline to Google, while hapless human users get to see Cialis ads and penis enlargement spam. Naturally, search engine designers know about this and use countermeasures to punish sites that send different content to webcrawlers and users, on the assumption that such tricks are usually employed for malicious purposes. The collateral damage is any site that actually has a legitimate reason to serve different content to webcrawlers than to users.

    I know from personal experience that designing for Google has had a negative impact on the aesthetics of my wife's website. Some might argue that designing for Google usually results in a "slimmer" design with more text and less unnecessary images, but when your website is about something visual (say, art), that can be counterproductive. Also, making a (visual) art site have better support for screenreaders seems kind of pointless, and maybe even cruel. What would the ALT tags say? "A really nice painting--too bad you can't see it".

  • by onebecoming (965642) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:36AM (#15093946)
    Happily, in the past couple decades, I think we've seen the pendulum start swinging back towards the acceptance, even celebration, of literary style in journalism (no, you cheapshooting Slashbots, I'm not talking about Jayson Blair). For too long--if a relatively brief anomaly in the long history of news publication--readability and human interest were sacrificed to a false god of objectivity, while dryness of content, not wit, was considered the sole criterion of journalistic merit. You had your occasional Hunter Thompson, sure, but only on the fringe. Now, you see the Observer (while still bleeding money) and even frontpage stories in the Times adopting a more conversational, personal tone, and Anderson Cooper sobbing into the camera on live TV. All this perhaps in response to the mass popularity of blogs and other firsthand sources of information. It'll be interesting to see where this leads. Pardon my bloviation.
  • by JanneM (7445) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:38AM (#15093951) Homepage
    This is really only tangentially about search engines. It's really about people finding things by searching, rather than by browsing, today.

    It used to be a potential reader would be standing in front of a magazine stand, or leafing idly through a newspaper. To grab that reader, a witty, slightly hard-to-understand headline was great - it catches your attention and makes you at least look closer since you want to know what that mysterious piece is actually about. And thus you made the single-copy sale, and perhaps, in time, sold a subrscription.

    Today we increasingly don't start by picking up a paper and looking within for what we want; we find things by searching for what we want and end up on anyone of a large number of newspapers and magazine sites. The choice of paper isn't the start of the process - the search is. And when we search, that witty off-color headline is going to mislead us since it doesn't actually contain the key terms that would indicate relevance. Making headlines and summaries clear, straight and to the point isn't about pandering to search engines, but of adjusting to the changing behavior of the readership.

    It's the reader behavior that has changed. The search engine angle is just a smokescreen.

  • by tbo (35008) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:45AM (#15093961) Journal
    It used to be that to get modded up you could read the article leisurely, understand what it's talking about, and then post your comment at any time... letting the merit of what you wrote stand on its own.

    We don't do that anymore


    Why the hell was this modded as a troll? Granted, nacturation hasn't been around that long (hah! I mock your six-digit user ID), but he does seem to have hit the nail on the head with the extra big hammer.

    I know I've been guilty of replying to the first highly-modded comment, even though my reply had nothing to do with that comment, simply because that increased my visibility to moderators. I know I've been lazy as a moderator on occasion, and blown my mod points on the first half-decent posts I found when browsing "Oldest first". I have sinned myself, and so I know there is truth in what nacturation says.

    I hit the karma cap many years ago, and they now no longer even display its numeric value, so I can hardly see the point in continuing with such foolishness. Still, the way slashdot is set up encourages such things. What's the point in posting a comment if nobody will read it? Since the number of readers depends on the comment's score, which depends on how appealing it is to moderators and how early it was posted, we get these types of abuses.

    We'd probably be better off with a system where moderators were forced to browse at -1, newest first, and where early posts received a karma penalty unless they achieved a sufficiently high score in moderation. I don't see it happening, though.
  • obvious solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jdbartlett (941012) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:56AM (#15093978)
    Obvious solution: use images to display the witty section names (scene) and alt text and hidden span text displaying the boring name (lifestyle). With a little work, the same could be applied to headlines.
  • by MikeFM (12491) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @02:13AM (#15094013) Homepage Journal
    Why shift content off screen when you can just tell it to not display it with your CSS? that's one of those things people do that I can't really see the point of (shifting, not hiding). Is there a benefit to only shifting it?

    Be warned that you need to block your stylesheets from being crawled though if you try to hide text from users with CSS because search engines can mistake (or be correct in some cases) that as spamming and kill your search placement because of it.

    It's a handy way to put more keywords in pages that users might not want to see. So you can put "Scene [Lifestyle]" and only have the user see the word "Scene" so you are actually helping people find you. Something I do is include common differences in how to write part numbers in that kind of hidden text. On my site the users can search and find stuff by that hidden text but they won't see it because it'd be confussing to them. I go ahead and include it in the page source though so that people searching on Google, Yahoo, etc can also find those pages. Pretty much what the keywords meta tag probably should be used for but isn't since search engine spammers devalued those tags.
  • good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by penguin-collective (932038) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @02:41AM (#15094050)
    Newspapers should focus on the news. Unfortunately, ours are trying to provide entertainment, sensationalism, titillation, thrills, and witticisms. Lets hope that, after the gimmicky double-entendre headlines are gone, we can also get rid of these other misfeatures of journalism. And, yes, the NYT is one of the biggest offenders.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @02:53AM (#15094073)
    There is an even better method for keeping witty headlines *and* be ranked in top position with google : pr0n. Here are some sample headlines :

    - UN concerned about Iraq and free hentai
    - Pope Benedict XVI replaces John Paul II in bondage
    - France strikers and Natalie Portman arrested
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @03:20AM (#15094123)
    Search Engine optimisation is a contradiction in term

    How come does anybody, not to speak of web designers, get the stupid idea that one has to optimise ones website for search engines anyway? Isn't that totally backwards? I should optimise my website for *users* and their expierience and the general webstandards. If the search engine is to stupid to find content on my site that is relative to a search, then it certainly isn't my job to optimise for them. That's the job of search engines themselves. That's where the name comes from.
    Guess why Altavista missed out when Google appeared. The had the more optimised search engine.

    I allways thought (and still think) that so-called webdesigners that offer their customers 'search engine optimisation' (whatever that's supposed to be) to be the used-car sales and multilevel marketing lot of IT field. Some shady semi-professionals offering some non-product. Whenever I'm finished building a Web CMS Site for customers I take the time to feed the URL into the searchbots so they do the first scan of the site more quickly, but that's it. If anyone comes to me bickering about the bad search results a searchengine comes up with I usually tell them that if the searchengine sucks, they should use a different one. It's that simple, really.

    Bottom line:
    If you're doing *anything* on the web, forget about search engines and just build a good site. If your site is good and the search engine is good, both will find each other fast. All else is just bogus.
  • God forbid... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by severoon (536737) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @03:46AM (#15094169) Journal
    ...anyone should be able to read a headline and quickly get an idea of what the story's about. Much better to have some snarky news editor misleading us to get us to read their stupid story.

    I, for one, welcome "boring, straightforward" news headlines. After all, it's news. Not commentary, not opinion. If I see a newspaper section marked "Scene" I'm not likely to know what it's about.
  • by tinkertim (918832) * on Sunday April 09, 2006 @04:54AM (#15094270) Homepage
    >> These days, users become subscribers so that they can get first post and fool the moderators into thinking that what they wrote was insightful.

    I don't post to earn brownie points, I post because I like participating here. You read articles, and post your thoughts regarding them. I bought a subscription because I got sick of the ads (I thinK I complained about ads in my post .. ).

    You're welcome to challenge anything I have to say, but .. challenge it in a friendly way and I'm happy to banter. A blanket proclamation of suckage is the easy way out ;) If you're gonna rip into someone, *do it* .. get dirty and get specific and the recipient may give it merit.

    Otherwise you just sound like a rather un-happy person that for whatever reason spends way tooo much time in front of the computer.

    Hope you have a better day.
  • by tinkertim (918832) * on Sunday April 09, 2006 @05:07AM (#15094296) Homepage
    Well it started off as a 4, now its a -1 .. so looks like someone called all of their buddies "HEY, you got mod points? Go mod this down .. " , thats just .. pathetic.

    It pisses me off because I spent time contributing, and now most people won't see it. I don't post just for the sake of doing it, I work in the business of helping people make sites successful and had some things to share. I don't care what people reply about it, the kick in the ass is because someone's ego got a boner nobody is going to even see the post.

    Last time I ever post when there are none. Apparently if you luck into the first post .. welp nobody will read it because the nazi regs don't agree with what you have to say. /. really needs to work on their mod system. I have 5's that should be 1's and -1's that should be 4's - and its consistently botched.
  • by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @06:09AM (#15094387) Journal
    I agree. Digg is not entirely unique, either. kuro5hin/scoop allow anyone to rate a comment (though they show the average rating, and ratings aren't as meaningful as digg or /.).

    I've heard that a new rating system is in the pipelines. Good. A Javascript/AJAX implementation shouldn't suffer from "scalability" problems that the /. programmers are always complaining about.

  • by joe 155 (937621) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @06:28AM (#15094414) Journal
    I'll agree with you to some exent, there is a problem with the system that /. uses, but perhaps it is the best of the bad systems we have to choose from. The things I like about it include that it is harder to get mod points, meaning by the time people get them they should "get" how things should be and achieve a level of maturity within the system. One thing that I really dislike though is what I will call the "mod flame war", I've had comments modded up to 5 by people who agreed with me and then down to 0 by people who disagreed. What should matter should be the quality of the arguement (regardless of if you agree/disagree). The this though is a problem with anything though, we will never have a system of objectivity and I don't think the digg system comes anywhere close to addressing that problem. Maybe if people had more of an opportunity to talk about how they think the system could be made better, perchance a suggestions box system and the editors pick out the best ideas and arrange something resembling a referendum? Further I think a problem far worse is the people who post anonomously just so they can say something idiotic or racist, they post at 0 and then a moderator rightly mods them down to -1, which wastes a point, would getting rid of anonamous posting (or making them always post at -1) and then make modding pretty much only a possitive thing (aside from an option for things that are openly offensive in the extreme with no merit as a logical arguement) and introducting a system of karma as a number that will disapate on its own after not being modded up for a while (to a point of equalibria at about 1) be a better system?

    Anyway, thats just my considered response to you...
  • by pla (258480) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @07:29AM (#15094485) Journal
    Any suggestions we try and break the mold and develop relations with the press to obtain credible editorial are laughed at.

    Of course they laugh at you for such suggestions!

    I really don't see the problem here... If the topic involved writers of fiction, writers of poetry, some form of "artistic" endeavor, I would say that writing-to-Google could destroy it.

    But the topic does NOT involve "art", it involves NEWS. Writers (supposedly) of "fact".

    If Google forces every journalist on the planet to stop thinking themselves "cute", if it finally and fully destroys the abomination of filler they call "human interest", if it means I can read a story about a dead cat and not mistake it for a physics pun (or vice-versa), I applaud the change Google has forced on journalists!


    My advice - Don't fight a positive change for your profession. Embrace it. Google has made it possible for anyone with an interest in your story, whether you write for the NYT or the East Nowhere Gazette, to find and read your words. It has also, as a POSITIVE side effect, forced you to stick to the point and not assume airs that you create some form of art. It even makes basic fact-checking a 30-second (rather than all day) task.

    You can either use all of that to your benefit, or complain that it forces you to do your job better. But whichever you choose, keep in mind that Google has also lowered the bar for entry - Any of a million bloggers could (though you can take comfort that very few do) decide to post about something more interesting than what Sam said Hunter did to Crystal and how much it pissed off Joey.
  • by nutshell42 (557890) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @07:39AM (#15094499) Journal
    Absolutely not.

    If I look at digg, the percentage of idiotic, flamebait and stupid-but-common-misconception posts that are modded up and of witty, insightful and thought-provoking posts that are modded down is disheartening.

    Yes there are stupid mods on /.; a number of my posts have been modded down because the mod simply didn't know what he was doing or because he had an ax to grind (or modded up for the same reasons =). But overall the situation's much better here especially when the discussion's about things that tend to end in flamewars (Apple, Linux DEs etc =)

  • by ubiquitin (28396) * on Sunday April 09, 2006 @07:56AM (#15094537) Homepage Journal
    As citizens of this democracy, workers in this nation, and technologist hobbyists, it's hard for all of us to find time to read anything from start to finish. So they're right on that point: the headline is often all you really get out of news. Funny thing is, I know lots of people who are more interested in Matt Drudge's headlines than the NYTimes headlines. He writes better headlines than the NYTimes. They're more timely, more revelent, and often more witty.

    Stick that in your Google and search it.
  • by Silvrmane (773720) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @08:40AM (#15094606) Homepage
    This is part of a larger problem. The search engines, and the desire on the part of webmasters to rank highly on them, causes a distortion in the kind of language we are using on the internet. Its not about the quality of your content or your writing style and how those affect a human reader. Its now about "keyword density". In order to get their page to show up higher in search results, webmasters start to fluff out what they are saying, adding extra words, repeating things repetitiously, adding redundant redundancies, and repeating what they are saying a bunch of different ways. We end up writing for the search engine, not the human beings who have to wade through this crap to find the information they are looking for.

    Having said that, this boring headline business doesn't seem to have affected The Register. They usually have some clever ones.

  • by danny (2658) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @09:08AM (#15094655) Homepage
    Six or seven years ago, I [dannyreviews.com] ranked #1 on a search for "book reviews" at most search engines. Eventually the print media cottoned onto sensible TITLEs and link anchors, and I was displaced by the NRYOB and NYT (and I think I'm now down to 10th on Google [google.com]). There are still some really poorly thought-out major sites, but things are getting harder for small web sites.

    The Sydney Morning Herald has not only replaced its old-style "meaningless without context" headings with "boring" ones, but it's stuck them into its URLs - which is another SEO idea.

    Danny.

  • by Xserv (909355) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @09:33AM (#15094726)
    'About a year ago, The Sacramento Bee changed online section titles. "Real Estate" became "Homes," "Scene" turned into "Lifestyle," and dining information found in newsprint under "Taste," is online under "Taste/Food."'
    This makes perfect sense to me. If someone is searching the web and needs to find an article about "things to do" in Sacremento they might not know that the people from Sacremento refer to what everyone else calls the "Lifestyle" section as "The Scene". I would see the changing of the sections as a way to reach out to a broader audience, not necessarily JUST to fit in with Goodle Adwords. I mean, if you can kill two birds with one stone, then fine, but I think there's more to it. It gets away from the cutesy bullcrap and makes it more relevant to the full audience which is what the web is about, right?

    Xserv
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @11:18AM (#15095059) Homepage
    For too long [...] readability and human interest were sacrificed to a false god of objectivity


    Yes, and now the only thing sacrificed to the false god of objectivity is basic reason and logic. "NASA scientists say that the sky is blue and the Earth orbits around the sun, but not all agree: here is an opposing view from Mr. P. Gumby about how the sun is actually a piece of brightly colored yellow paper taped to a giant eggshell that surrounds the Earth. Which is correct? We'll report both sides and leave it to our viewers to decide."

  • by vadim_t (324782) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:12PM (#15095212) Homepage
    Certainly not, I'm taking about the specific case here: Headlines for google.

    This stuff makes perfect sense for local newspapers, where 90% of the audience can be assumed to be native, and to know what's going on in that specific area. But online is a different world, where content is equally available to everybody.

    Also, things like RSS allow very quick scanning of headlines without seeing pictures or text, which almost guarantees that many people will ignore something they don't get at first glance. Reducing your audience in this way seems counterproductive.

    They're, IMO, just different worlds. In a newspaper you try to get some extra audience by getting people interested, trying to get a reaction of "that's clever", or "wonder what is it about". Online you have vast amounts of people that are actively searching and filtering information, looking for something specific. You'll get them by being direct and to the point.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) * on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:43PM (#15095287) Homepage Journal
    I think that disagreeing with someone is a perfectly good reason to mod someone down. In fact, when it comes down to it, that's the only criterion you can really have.

    Really not! You can find the information to be unrealiable, you undo an 'informative' moderation. Or you notice a redundent post, you cull the posts. Stuff like that.
    Trying to silence the voices of those you don't agree with isn't a perfectly good way to use moderation points.

    Being modded down is criticism, not censorship.

    No, THIS is criticism.
    Modding down someone into the noise of the crowd IS censorship. You're trying to make it as hard as possible for people to get to the comment you disagree with by hiding it in a bunch of idiotic trolls, flameguerillas and spams..

    Yeah, when I mod down a troll, I act as censor [m-w.com] (2nd def.). I'm fine with that, not everythng that is said deserves to be heard... unless you want to.
  • Re:God forbid... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:16PM (#15095444)
    While funny for whoever knows what the hell "Foot Heads Arms Body" means, the fact of the matter is I don't care who Michael Foot is, and there are many weapons related organizations on earth, and that headline wouldn't tell me what I needed to know like "Labour Party chief to head IRA decommissioning body." Then again, I also wouldn't care who was in charge, as long as the decommissioning was going on.

    News isn't supposed to be art. It's supposed to be information. If you want word art, go to a poetry site. If you want to know what is going on now, you shouldn't have to know the intricacies of Labour Party politics to guess whats going on.
  • That's naive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by p3d0 (42270) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @02:05PM (#15095618)
    If the search engine is to stupid to find content on my site that is relative to a search, then it certainly isn't my job to optimise for them.
    It is your job, if optimizing for "them" increases your revenue tenfold.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 09, 2006 @06:42PM (#15096718)
    I think I'll really miss all the completely lame and useless "witty" headlines from news papers. Reading the exquisitely cliched headlines in the newspapers used to give me the motivation to hit myself in the head with a hammer repeatedly in the morning. Now where am I going to find that motivation?
  • This is strange! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Intestineman (892120) on Monday April 10, 2006 @12:02AM (#15097503)
    I keep reading and hearing that news agencies have issue with search engines such as Google, and are threatening legal action because of sites like Google News for getting a "free ride" on news items which they are merely linking to and not doing the "hard work" for uncovering the story. Now I read they try to make it easier for Google to index their stories??? Did I understanding this article correctly or am I missing something?
  • by mcguyver (589810) on Monday April 10, 2006 @01:02PM (#15099920) Homepage
    >The sites that attract visitors through searches and make revenue by serving ads are established and have consumed the available market share.
    This is wrong or at best, misleading. Online advertising continues to grow. New publishers succeed. New niches are discovered. Competition increases but online advertising continues to florish.

    >Sorry guys, but the days of putting up hundreds of pages of content and waiting for Google to do your marketing are gone.
    Welcome to yesterdays news. Doorway pages do not work. Pumping out content is over. Quality content however is still king.

    >Don't re-write the titles, take the hint that what you're doing just isn't working. Either change your marketing strategy or re-evaluate the fiscal sanity of continuing to publish.
    So what you're saying is if your site is not SEO friendly then don't bother improving it? Or are you saying change your keyword titles? I'm confused.

    >The market is flooded - get creative in your advertising and MORE creative with your content and you may enjoy some success. Otherwise the sad fact is .. nobody is going to find you.
    This I agree with. SEO as your only form of marketing has been dead for a while. Search engines are too smart. Quality, creative content is necessary. The Sacramento Bee updating their keyword titles is just a response to the industry. It's the right thing to do. Better synonym matching and semantic improvements could help this situation so maybe we should blame this on inferior search engines?

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