How SEO is changing journalism

SEO and journalism

Shane Richmond is communities editor of Telegraph.co.uk. A few years ago he explained in the British Journalism Review how search engine optimisation (SEO) is changing the way sub editors and even journalists need to adapt their copy for online use.

He cites the famous “Gotcha” headline on a Sun front-page splash about the sinking of the General Belgrano during the Falklands War in 1982, which would not get a run online today: it’s the wrong heading for the World Wide Web.

We are writing to be read and these days that increasingly means ensuring our stories are found by search engines. The concept is simple, says Richardson:

It’s about ensuring that your content is found by the millions of people every day who use search engines as their first filter for news and those who don’t search at all but trust an automated aggregator, such as Google News, to filter stories for them. These people are essentially asking a computer to tell them the news. If you want your story to be read, you’d better make sure the computer knows what you’re writing about.

To do that you need to ensure your article contains certain keywords. That means not only the words that someone types into a search engine but also the keywords that the search engine knows are commonly associated with the search term. So if someone types “credit crunch” into a search engine, the computer knows that an article about the credit crunch often contains other words, such as financial crisis, bail out or bailout, banks, recession and so on.

Read the full article at the British Journalism Review …