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Search Engine Optimization: the art of ti…

Titles maketh the article. Without a concise title, enriched with meaty keyword chunks, an article is just so many bytes of miscellaneous data. So I just thought I’d touch upon my thoughts on quick, easy SEO tips again, with an example. It’s the simplest principles of Search Engine Optimization that do the most good. But it’s the simple things that often get overlooked .. even by the big guys…

I could go on about effective headline writing, but better people than I have committed fingers to keyboard on the subject.

Right now, all I want to discuss is bad headline writing.

And such an example would be a recent O’Reilly article that loses the very words that the article is all about about.

The title of the article is: “Opening up the Social Network Graph” but the actual HTML file name is: “opening_up_the.html” which totally lacks the real meat & potatoes of the title: “Social Network Graph”, killing a key aspect of the search relevance of the web page.

I don’t think that O’Reilly are too big to be above some solid, honest-to-goodness Search Engine Optimization.

Besides which, these guys are developers.

I’m singling O’Reilly out because if you look at the actual file names to their articles, they’re appallingly truncated, rendering them almost unintelligibly useless.

And if the people who read the books that O’Reilly publish can’t find them on the web, they do themselves, their director of sales and their potential customers a huge disservice…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

3 replies on “Search Engine Optimization: the art of ti…”

Just a quick thought about headlines. In the mainstream media, headlines are generally not written for online SEO purposes they are written by sub-editors to fit the printed page and to grab the reader’s attention. Now, many of the principles subbies apply to headlines apply equally well to online publications and to the aims of SEO/SEM, where the two meet you often get a nice strong keyword-rich headline, but where SEO is an unknown to the headline writer you get the kind of headline that might grab the reader’s attention but does nothing for SEO.

As bloggers, we have to balance both to give good head-line for the sake of readers most importantly but always with an eye to capturing the search engines too.


It’s worth pointing out that David’s got an extensive background in journalism, with a science flavour.

I recently wrestled with a title / headline, which he advised on.

I wasn’t initially sold by his argument. But the OpenID as Web3.0 article did pretty good as a result…

I think that nobody can eliminate search engines as a source of clicks, even if the company has others ways to sell and it works well, for example.

The search engines are the major source of visitors in almost big sites. They bring qualified users; are cheaper than sponsor links; the first place for a result win a good status on its business and so on…
SEO is very important for every site who wants to be found. It should be combined with sponsor links, banners and others forms of online marketing, but never not be forgotten.

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