Many industries have been adopting search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to help drive traffic to their websites, but one industry that appears to be using the method may seem strange to many people – news organizations.
Yesterday, news website The Huffington Post released its publishing standards for articles written by citizen journalists. Among the lists of dos and don’ts were typical journalism standards like using correct grammar and backing up facts.
But the site also said it reserved the right to make editorial changes to content for various reasons – one of them being search engine optimization (SEO).
"Edits are overwhelmingly small and have to do with matching the story to the rest of the page or highlighting a relevant news theme," says the website. "We change headlines for many reasons: space, design, repetition, search engine optimization are just some of the factors we consider."
It would appear that search engine optimization (SEO) is a growing trend in the world of journalism as the myriad of news organizations on the web attempt to break from the pack.
In an article last month for Poynter Online, the website for the Poynter Institute, Amy Gahran says that even journalists who have been slow to migrate to the internet should be learning the basics of good search engine optimization (SEO).
"I just don’t think it’s reasonable to advise journalists who don’t work directly online to avoid learning key SEO skills and assume other parts of the staff will handle those details," she wrote.