Search Friendly Headlines and HitTailing

ML Sep 1, 2006

The New York Times ran an article a few months ago on choosing headlines that work well in search. Can you think of a more obscure topic in a more mainstream publication? Perhaps it’s because it strikes very close to the heart of journalists when they’re told that their beloved double entendre headlines hurt more than help when it comes to the online versions. Either way, you know a topic has gone mainstream when the NYT covers it.

I refer to this article all the time, but never blogged about it. HitTail is a keyword suggestion tool, but 90% of your optimization goal is done by just selecting the right headline. Everything else that goes onto the page simply stimulates the keyword suggestion tab. In blogging software, that headline manifests as the URL, title, a headline element, and links leading to the permalink page. It’s the equivalent of taking a sniper-like shot at the exact word-arrangement on which you are trying to bring in the traffic.

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