In this article for the Atlantic, David Wheeler talks about how SEO is affecting headlines. (go read it. I’ll wait right here).
I enjoyed the article, but had to grin when I went back to read the headline of the article itself. It’s a mix of both humorous and Keyword rich.
But, this actually makes the case for building a good online following and not just relying on Google. People who use online media site on a regular basis don’t need to find them via a search. They come to the home page and see what’s being offered (much like the catchy headlines in the paper or magazines). They get to enjoy the headline all the same. I will say that sometimes the puns can be so esoteric they leave me working too hard to figure out if I’m even interested in the content. When this happens, you do risk the chance of turning off your readers. Also, SEO is not all about the headline. It’s important, yes. But, if the keywords are in the title tag and article body, it should still come up. And once it’s well liked and shared a bunch (linked to for real, by real people), even more so.
Perhaps headline writers of the future will just have to up their game and figure out how to write a headline that is both keyword rich AND entertaining. Thoughts? Leave me a comment… and be sure to submit this to your favorite bookmarking site, post it to facebook, tweet a link, and stumble it. (But only if you really want to).