Selling up the content farms…

Content farms are the bane of the content creator’s existence. Other people flooding the Internet with cheap mass produced content has the same effect on the content market that any mass producing of something once good and pure has… it cheapens the experience for everybody, big companies make all the money, and then eventually something shifts in the market. It happened with beer. It happened with coffee. Now Google is stepping in to stop content farms leeching off the Internet with their search engine snake oil.

If none of this makes sense to you – then don’t worry – this infographic and accompanying post from techi.com is here to help.

The death of the headline

SEO1 killed the headline. So says this piece from the Washington Post.

“My biggest beef with the New Newsroom, though, is what has happened to headlines. In old newsrooms, headline writing was considered an art. This might seem like a stretch to you, but not to copy editors, who graduated from college with a degree in English literature, did their master’s thesis on intimations of mortality in the early works of Molière, and then spent the next 20 years making sure to change commas to semicolons in the absence of a conjunction. The only really creative opportunity copy editors had was writing headlines, and they took it seriously…

Newspapers still have headlines, of course, but they don’t seem to strive for greatness or to risk flopping anymore, because editors know that when the stories arrive on the Web, even the best headlines will be changed to something dull but utilitarian. That’s because, on the Web, headlines aren’t designed to catch readers’ eyes. They are designed for “search engine optimization,” meaning that readers who are looking for information about something will find the story, giving the newspaper a coveted “eyeball.” Putting well-known names in headlines is considered shrewd, even if creativity suffers.”

I struggle to decide whether to write headlines for googlers or headlines for my own amusement. I mostly settle for the latter, unless I can’t think of anything punny.

1 Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation for churches

ChurchCrunch is a good resource for church marketing. It’s from a network of blogs that track down resources and applications for using technology better in ministry.

They’ve got a great post about Search Engine Optimisation that you should check out, if you have any involvement in making decisions about your church website.

Here are the “ten myths” – read the original post for more details.

  1. The better your content, the better your ranking.
  2. Church Domain names with dashes are good for rankings.
  3. Clicking on your search engine results is somehow magical.
  4. You should have huge keyword density on your homepage.
  5. Your homepage is more important than your subpages.
  6. You should pay to be listed on site indexes.
  7. Don’t have a search box.
  8. Leaving old pages up is good.
  9. Search Engine Optimisation is a flick you switch and then ignore.
  10. Social Media helps

Some good advice here – my advice, mostly, is that anyone selling “SEO expertise” is probably a charlatan. And if it sounds dodgy (like hide links in white text in your design that search engines can read but other people can’t) – then Google is probably working pretty hard to stamp the practice out.