Monday, April 07, 2008

Who, what, where, when and SEO

Moron Monday
Today's sizzling story on the news website, (Incest couple 'not apart for 30 years'), is remarkable for what it discloses, but just as remarkable for what it does not.

It doesn't disclose where in the world the "incest couple" resides, nor where "John Deaves and his daughter Jenny were sentenced to a three-year good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to two counts of performing an act of incest". It could have been in Sydney, Timbuktu or Kalamazoo for all we know, as neither the town nor nation are mentioned in the article. (It happens that the story actually comes from South Australia.) Are we being taken for idiots, or savants?

Last week, in the Media Report segment entitled Redefining the journalist as a news marketer, David Higgins, the editor of, said:

"... what we're seeing now across the industry is up to 20 per cent of visitors to news websites are coming through Google and other search engines ...

"So you're on a very level playing field there; the smarter that you are with your Search Engine Optimisation [SEO] ... the more chance you have of getting people to come through and read your story ... Certainly at and at other news websites like Fairfax and NineMSN, they hire specialists in this area to optimise the site as a whole.

"I guess what's probably more interesting though is what it means for journalists and the responsibility that they will have increasingly in this area, so I say it's no longer good enough for journalists just to come up with a great story and to file it to the editor and then move on to the next story, they need to start thinking about ways that they can promote it."

When asked by the presenter, Antony Funnell, if journalists in newsrooms are actively being trained in SEO techniques, Higgins replied frankly: "We are in, certainly."

One wonders why the incest couple's crime is mentioned, yet other highly significant facts are ignored. A journalists's first lesson used to be to ask "who, what, where and when". Is it the case that now the only question is "how -- to get the story high Google ranking?"

More on Monday.

Categories: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker