Tag Archives: SEO

Google doesn’t think I’m funny – Humor, headlines, and SEO

13 May

I once read that you should write for your readers first, search engines second, and your ego third.  I try to consider all of these things when writing this blog, but find that they’re often in competition.  (I try to include keywords like culture, social media, and bog whenever they fit, but sometimes it’s hard to do it without getting in the way of the narrative style.)  Yesterday, I found this on The Awl.  Apparently I’m not alone in my battle to balance all three.

Stack of Newspaper Headlines - Burns out, Storm Kills, Drugs, Recycling, Stem cellsGoogle doesn’t laugh
It doesn’t even titter
It can’t guffaw like Facebook
It won’t split its sides like Twitter

Google doesn’t crack a smile
It won’t respond to mirth
There’s not a single laughing part
Not even Google Earth

Your title might be funny
Forcing chuckles from the chest
But Google sits there stone-faced
Resolutely unimpressed

Don’t try to brighten someone’s day
Don’t aim for “smart and winning”
Your goal is catching Google’s eye
And Google isn’t grinning

Best to stick to SEO
And trade your wheat for chaff
Forget the humor, blogger boy
‘Cause Google doesn’t laugh Continue reading

So, What Color is Your Hat?

18 Mar

Yesterday, Social Times (a blog/news site that covers social media news, memes, companies, and products) published an article about JC Penny getting caught using black hat search engine optimization (SEO) tactics over the holiday season.

(Curious what I mean by black hat SEO tactics?  Social Times explains is pretty well by saying, “This refers to practices that Google (and other search engines) find to be ‘deceptive and manipulative’ as opposed to the accepted ‘white hat’ practices used by the majority of top SEO companies. If white hat optimization is Luke Skywalker, black hat is Vader.”  Basically, SEO tactics are used to make your website, blog, etc. easier to find via search engine.  And, Google (and others, but really who cares about the others?) has rules about the ways that you’re allowed to go about doing this.)

Note how I say the article’s about them getting caught using black hat tactics, not their usage of black hat tactics.  Fortunately or unfortunately, it seems to be pretty widely accepted that many retailers use various black hat tactics, but it’s something that people are rarely willing to talk about.

Recently, I’ve been meeting with a lot of people engaged in internet marking and search engine optimization efforts.  (I’m exploring my interests in the topic and learning about how different marketing departments engage audiences via online channels, particularly social media.)  And, it’s one of those issues that everyone tends to talk around.  Usually, at some point in the conversation, I ask about their tactics in a very general way and they understand what I mean.  Then it gets awkward for a second…  Most people have sworn up and down that they only engage in white hat SEO, but I did have someone admit to me that they get a little in the gray area and push up to the limit of what Google considers acceptable.  (Personally, I found the honesty refreshing.)

So, what is the best way to ask about someone what color their hat is?

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