I was speaking with a friend over the weekend who happens to be a senior newspaper executive. We began talking about his company’s growing on-line presence and he told me how important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become to the paper. He then sadly admitted that it was also affecting on-line content.
When the goal is to get eyeballs to a website, a strong SEO strategy, backed up with a story on the latest gossip, is the quickest, most efficient way to get there. And that often means running a story on the latest trash TV gossip which this week revolved around a reality show called Jon and Kate Plus 8.
In the past, tabloid newspapers used salacious photos or provocative headlines to boost news stand sales but now it’s an SEO tie-in with the current hot topic. And it works. A story on Jon and Kate or Twilight or David Carradine’s suicide can mean millions of website hits.