New York Times Finally Gets With The Times

I used to write about the fact that some newspapers didn’t understand the evironment in which they were now operating, but then I got bored with it. Eventually, they’d come round to the fact that the www is all about audience share. Content is a loss leader that facilitates advertising distribution, although you’d think people running a newspaper would know that.

It seems they are finally coming around.

Danny Sullivan has an article about the NY Times is now trying to be more search engine friendly.

Online newspapers have often ignored search engines, or viewed them with mistrust, relying on the power of their brands to drive traffic. That attitude is changing dramatically at the New York Times, and with powerful effect.

Hurrah! Although they’re still cloaking and funneling users to paid content splash screens on some archive material. It is hard to imagine how measly subscription fees could be worth more than advertising and increased page views, but perhaps I’m missing something.

One aspect of the article that I disagree with is the idea that search engine optimsed headlines are always beneficial. In fairness to Danny, he didn’t actually say that, but there’s a subtext there, I think.

Keyword specific headlines may be beneficial as far as search marketing is concerned, but possibly at the expense of other marketing channels. If everybody starts to write the same generic keyword laden headlines, then they risk becoming invisible. News feeds will look dull. The articles that get the clicks will have headlines that stand out and entice.

It will eventually come full circle.

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