SEO: The End of Journalism?

09.15.09

seo versus journalism SEO:  The End of Journalism?One of the many advantages that SEO represents to media is that they boost and ease the conversions rate of a site.  A broader audience might represent a bigger chance of turning prospects into clients.  Brent D. Payne, SEO Director of Tribune Company, raised the number of visitors to a hefty 20 millions/month optimizing the editorial contents for the electronic edition of The Chicago Tribune.

Does audience need rule the content?

When it comes to media that derive their income from publicity, sometimes the editorial focus must be conditioned to sales.  Analog and digital publications tweak their contents to allow some ads (or more ads).  Massification of media forced formats to take a more commercial turn.  The newest generations of journalists are writers and publicists to equal parts.

However, there is a group of publicists completely convinced that quantity does not necessarily imply quality.  People that were raised with the idea of earning a Pulitzer, daydreamers who believe journalism is closer to literature than it is to media production.  To them, this transition has been like the meteorite that ended life on Earth millions of years ago.

Editorial Darwinism:  The one who can get on with the show, survives.

The immediacy of media managed to conceal more objective visions on journalism, since the same nature of the new media and its channels prevented information from being retouched more than it was necessary.  This same lack of editorialism also allowed the birth of new languages on which contents didn’t expect to embrace absolute truths more than to make part of a global vision for different viewpoints.  That, to the audiences, was the start of a new era on which objectivity didn’t rely on the immutability of a fact but in the many interpretations that this fact might have.

On the other side, it also meant the loss of the monopoly cherished by news agencies.  Indie agencies and individual perspectives made the frame for the proverbial window to the world.  What kind of strategies could be implemented to extend its longevity a bit more?  It wasn’t enough to have a presence on the Internet, since contents will be inevitably confronted with other sources.

Dinosaurs hid under palmtrees, hoping meteors wouldn’t fall over their heads.

Pragmatism changed the way people wrote for press and gave away some preconceptions, but it is possible to pair traditional journalism with the newest SEO-oriented redactions:

  • Be concise: Facts and style will be confronted against other sources, so it’s a good idea to be brief and make research easier for visitors.
  • Be relevant: Objectivity in media doesn’t embrace an absolute truth, but it is part of a set of co-existing realities.  Sometimes, a honest opinion is worth more than a sterile editorial product.
  • SEO: The use of keywords doesn’t only guarantee a flow of visitors to your website but also more people reading your articles.  Proper SEO holds the same flow of any written product. but it is far more versatile when it comes to search and discard contents, people and search engine-wise.
  • Interact with your audience:  Technology allows you to have flexible texts, easily complemented with personal and visitors’ comments.

We need to know what’s going on.  Journalism cannot die, but it has to adapt to the new media and evolve.  A lesson other extinguished species ignored.

Looking for a web site that survives to the SEO clash of species?  We can make your site fit to survive.

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