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Naming Blogs and Webpages, Not “What’s in a Name?”

September 02 2004 – 09:56pm

A common trend in writing is to come up with “clever” names for articles. This annoying attempt to create reader curiousity is only appropriate for print design. The web is another story.

Not only is writing on the web for humans, but it is also for machines, or in many cases, humans using machines that help them find what they want. If a typical contemporary print magazine contained an article about naming articles, there is a good chance that it may be called “What’s in a Name?” While this is annoying to a reader who is trying to decipher what the article is about, this title will not be significantly detrimental to a reader’s ability to find it (though I have many times flipped through my magazines, trying to find that great article I read, only to find out after scanning over the right issue many times that it had been named irrelevantly). However, if that same article is put on the web, not only do you essentially exclude your useful article from search queries about “naming articles appropriately,” but you also run the risk of mucking up the search results for someone who is looking for the origin of the popular Shakespeare quote.

So, next time you write a blog, imagine, if you were someone searching for the information in that article, what words would be in your query. Then, try to include those words in the title of your blog. It’s true that the contents of the blog may be relevant to what someone is searching for, but that information only has a <p> tag around it. The title of a blog on my page has an <h3> tag on it, which holds much more weight as important information to a search engine than a <p> tag. Then, in the archive of my blog, each page <title> includes the title of the blog in it, which I have found to have more semantic weight than anything for determining search rankings.

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Keep in mind that you should title your blog postings relevantly. Just because “brittney spears” is a popular search query, including it in the title of your blog post won’t help your search rankings any unless there is truly valuable information in your blog about brittney spears. Search engines such as Google will get you sorted out one way or another if your information isn’t truly pertinent to said search query. I know that seems to run contrary to my previous point about the Shakespeare quote, but nevermind that, just be a good web citizen and name your blogs appropriately.

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This post is filed under Creative Productivity, How To, Society, Technology.