SEO and what we know

October 3, 2009 | By | Category: Conference Track: Back End

By Melissa Hale

A hot topic buzzing between many ONA attendees was Search Engine Optimization, a way for Web sites to improve the relevance and placement of their content on search engines.

Paul Volpe describes how uses SEO. Photo by Austin Fast

Paul Volpe describes how uses SEO during an interview with Melissa Hale. Photo by Austin Fast

The session “Outwit the Algorithms” provided information and highlights of how to use various online tools to enhance the popularity of your content and increase its rankings. Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin, authors of Search Engine Optimization an Hour a Day, gave several tips regarding keywords, links and following Google Trends and similar outlets.

Some of the attendees were coming with little or no knowledge of SEO and its usefulness to their Web sites while others had the general idea of how to use it to their advantage.

“I’m hoping to learn more tricks of the trade,” Krista Kjellman of ProPublica, said.

Shane Dingman of The National Post said he has focused in the past on tweaking headlines and evaluating the logic of their audience and the ways they conduct searches.

“I’m curious to see if they have any insight on how we can optimize our search on different platforms,” Dingman said.

Others like Paul Volpe from The Washington Post came with a little more knowledge of SEO. He has been utilizing  SEO tactics and using Covario’s Organic Search Insight software to conduct audits of their SEOs and provide their company feedback on areas to improve.

After sitting in on the session, the reactions from these attendees varied as well.

Kjellman said she was interested in the organic search results, how to use them to include keywords and in ways to phrase things in the article headlines.

She said she hopes this type of searching “can increase the reputation of our site, which will then hopefully help us with Google News.”

Don Sutton from said “I learned that my site has a lot of work to do…and we have to go back right to the basics and start building up how we produce URLs in a very basic way.”

His one concern was that there may be too much of a concern with building sites around strong SEOs instead of strong stories and headlines.  He felt these were contradictive and the issue may need to be addressed before putting too much focus on SEO.

Being part of the Student Newsroom, I have come to the conclusion that SEO is something that would increase the success of many news outlets. It allows them to connect with their audience, find out what is relevant to them and provide them with the most useful content on the web.

Melissa Hale is a mass communications major at Towson University. She is covering the ONA’09 conference as part of the student newsroom.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a comment »

  1. SEO and what we know – ONA09 [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  2. SEO and what we know – ONA09 [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher