Searching Beyond the Paid

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Descriptive Blog Post Headlines

Overall, I think I'm a pretty good writer. I wrote for my high school newspaper, and had the lead article 8 out of 11 issues my senior year. I took Honors Writing at Michigan State (and got a 4.0). I write killer PPC ads every day - ads that convert, no less. I know how to spell, my grammar is excellent, and I don't write if I don't have something interesting to say. Well, leave it to Danny Sullivan to burst my blogging bubble! His post on Search Engine Watch, about the terrible titles in the Google Blog, was a smack upside the head.

It was a smack in a good way, though. Danny is 100%, spot-on correct. Those Google Blog headlines ARE terrible. So are the subject lines in the emails from the Inside Adwords team. I almost unsubscribed from those emails because half the time, I'd open the mail, only to find it wasn't about what I thought it was about. It's annoying. (They have gotten much better about that lately, though. Maybe they read Danny's post!) My favorite SEM blogs use succinct, descriptive post headlines, as well - I find myself annoyed when I see a post in my Google Reader where I can't discern the subject matter from the title. Luckily, it's pretty rare - most of the blogs I read are written by pros.

Well, in my annoyance at the speck in the eye of Inside Adwords, I was ignoring the two-by-four in my own eye. After reading Danny's post, I realized that, on this blog, I've tried to be witty and creative with my post titles - many of which aren't very descriptive at all. Where are my journalism smarts? Where's my PPC ad-writing savvy? What the heck was I thinking, anyway?

Danny, thanks for the smackdown. Out with the witticisms - in with the straight scoop!


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