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theEweekly Wrap – The Guardian, Meerkats and BBC SEO

Guardian of news The team at Guardian.co.uk had something to celebrate this week as the website was named the UK’s most popular online newspaper for the second consecutive month running.

Recording more that 31 million unique users over October, the site claimed victory over the Mail Online and Telegraph.co.uk. The figures mean that the Guardian has achieved a 22 per cent year on year growth.

“Our Trafigura story and Charlie Brooker’s column on Jan Moir a few days later highlighted the way stories can grow and propagate through Twitter and Facebook with steady streams of traffic being driven by these social media channels,” said Emily Bell, director of digital content at GNM.

Indeed, Guardian.co.uk operates 40 different accounts on the micro-blogging service.

Meanwhile, the online arm of The Sun tabloid – owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International – experienced a drop of 9.37 per cent month on month. It was the largest fall among UK newspaper websites. The results will be a blow to Murdoch who has plans to introduce a pay-to-read service in 2010.

Celebrating the twits The Twitterati of Britain gathered in London this week to attend the first annual Twitter awards. The Golden Twits (see what they did there?) saw the social media movers and shakers celebrate their peers for creative and innovative use of the social media service.

Categories in the awards included business-to-business (won by Nesa), best celebrity account (Duncan Bannatyne of Dragons Den fame) and best use of live broadcast (claimed by Channel 4’s 4homes series). Arguably, the true victor of the night was Comparethemarket.com, scooping three awards for the Compare the Meerkat marketing campaign.

British Broadcasting Keywords This week, BBC News revealed it was planning to introduce search engine optimisation techniques in its online coverage.

In a report on The Editors blog, Steve Herrmann, editor of the BBC News website, said journalists would begin using SEO-enhanced headlines for stories, in an attempt to make them more visible in search engine results pages.

“The practice of “search engine optimisation” – making content in such a way that it is easily retrieved via search engines – is an important area for us and for others across the web,” he wrote.

Speaking to theEweekly Wrap, Dan Nolan, managing editor of theEword, said that the BBC would benefit from the move.

“The use of SEO techniques – such as using keywords in title tags as the BBC are – has many benefits. Headlines written with both the search engine and the reader in mind are ranked higher in results pages compared to those composed using traditional journalism conventions. SEO pages usually attract more visitors because of this.”

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