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How important is your blog post’s title?

Before you go on to read, just pause for a while and think what this post is all about just by reading the title.

Chances are:

  • If you are a techie, thoughts like SEO, page rank etc. will come to your mind.
  • If you are a business guy and all that stuff, chances are that catchy, positioning  etc. come to your mind.
  • And if you are somewhere in between (probably like me), then a mix of above would flash across.

Opps!  nothing came to your mind?  Go and relax! Probably you are quite tired.

So how important is the title anyway? I won’t write all about the catchy stuff, SEO and all that. It is pretty well covered on the web. Instead, I would like to share my own experience on this subject.

Almost two years ago, I wrote a post on getting Reebok and similar watches being offered as freebies, out of sheer frustration. While I chose the title carefully, little did I know that it would become the most read and most commented article on my blog. “free reebok watch” would show my article as the top result on Google search. You can read the post here. Go read some of the comments.

Before we move on, I would like to post some of my favorite comments on the post:

  • “hey I read this.
    Plz Please Plz….
    I also want watch, Plz give….
    I never won any gift from internet or any other way.
    So I request you please arrange only 1 watch for me….
    Thanku very much.”
  • “from reading your offer i think that this is a very nice service than any other else,so plz consider my coment and snd me instruction on my mobile from where i have to get my prize.
    Thank You!!!”
  • “send we 500 rupees i will send u 5 Rebook watches. i bought them in 80 rupees”
  • “hiii this is harsha i watch this and i want 2 won this rebook wrish watch and i didnot get any thing from u plzzzzzzzzz plzzzzzzzz plzzz offer this watch to me plzzz”
  • Thanks 4 a very fruitful advice …..n do cooperate me to have this damn bold n beautiful watch as soon as possible
  • Dear Sir I like this watch please sir send me this watch at my postle address Mian Ijaz Tahir C/o Al-habib Super Store College road Burewala District Vehari Punjab Pakistan I will wait for it thanks.

There are many, you could read on if you have time.

Now my most favorite ones from two gentlemen Nithul and Naveen:

  • “nithul the way u r wasting the money of public is horrible. if u donot have the capabilities to beat a company then dont blaff that they take the help of reebok. u know u are a stupid creature who are promoting this stupid blog with reebok”
  • “Saalo comment marne par tumhe kon watch dega ,
    ye sab sab ko pagal bana rahe hai…
    apni website ko advertise krna chate hai..
    and now finally i want to buy a reebok watch upto rs 200 ,,
    (reebok square model)..
    hai koi maai ka lal jo dila de..
    hai toh mail me at
    i m waiting….”

Once in a while, I get these really funny comments, it just makes my day! That is the thrill of blogging.

Now coming back to our topic on the importance of title, I can’t emphasize on it more. The title is damn important! I think my post was really crisp to have people miss the following:


hi everyone, thanks for your comments. This post was just meant to express how companies are attracting customers. I of course do not have these many watches to spare! I never expected so many people to comment !!!!!

Note that all comments posted above were received after posting the update. But I hardly think anyone read it (even though it is highlighted), else I shouldn’t have received the first set of comments. Keep in mind that commenting on a blog post is really rare! Those who blog  (and track) would know. Probably out of 250 people reading an article, one would comment. Given the fact that so many people have commented on this post asking for the watch, I can confidently say that they would have just read the title and possibly the first couple of lines.

In principle,  it is just the title which motivated the people to respond to my post. If they really read the entire post, the comments would have been different.

So next time when you write that blog post, remember that it is worth spending that extra minute to think about the title 🙂







URL the SEO way

Well before I try to justify the topic, let me tell you that I am no expert on SEO by far. While there are tons of articles on how one should structure the website’s URL to optimize it for Search Engine this one is on a small tweak I did to address the issue everyone faces while deciding on the URL pattern for their blog.

Also, I didn’t really find an authentic article by any search engine provider itself which details down how one should structure the URL to be search friendly. Buy I believe people are smart enough to observe the behavior of search engines over time and share their experience to help beginners like me take some advantage right from scratch. I suggest the following articles for anyone working to make their URLs search engine optimized:


Using Permalinks

Boost Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) using Permalinks

A couple of points we try to address through the permalink/URL:

  1. Though content is the king! it’s favorable to have the URL contain the topic title the article is supposed to address. Now further down the hierarchy the description goes, lesser becomes the likelihood for it to feature in the top search results. So for blogs focusing on a specific category, it’s ideal to have the domain name itself describing the broader topic followed by specific article description. From my understanding so far, the hierarchy is determined the number of slashes ‘/’ before the description comes in.

So ‘www.yourdomain.com/article-title’ is more search engine friendly than ‘www.yourdomain.com/topics/category/article-title’.

  1. Though ‘www.yourdomain.com/article-title’ format is more optimized for search engines, it poses two concerns:
    1. It robs you of any kind of meaningful structuring of content.
    2. You can’t have duplicate article titles. If I blog for 20 years, I may very well have duplicate article titles.

What #b. can be addressed with a little caution, one still needs to have some kind of structuring in place.

Based on personal preferences people have come up with some kind of trade offs between structuring and search engine friendliness. The following are some examples (Since I use WordPress, the examples correspond to that, but the idea is same for any blogging platform):

Greater structuring and lesser SEO:

  • www.yourdomain.com/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/
  • www.yourdomain.com/topics/%category%/%postname%/

Greater SEO and lesser structuring:

  • www.yourdomain.com/%postname%/

I have a basic question. If the ‘/’ is the culprit and makes the URL search un-friendly, who stops you from using something like:

  • www.yourdomain.com/year-month-day-postname

The post you are reading has the following URL

And here’s how it is done in WordPress using a custom permalink specification:

  • /%year%-%monthnum%-%day%-%postname%/

Now isn’t that simple? And it gives you the best of both worlds I guess. I am still looking for any gotchas as I haven’t yet found a blog with such a URL pattern, which I think is quite obvious. If you see one (either a gotcha or a site), please let me know.

Till then I’ll be happy that I’ve discovered something unique 😉

And before I forget to mention, all this is just a logical representation of the content/posts and has nothing to do with the actual structuring of the content, so it can be changed at will without bothering about the content. But but but….migration from one structure to the other is painful without hampering the credibility the links would have earned. So it’s best to decide the URL pattern right from the word go!