Writing for a Search Engine Hurts Humans Who Read


I like Spin Magazine. Spin gave me really great opportunities that not many people will ever have. But Spin doesn’t exist as such anymore. Buzzmedia bought Spin this past July. Anyway, I still follow Spin on Twitter and on Facebook which is how I end up reading their articles.

I’ve noticed more and more that the majority of their content has started to rely on reblogging and pageview-generating stories. Maybe it’s the new ownership, maybe it’s always been like that, maybe it’s the editors/authors. Whatever it is, today’s article about a lawsuit that singer Pink is facing was such a SEO keyword-heavy article that it was annoying to read.

First of all, this was a reblog from TMZ. There’s not much to say. Pink is facing a lawsuit for $36,000 from producers she worked with. Her reps are disputing the charge and say that Sony should be the ones paying. That’s the whole story, but two sentences an article does not make.

So how does the Spin story try to get some SEO?

  • Mention the album Can’t Take Me Home 3 times
  • Mention 6 songs specifically (Can’t Take Me Home, Truth About Love, Hiccup, Blow Me (One Last Kiss), There You Go, Most Girls)
  • Use both ‘Pink’ and Alecia Moore. Hey guys, you forgot to use P!nk
  • Throw in an anecdote about RZA, mention Wu-Tang, and The Man With Iron Fists

Here’s the article with the terms highlighted.


Is this a new trick? No, blogs do this every day. In fact, I just used every keyword that the Spin article used. I wonder how high I’ll place in Google. But look at the original article. TMZ’s article was the same story and wasn’t an assault on the eyes when reading. And wait a minute… Look at the recommended article that TMZ has: RZA! Wow, that Spin author did some stellar work.


What’s my point? I guess it would be that if you’re borrowing someone else’s story, try to contribute something additional and possibly to it. Don’t just copy the story and add keywords. Had to get that off my chest.