Seek Internet Gold, Not Kryptonite

In the world of online news websites, there is Internet gold and Internet Kryptonite. The trick in order to drive clicks is to figure out which is which, and then use it for the power of good and not evil.

Internet gold is just what you think. You put the right stuff on your website and people will flock to your door. Sometimes this is by design, and other times it’s just plain, dumb luck.

On the other hand, as you will recall, Kryptonite is Superman’s nemesis. It renders him powerless against the forces of evil. Many stories and content elements can be Kryptonite for a website. They might register with the people in the room but put them on your website and watch the needle plunge on your analytics meter.

The trick for website editors is knowing the difference between the two. And what might be gold on a news or entertainment website might have little if any effect on a product or company website. That group has gold and Kryptonite of their own.

In the news world, certain items sell. Without giving away too many trade secrets, it’s little wonder that news sites sprinkle news of the weird and photo galleries alongside the hard-news stories of the day.

And speaking of hard news, unless it’s the big breaking stuff, the mundane process stories are Internet lead bordering on Kryptonite. I call these spinach stories. Plenty of roughage that you need in your diet, but given a choice wouldn’t most people rather eat cake?

Sometimes you stumble into Internet gold. You find a topic or key word that hits a chord with the Google search engine and your website lights up like the Fourth of July. With apologies to Rihanna, I once misspelled her name in a photo gallery, and then sat back and watched our site get 10,000 clicks an hour — for three days. Internet Gold. Who knew there were so many bad spellers out there using search engines.

WARNING: Spoiler alert: Some website editors will try to intentionally misspell names or words in their metadata in an effort to game the search engines and get more hits. Internet gold or just gold plate, you make the call.

So now I’ve lifted the veil of secrecy a bit. Go forth and seek Internet gold and hopefully you’ll dodge the Kryptonite.

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