Clever Headlines Don’t Pay In A Web-centric World

This image is from a recent Globe And Mail article entitled (as you can see) Snow Storms The Big Apple. Now I’ll admit that this is damn clever copywriting. But as a headline for web-based content, this just doesn’t fly.


Well, if you read this out of context (just the headline and a link in an e-mail, search results, or a feed for example) it is really hard to pick up that it is an article about Canadian artist Michael Snow’s new Museum of Modern Art one-man show in New York City. So lots of people who might find this interesting will skip over it. Worse still, the headline might confuse search spiders (although the body of the article certainly has lots of relevant keywords that people might search for). And I guess there is a chance that people searching on snowstorms might also end up getting this article when it really isn’t a good result for them. Take a word of advice and go study what Nick Usborne preaches about online copywriting. And leave the clever puns for those poor folks stuck in print.

Originally published at on October 7, 2005.