Search Engine Optimization is Your Frenemy

120 - Apr 30 - NSFW? There’s an extent to how long you can stare at your Facebook and Twitter feed, willing someone to post something interesting, and for those moments I often turn to the blogosphere to satiate my incessant hunger for content, tasty, tasty content. Of course, the most interesting content tends to be NSFW.

NSFW: Not suitable/safe for work (NSFW), not work-suitable/safe (NWS), or not school-suitable (NSS) is Internet slang or shorthand.

Do I even need to define that?

That acronym tends to keep me away from most of the weird shit online, but when it’s not attached to the headline/tweet/random link I come across I find that my discretion level tends to fall by the way-side. I mean, if I KNEW I was going to see some titty, I would never knowingly click on it. But headlines need to be sexy to encourage the virality of an article. I subtitle this blog post Top Five Reasons To Get Checked For an STD Today for this reason.

And that’s when I find myself in questionable territory.

I succumbed to the urge to read 5 Hot Men Who Also Happen to be Insane Murderers on Thought Catalog this week. Thought Catalog appears to be just that—a compendium of really random stuff written by a variety of bloggers, mostly from the American Eastern seaboard. From the avatars of the three or four that I creeped awhile ago, they err on the side of hipster, too. However, that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that these people are willing to consider Paul Bernardo as sexy and fully admit this on the internet. Having this link in my Internet history is like a full-fledged admission that I wrote the damn article myself (nope, not true) or that, at the very least, I’m culpable.

Thought Catalog is not the only place where I have to second guess my clicking. Anytime I stop by Jezebel on my lunch break I wage a battle of wills with myself on whether I want IT to find How to Sleep Off a Hangover at Work in my Internet history the day they take me away. Jezebel’s good lunch-munching content. Short, gossipy and it makes me forget that I’ve been eating the same pasta sauce for three days straight now, good lord. And it seriously has the best headline writers this side of the Huffington Post. (e.g. #2: Awful Man Returns To The Bachelorette, Is Awful; Here’s That James Franco Music Video You Didn’t Ask For).

My point is that there a lot of sexy headlines on the Internet and I’m usually really good at staying away from the temptation. If NSFW is the giant poison label on a bottle of Drain-O, a sexy headline is just the warning label on a pack of smokes. I get a little thrill when I see the cancerous picture as I reach for another one.

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2 thoughts on “Search Engine Optimization is Your Frenemy

  1. Alex July 5, 2011 at 8:52 am Reply

    I would have a lot of ‘splaining to do if anyone at work ever figured out how/wanted to search my browsing history. I don’t bat an eye at NSFW warnings…that says a lot about my employers (in the best way possible).

    Great post, Olga!

    • Olga July 15, 2011 at 8:01 am Reply

      Thanks Ms Alex! But should you be admitting that on the Internet? 😉

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