AOL's Sporting News syndicated an article today that was originally posted over at the Sports Business Journal covering Penn State's Division I hockey team and how they're drawing a ton of interest around the state of Pennsylvania. On the surface the story is a nice read, but when you examine the URL for the article at Sporting News things become a bit fuzzy.
The URL is: http://aol.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2013-01-28/penn-state-hockey-terry-pegula-ice-arena-consol-energy-center-jerry-sandusky
Wait, why is Jerry Sandusky's name included in the URL? Why the need to alter the URL when the original…
…has no mention of Sandusky?
If you take the time to read the piece, you'll find that Sandusky is briefly – and I mean briefly – mentioned near the end of the article in the context that it's nice to see the hockey program excelling as the university attempts to recover from the scandal.
Most sites use the title of the article as their URL, as you see in the URL of this very post. The staff over at Sporting News subscribes to a different method, placing various keywords, or tags, for the URL. The belief is that by doing this your article will become more appealing to the various search engines, thus increasing your page views. Putting key search words in URL titles is nothing new, but including Jerry Sandusky in a random Penn State hockey article comes off as a blatant attempt to "cheat" the system.
In this case, the article is in no way, shape, or form about Jerry Sandusky. It'd be interesting to hear about the editing practice over at the Sporting News and why Sandusky's name was included in the URL. If you're going to place tags in your URL, at least make sure they're somewhat accurate to the story.
(H/T Onward State)