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Clickbait horror: how to SEO the Strasbourg massacre

Anorak Saturday, 29 December 2018
Clickbait horror: how to SEO the Strasbourg massacre 

Solid clickbait work by the Daily Express which managed to make an SEO-friendly tourism guide to Strasbourg in the wake of a murderous attack on a Christmas market in the French city. The suspect, one Cherif Chekatt, is helping police with their enquiries. Let’s hope the coppers have better luck establishing facts than the Press, parts of which can’t even wok out what country Chekatt’s from.

As the papers debate his roots, the Express produces a handy article entitled “Strasbourg shooting : where is Strasbourg”. This is a clickbait trick de rigueur among newspaper websites. The drones spot a tending story and then dice it up into its elements – ‘Man bites dog : what is a man?’ / … what is a dog? / …what do we mean by bites? / …do dogs bite?’

So a nutter murdering five people near a Christmas market in Strasbourg becomes a chance to rank for the trending word. As people are mourning loved ones, the Express tells readers and the more important Google bots: “Strasbourg is a city in the capital of the Grand Est region, which was previously known as Alsace, in northeastern France. The city is also the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border.”

What is a barrel – and how do you scrape it?

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