In the last month I’ve had two separate content marketing clients request that I incorporate hashtags into the headlines of my blog posts.
So, I started wondering, does the pound symbol, or hashtag, play well with Google? Does it make the article more searchable?
So, I decided to do a little digging.
The Benefits of Using Hashtags in Headlines
- When your article is shared on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook, it’s instantly searchable based on the headline hashtag.
- You can launch a creatively worded hashtag in a headline — and hope it goes viral.
- They are able to be indexed by Google and come up in results when people search for that term or phrase.
However, You Might Not Want to Use Hashtags In Headlines Because…
- they make headlines more difficult to read.
- you alienate LinkedIn fans, a population who doesn’t embrace hashtags. (Update: LinkedIn now uses hashtags! July 2018)
- the article instantly appears to have a connection to Twitter. If the reader hates Twitter, they may choose not to read the article, whether it’s about social media or not.
- too many hashtags aren’t good for social reach and engagement. If your headline contains hashtags, and social media users add more, the article might be a flop.
- if a reader clicks on the headline hashtag, they are browsing away from your article before clicking through.
- hashtags in URLs may or may not index properly depending how they are written. I’ve read of bloggers discovering that Google drops everything after the # off the URL, leaving behind a broken link.
Interestingly, while creating this post in WordPress, the editor automatically changed the title of this post within the URL to a numeral. So, I edited it to have text, including hashtags, which were automatically dropped by the editor upon saving.
Do you use hashtags in your headlines? Why or why not? Share your opinion in the comments below.
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