Forget search engine optimization; The Atlantic is changing its digital strategy "to capitalize on the growing importance of social networks, rather than search engines, as sources of traffic," writes Lauren Indvik.
“Sixteen months ago we received the same number of monthly referrals from search as social. Now 40% of traffic comes from social media,” Scott Havens, senior vice president of finance and digital operations at The Atlantic Media Company, tells Indvik. “Truly [our writers] are not really thinking about SEO anymore. Now it’s about how we can spin a story so that it goes viral.”
Bob Cohn, editor of The Atlantic Digital, is happy to get beyond what he calls "a cynical approach to journalism.” He adds, “We’re no longer writing to get the attention of Google algorithms. We’re writing to get you to share it, to digg it.”