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#Hashtags in blog post titles

August 09, 2016 mgroves 0 Comments
Tags: seo twitter

As a developer advocate, part of my job is starting conversations: on blogs, on twitter, on forums, etc.

Twitter and #hashtags - image licensed through Creative Commons -

And for better or for worse, my company's flagship product is measured on by hashtags and twitter activity.

This has had a side-effect of making me twitch a bit when I see a tweet that says "Couchbase" but not "#Couchbase". On one hand: I want Couchbase's ranking to improve. On the other hand: it's none of my darn business what you tweet or how you tweet it. But it occurred to me that maybe some people would put in a hashtag if they thought about it. Maybe they are just forgetting, or copy/pasting, or using an automated "share" button (or app), and calling it good enough. Or maybe they're a link aggregation bot.

This got me thinking that maybe by putting hashtags in blog post titles, it would increase the number of tweets with "#Couchbase" in them.

So instead of "Couchbase for Windows and .NET" I would title my blog post "#Couchbase for Windows and .NET". This isn't a terribly new idea. I experimented with it once, but I'm afraid to continue doing so because:

It might hurt SEO

I have no evidence to support this yet one way or the other (this post discussing it suggests that hashtags might actually help SEO), but Google/Bing might not ignore that '#' symbol in the post. It might help Twitter, but it might hurt search engine ranking. Which could be a net loss (in both db-engines and in general).

It might be obnoxious

I like hashtags. When they are used properly. When #every #single #word #is #hashtagged, I find that extremely annoying. I also find "hashtag as punchline" annoying #UsingAHashTagDoesntMakeItFunnier. A hashtag is something that should be used to help find tweets with similar content and ultimately find more interesting people to tweet with. Is a hashtag in a blog post title obnoxious? Would it increase the likelihood that you would bail on reading the post or watching the video?

It might become obsolete

Blog page and HTML titles probably won't be obsolete in 10 years. Hashtags, on the other hand, might be. Twitter (or Facebook or Google+) goes away or ditches hashtags, and now I have a huge archive full of blog post titles that have hashtags for no reason.

I would definitely like to hear your thoughts and opinions on hashtags in general, and especially hashtags in blog post titles. Tweet at me or leave a comment below.

Some other views on the topic:



Matthew D. Groves

About the Author

Matthew D. Groves lives in Central Ohio. He works remotely, loves to code, and is a Microsoft MVP.

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