Editors Changing Titles That Use the Present Participle

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  1. eugbug profile image96
    eugbugposted 14 months ago

    A lot of my guides use the present participle in the title. An editor/editors have started replacing these with "How to..." at the beginning. So for instance "8 Easy Steps to Planting a Shrub or Tree" has been replaced by "How to Plant a Tree in 8 Easy Steps". I've experimented with the two variations myself with not much change in traffic and I'm not sure whether they're doing something similar to boost traffic or they've done title research.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
      Kenna McHughposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      I tend to go with the editors when they make changes like this. A little adjustment in the title can go a long way.

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
        Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

        That I agree. It make sense in most cases. Because these editors seems to be familiar than most of us when the Google algo took place.                                     Happy to welcome such always if I'm not in the know.

    2. Glenn Stok profile image96
      Glenn Stokposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Editors have changed my titles a few times, and in some cases we worked together to end up with a final version. But in all cases I ended up with a better title. Eugene, that editor’s version of your title is more in line with what people would type in a search, and that should help improve traffic.

      1. eugbug profile image96
        eugbugposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Hopefully. That guide only gets about 12 views per day. I have another guide that uses the present participle and gets two hundred views daily and I hope they don't change that. I presume they check traffic before changing?

    3. OldRoses profile image94
      OldRosesposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      I use "how to" in almost all of my titles because that is what people type into Google when they are seeking information.  I like to think that the phrase improves my standings in the search results.

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
        Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Glad to note that. I think at most 3 or 4 of my articles start with the 'How to' title.                                             In one traffic is down. Okay, I'll edit that using the present participle. But I'll express it in the present tense active voice. I was brief that in my Englsh class.

    4. NateB11 profile image90
      NateB11posted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Sounds like SEO to me. Sounds like they're making the title into a keyphrase from the search engine.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        That would be my guess too; it's all about SEO and what is actually searched for.  In the specific example of the OP, no one searches for "8 easy steps...", they search for "how to plant a tree".

        1. NateB11 profile image90
          NateB11posted 14 months agoin reply to this

          Exactly my thought on it.

          1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
            Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

            I held the same mindset.

    5. TessSchlesinger profile image85
      TessSchlesingerposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      That's interesting. I think it was a fallacy that using a number got more traffic. I think that is only true for publications which have used followings. Hubpages doesn't essentially get their traffic from followers but from google. I think that when it comes to google, the better title is 'how to.'

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
        Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Tess, makes sense on SERP.

      2. eugbug profile image96
        eugbugposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        I wonder how "power words" fit into this and whether they're still relevant? Is using a power word and a numeral still an effective way of gaining a Googler's interest when they're presented with a list of search results? E.g.: "10 Great Ideas....," "20 Amazing Ways to ...."

        1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
          Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

          I've not try the trick in any of my articles.

        2. TessSchlesinger profile image85
          TessSchlesingerposted 14 months agoin reply to this

          I think fashions come and fashions go. When my articles have dropped from number one to number three, I go back and check the search terms that the other articles ahead of me are using, and then I insert those into titles and sub=titles (I think that's what Hupages puts into meta-tags), isn't it?

          1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
            Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

            That is well noted. Will leverage on that when necessary.

            1. TessSchlesinger profile image85
              TessSchlesingerposted 14 months agoin reply to this

              ++++

              1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
                Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

                Thanks, Tess, thanks.

  2. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 14 months ago

    IMHO it is good to have the main noun and verb up front when people are scanning through their options in a browser.

  3. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 14 months ago

    I tend to agree with psycheskinner that it reads better.

    There are quite a few reasons why they sometimes change the title, I believe, not soley for SEO reasons. I have had quite few that have had fairly generic keyword-orientated titles that I've had altered.

    I tend to just run with whatever editors do, I'll admit. It's only when they eff up the content that I get miffed, but that's pretty rare.

  4. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 14 months ago

    There is a general opinion in writing that the present participle has a weakening effect and it's best avoided whenever possible. I've read that, or been told it at writing classes, more than once. For example, I seem to remember George Orwell saying it in his advice for writers.

    Whether the editor changed the titles for esthetic reasons, or technical, we may never know, unless they give their reasons. I have been given the reason(s) sometimes, but often not.

    1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
      Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Sometimes I may ignore their reasons if traffic gets down. I then reverted to my original title or modify it.

  5. eugbug profile image96
    eugbugposted 14 months ago

    They did a basic edit on my "9 Easy Steps to Wiring a Plug Correctly," but didn't change the title. So I wonder should that be "How to Wire a Plug in 9 Easy Steps" or "9 Easy Steps on How to Wire a Plug?". I think it's best to keep the numeral at the start anyway. That guide gets about 100 views a day. I'm reluctant to change titles on any guides that are doing well or reasonably well. The "8 Steps to Mixing Concrete by Hand" gets 250 views and is in 4th place in SERPs for the search term "how to mix concrete by hand."

    1. Solaras profile image95
      Solarasposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Wire a Plug in 8 Easy Steps.

      Easily rewire or replace plus for lamps, vacuums, space heaters or any other household appliance in 8 easy steps, with photos.

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
        Miebakagh57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

        9 Easy Step to Wire an Electric Plug Correctly                                                                      Okay, let's discuss the 9 steps to easily wire an electric plug io the home or office.

  6. Miebakagh57 profile image67
    Miebakagh57posted 14 months ago

    That is likely as OldRose had suggest.

 
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