The days of exploiting search engine algorithms with headlines like the above could soon be over, as Google looks at ways of allowing traditional journalistic prose to be understood by its search engine.

Sadly, headlines like "Android robot's looking saucy today" might work on a human level, but Google would not see the context. Instead, it might lump the story in with others about ketchup. Or Star Wars fan porn.

Today, however, Google has introduced a new keyword metatag for news websites, such as Pocket-lint, that may be of particular interest only to website engineers and managers on a basic level, but could end up improving the World Wide Web and its readability for everyone.

It's quite basic, really. As well as looking at the myriad other factors that make for a Google ranking, a new news_keywords metatag allows news sites to add a series of unseen trigger terms that explain what the story is about.

For example, on the Android robot story listed above we could add metatags for "Google", "Jelly Bean", "Smartphones", etc. They would allow Google to understand that the android robot in question relates to Google's own operating system.

As the rest of algorithms will still be in force, this won't stop outrageous SEO-grabbing headlines, but it's a start. A much welcome one.

Pic: (cc) Tom Soper Photography