“Why this drastic measure” of keeping headlines under 70 characters? writes Gawker Media boss Nick Denton. “Google and others truncate headlines at 70 characters. On the Manti Te’o story, Deadspin’s scoop fell down the Google search results, overtaken by copycat stories with simpler headlines. Deadspin’s headline was 118 characters.”
It might seem like an oppressive constraint: geeks from outside the company giving editorial orders.
But search and social media are the two main sources of new visitors to our sites. That’s an inescapable reality. A majority of our headlines are already below the 70-character limit. Many others could do with a bit of tightening. And it still leaves plenty of room for personality and creativity.