Online sub-editors are facing a necessary evil in the newsroom: SEO. And it’s draining the creativity out of headlines.

In the never-ending race to the top of Google’s results pages, click-hungry journalists are trading in the wit of a deft headline for searchable keywords that boost search engine optimisation.

If more newspapers decide to follow The Independent into a paperless era, we’ll lose out, not only on a print product, but also on some classic headlines.

Here are five types of headline under threat from SEO. See the inventive print headlines next to the lifeless online equivalent

1. The classic pun
Metro headlines

That headline is the rail disgrace.

2. The provocative eye-catcher
Daily Mail Headlines

In their defence, you try reading that web headline without taking a nap.

3. The drama queen

Daily Mail Headlines

The next battlefront: home appliances!

4. The pop-culture call-back

The Independent Headlines

This is not the headline you’re looking for…

5. The great offender

The Sun Headlines

SEO: Saving face for celebrities since the early 2000s.

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