With so many people turning to the web for news and information, many traditional media outlets are struggling to generate the kind of readership online that they once had in a print-only world. The Associated Press is looking to change that with help, in part, from search engine optimization (SEO).

Yesterday, Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab wrote that it had obtained a seven-page document from the AP which outlines their plan to adapt to the internet entitled "Protect, Point, Pay – An Associated Press Plan for Reclaiming News Content Online."

As the Nieman Lab notes, for almost the entire history of the AP, it has been a syndicating content for other media outlets, something that does not bode well for search engine optimization. And therein lies what AP plans to change.

In an attempt to make sure its content is unique, the AP plans to withhold some content from the websites of news organizations and hold them on one centralized AP site.

"We have unique pieces of data, maybe, or we have a unique visual narrative, a graphic. We have unique photos, a photo gallery, and so on," AP’s general counsel, Srinandan Kasi, told Nieman Lab. "How can you use some pieces of content to drive traffic to other pieces of content? That’s really what’s being addressed here."

The use of search engine optimization (SEO) in the world of news is a hot topic these days. Just this week a panel at SES San Jose covered the subject with Liesel Kipp of Thomson Reuters telling the audience that Reuters saw a 500 percent increase in online traffic over the last five years with help from SEO, according to WebProNews.