Google News: Entertainment Tonight Redux

May 17, 2011

I found the posts about the revamp to Google News fascinating. Some history. Google News has not been monetized. Google News has chugged along for years. Google News has not mesmerized me. I prefer the approach of the lesser known or Newsnow. The point of view in “Eventually, One Of These Updates Will Make Google News Not Suck At Tech News, Right?” is in line with mine. However, I think that Google is trying rather hard to become what I call “consumery”. With 40 percent of ad budgets flowing to television, Google has to find a way to “TV-ize” its news experience. Here’s the passage I noted in the TechCrunch article:

it’s so obvious what Google’s algorithms are looking for, there’s a not-so-secret trick on how to game them. Instead of rushing to get a post out about a hot story, just wait a few hours. By then, the story will bubble towards the top of Google News’ tech section and if you time it correctly and you’re a site that Google News watches (some good, some bad), you can easily be the top headline for the entire section (which also means placement on the main site as well). This works because Google News favors recent “takes” on a story instead of actual sources of information. You could argue that’s okay in some situations, but often these “takes” are just like the Today’s THV bullshit: republishing AP content late. In other words, if you’re in the business of breaking news, you’ll almost never find your stories on Google News. Instead, you’ll find someone else re-purposing your story there hours later and reaping tens of thousands of pageviews as a result of the sloth and/or jackassery.

The language is a bit more frisky that we use in Beyond Search, but the idea is on the money. However, I don’t think TechCrunch goes far enough. The challenge Google faces in tech news exists in other high value, niche sectors too.

Google is in a rush to the middle in an effort to pump up page views, eyeballs, and, hence, ad revenues. The problem for me is that other outfits do a better job of delivering links to stories important to me. Even Videotwitter does a better job of covering the really hot click generators like pop culture and sports. As for technology, I find Techmeme useful along with Daily Rotation, and the tech section of Newsnow. Each of these does an arguably better job of flagging what’s hot and making it dead easy for me to get to the source.

My question is, “Will Google’s consumery approach pay off?” The company has many initiatives, and I find them somewhat distracting. I remember what happened when the long lost CompuServe lost its way. Thrashing does not a business grow in my experience. Google is starting to move toward the Entertainment Tonight approach to content. Interesting.

Stephen E Arnold, May 17, 2011

Freebie unlike the late, great CompuServe


One Response to “Google News: Entertainment Tonight Redux”

  1. Google News: Entertainment Tonight Redux : Beyond Search | Google Adword Solutions on May 18th, 2011 1:58 pm

    […] the original post here: Google News: Entertainment Tonight Redux : Beyond Search This entry was posted in Google Articles and tagged approach, google-news, lesser, posts, […]

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