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Google News now Accepts Press Releases
Will publish guidelines of what it considers a news site

 12:22 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Read it on the Register.co.uk [theregister.co.uk].

Apparently, press releases now qualify as News.

According to Reg-co, Google is going to publish a more specific guide of what it considers a "news site."



 12:27 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good find, thanks.

I've got a news page that isn't set up the way they want. Maybe press releases would work.


 12:37 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I commented some time ago that issuing a keyword-rich press release (what has this world come to?) is a viable option for getting to the very top of search results, briefly.

This is not really surprising; most of the news in the paper every day is also a direct or indirect result of press releases.


 12:51 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes - before the internet I didn't realize how crappy the local news was.

Now I realize - that in many cases - companies/scientists/and whatever else - issue press releases that are pretty much read verbatim.

You might think even scientists have pure motives (only to inform), but look VERY carefully at this story picked up by almost everyone - on - conveniently - valentine's day:


lots of papers carried that photo

notice anything about it?

It was made by the scientist IN THE STUDY!

The obvious intent was to make it easy to prepackage the story for easy reprinting in papers everywhere.

I am not saying the study is bad - only very well timed - and the well marketed press release gives them greater citation rank as more people will find it on the web - quote their study and make it easier for them to get funding in the future.

Police, Scientists, even Religious leaders - use marketing to get get MONEY MONEY MONEY...


 1:12 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers don't need any grant money.

I believe that they have about 6 billion dollars that General Motors gave them when it bought Hughes Aircraft company from them.


 1:19 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

They are spending 500 million a year:


I don't know how much they care about money but two things are clear:

1) The Photo HAS NOTHING to do with the research - it was a cute photo made to get into papers.

2) They have a link for reporters at the top of the page.

They want press coverage and are DRIVING the press coverage - not the other way around.


 1:36 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Maybe a little offtopic but I'd like to say it's amazing the fact google news is generated by machine you get a very unbiased coverage of the war, definitely hard to find such a good and broad view elsewhere.

Congrats once more Google.


 2:05 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

When you hear about some new research, what may be happening is that mega-corporation "A" hired PR firm "B", which hired expert "C" to fake some research. Then "B" organizes some astroturf pseudo-activists "D", to spin the results to the media "E", or better yet, "E" just runs the video feeds produced by "B" on the evening news, pretending that it's a story. This all translates into more profits for "A" through "E", while We the People get "F*****".


 7:23 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Interesting to say the least, will have to see where this goes.....


 8:37 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google may want to consider that when Moreover started to accept press releases in their news feeds (often paid though), the utility of many news categories, especially in the management and business sections nosedived. Its one reason why i just ignore moreover newsfeeds, especially in the "management" section where it seems to be bought over by a couple of well known "Big 5" management consulting organizations with press releases, often with 2 or 4 slightly different worded news releases.

Press releases can by news, and very good ones at that as they come straight from the horses mouth. However that is their weakness. There is no objective independent analysis of what it means. It's PR. As long as Press Releases are clearly marked as such and dont predimnate over the work of real news observers such as professional journalists, columnists, commentators, and yes, even bloggers, I dont see a major problem.


 4:58 pm on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

As long as Press Releases are clearly marked

That's a good point, and as far as I can tell, Google is indeed identifying which "news" stories are Press Releases and which ones are regular "news."

Press releases can be useful (notice that I wrote "can" and not "are"). Yesterday I did an seo related search which popped up a press release from a company offering a new product, a product I wouldn't have otherwise known about.


 7:53 pm on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is nothing new. Google News has linked to press releases (via Yahoo News) since the very beginning.

The links labeled as Yahoo News (no such news organization) come from press release newswires like PR Newswire and Business Wire.

Has anyone found press releases directly from a company or organizations web site?

Also, has anyone checked AltaVista News [news.altavista.com] or NewsNow [newsnow.co.uk] lately?
AV is much improved. NewsNow gets better by the day. NewsNow also has hundreds of subject specfic pages that auto refresh with new content every 5 minutes.


 8:27 pm on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Any "news story" where the people resposible for the news are also issuing the story needs to be clearly marked as such. If there are 10 sources about a story that I have a general interest in, you bet I am going to read the 9 ones without personal involvement in the subject first, and then the PR last.

That being said, I also came out of a academic research environment and know that the press often picks up the most easily relatable portion of a story first and often leaves the actual cause out. This means that stories often read dirty water kills baby ducks, not coastal development increases levels of pollution in estuaries. In this case, I know the subject well enough to want to see what the source says first.

Going through Google News I can tell which one is a PR and which one is a news story as it is presented. The harder part is knowing off the stories presented as news, how much of their source is directly from a PR.

Realize though that manipulation of newspapers to push agendas is nothing new; "Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain". At least today you have the internet to compare multiple accounts of the news in which to draw your own conclusion.


 12:41 pm on Apr 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Press releases should NOT be included in Google news.

'Nuff said.


 8:13 pm on Apr 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh great. First the news turns up in the web searches and now this.


 8:27 pm on Apr 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Online Journalism Review [ojr.org] has an article about Google's new Press Release policy; the author of the article reacts to Google's pending Guidelines about what is or isn't news by saying,
when did a technology startup get the right (and cahones) to dictate what a news site should and shouldn't be?


 10:23 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I ran across more info from the Register on this topic:
Adios Google: [theregister.co.uk...]

Surprising they take such a stand against Google. I'm glad to see people keeping Google honest, but Google is still much better than the alternatives.


 10:34 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's an accurate quote from the OJR, but they are misrepresenting Google somewhat. Immediately before that they write:

"The company is planning to publish written guidelines for what IT CONSIDERS a news site to be."

Let's face it, it's impossible to spider news sources without making decisions about what sites to crawl and what sites not to. Google will probably make mistakes with this service over time, and may theoretically even do something malevolent someday, but in the meantime I don't see what the big deal is.

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