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Be a newspapers site in order to rank?

 11:27 am on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

is the future to become a newspaper? the web searches are now dominated by newspapers so is this the logical next step if you wish to remain in the main serps when your not a huge brand?



 5:07 pm on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Firstly, I do not see newspapers sites dominating the SERPS.

Secondly, I cannot turn my site into a newspaper site. Therefore another site would have to be made (which won't help the present site.) And as I am not a reporter, the articles would either have to be rewritten (which can be dodgy unless you have all the facts) or copied, which is not good.

Thirdly, wouldn't you have your favourite newspaper site already bookmarked? - therefore no point fighting to be high in the SERPs.

Fourthly, a number of newspaper sites now only allow snippets and you have to pay to read the article. That puts off people like me.

Lastly, If it is true in what you say about dominating the SERPS, how long do you think it will last before Google realises that it is being gamed?

That's my two shillings and sixpence.


 5:14 pm on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

i dont think its google being gamed, i think its an intentional affect. But then maybe its geographical or niche related if you arent seeing it. I did a search for a TV show and expected to get the website for the show but got 9 newspaper article results and one forum, the shows website was not to be found.


 5:28 pm on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

i dont think its google being gamed
I didn't mean now, I meant in the future, when people start making "news" sites.

I did a search for a TV show and expected to get the website for the show but got 9 newspaper article results and one forum, the shows website was not to be found.

Okay. Lets say that you saw a "reality" show called Webmaster Wars (wars seems to be the "in thing" atm with TV shows.) And lets say you wanted to make a site to cover the news etc. How exactly are you going to do that? Where are you going to get your correct info from. Where are you going to get the photos etc for it - without breaking copyrights.

And how is all this going to help your present site? (if it isn't already a news site.)


 8:28 pm on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

The SERPs aren't "dominated by newspapers," although obsolete newspaper and magazine stories sometimes do show up in informational searches where they don't belong.

I remember one search for restaurants in an important foreign city where the No. 1 result was an index page of archived New York Times restaurant reviews from the late 1980s (nearly 25 years ago) that NYTimes.com had dumped online. That was an awful search result, but I'd imagine that it was influenced by the authority and PageRank of NYTimes.com, not by the fact that the New York Times is a newspaper.


 9:52 pm on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Newspapers, some of them at least, have large (although shrinking) staff and resources. So in some cases they deserve to be where they are, and in others it's a result of their brand recognition that comes from print distribution. As a lone webmaster you can't replicate the effect of thousands of print issues in people's hands, but it's worth bearing in mind that some newspapers are currently losing money or tackling heavy debt.


 4:11 pm on Jan 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Whenever I click on a Google doodle, whatever the occasion is, there are always a few "newsy" sites that have quickly written up an article on the fact that Google has a new doodle. Since this isn't particularly newsworthy, they obviously 'report' on it to rank highly for the accompanying phrase and pull in traffic while the doodle is up. These generally aren't actual newspapers, they're more like blogs, and they obviously have an edge here by being part of Google News. It smells abusive, but Google doesn't seem to mind.


 6:10 pm on Jan 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

santapaws - Where are you located and do you clear your cache daily?


 6:47 am on Jan 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Whether it is newspapers that dominate or forums or Amazons/ebays, the fact can't be denied that we are seeing more and more of authority sites, even if they contain half a mention of the subject being searched.
Call it Google's love for authorities in general or authorities were what was left after purging so many sites thanks to Penguin/Panda, is much debated.


 7:38 am on Jan 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Call it Google's love for authorities in general or authorities were what was left after purging so many sites thanks to Penguin/Panda...

Or Google's "normal visitors" [meaning non-webmasters] love for "authority sites" and Google showing it's visitors what it's visitors want/expect to see.

If Google's visitors really "love the little guy" they would leave in droves when "the little guy" shows less and less often, but they're not doing that, which seem to say something about Google's visitor's bias more than anything to me, personally.

I'm not seeing news sites dominating the results in the queries I watch, so I really don't know what to say to the topic of the thread, except check another niche or two if you think "all the results are news", because they're definitely not.


 2:28 pm on Jan 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

At certain times of the year I compete directly with a lot of "news" sites (tv station sites and newspaper sites) some of which are pretty big, and in almost every case I outrank them, even when they poach my content without attribution (which happens a lot) But this is in one specific niche, and it didn't happen overnight - it took a few years to build up that kind of authority. If I had a broader niche and less time, it probably would be a lot more difficult.

So I guess that's what I would be looking at, if I was trying to go up against news sites.

Robert Charlton

 1:40 am on Jan 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

santapaws - What kind of queries are you talking about? Celebrity and TV searches are definitely going to put you squarely in mainstream competition.

And in that mainstream, there are times when Google has determined that news sites are what searchers want. QDF (query deserves freshness) is part of that, but, to put even a finer point on it... in breaking news cycles or in a series of ongoing events, searchers are looking for different types of information at different times in the cycle.

I've been running test searches relating to the NFL playoffs, and it is fascinating to see how finely calibrated the results are. Yesterday, shortly after a game, a search for the fairly common first name of the player would give me a news story about the player in the game (along too with several other news stories about other newsworthy celebrities who share the same first name, just in case the game wasn't what I was looking for).

Today, after I pre-searched with the same cluster of queries (assuming that there would also be a Hummingbird recent-search effect), my subsequent search for the player's first name did not bring him up. In fact, no news results came up. (Thus, our fabled "15 minutes of fame".)

But, there are other ways to take advantage of news searches. For easily the last ten years now, there have been web marketing people who used a strategy of planting news stories intended to rank for expected timely keyword searches. In the old days those stories may have carried dofollow links. Now, they perhaps carry nofollow links... but the point is that you can use news to drive traffic without being a newspaper. You should definitely cultivate your newspaper contacts.

PS: Regarding "becoming a newspaper site" in order to rank, be careful what you wish for. I've attended a bunch of panel discussions about the difficulty newspapers have been having making money. As others have pointed out, it's a tough business.

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