Friday, March 04, 2005

Chasing Google rankings

Google sends large amounts of traffic to news websites. Consequently, it's vital for news organisations to register on search engine rankings. If they don't they'll remain largely invisible to the online majority. For sites that require subscriptions or that move their stories to paid links after a week or ten days, this is a problem.

Dave Weinberger writes:

"The NY Times famously moves stories from their original links to new ones in the for-pay archive after a week. As a result, important stories exit the public sphere, and the newspaper of record becomes the newspaper of brokenlinks. ... So, starting in April, is going to publish thousandsof topic pages, each aggregating the content from the 10 million articles inits archive, going back to 1851, including graphics and multimediaresources. Topics that get their own page might include Boston, Terrorism,Cloning, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Condoleeza Rice. News stories willlink to these topic pages. And - the Times must hope - these pages, withtheir big fat permanent addresses, may start rising in Google's rankings. "
Here's the New York Times link generator.

Dan Froomkin from gives their perspective on this issue:

"It may be worth pointing out that has had a lot of 'special report'/archive pages like that for at least seven years. And the links to articles on those pages all go to stories with URLs that work just fine. No archive switcheroo ( URLs never die.) Interestingly enough, I don't believe this gets any Google bang. Though it well should! These are hugely valuable resources."

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