Mainstream Media Lobbying Google to Get Higher Rankings

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  • March 23, 2009
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

There are two things you can do to get higher rankings in Google. The first is to do SEO or hire an SEO agency and the second is to lobby Google and try to persuade them to give you higher rankings.

I’m pretty sure method two has never been successful but that doesn’t seem to deter the worlds largest news sites who seem to think their content is more deserving of top Google rankings than everybody else’s.

Many publishers resent the criteria Google uses to pick top results, starting with the original PageRank formula that depended on how many links a page got. But crumbling ad revenue is lending their push more urgency; this is no time to show up on the third page of Google search results. And as publishers renew efforts to sell some content online, moreover, they’re newly upset that Google’s algorithm penalizes paid content.

“You should not have a system,” one content executive said, “where those who are essentially parasites off the true producers of content benefit disproportionately.”

Martin Nisenholtz, New York Times Co. senior VP-digital operations searched for “Gaza” and found the following:

Google returned links to outdated BBC stories, Wikipedia entries and even an anti-Semitic YouTube video well before coverage by the Times, which had an experienced reporter covering the war from inside Gaza itself.

How is Google supposed to know that the Times has a reporter in Gaza?

The best quote in the article is below, suggesting that mainstream news websites should somehow get an enhanced listing on Google:

And every item looks about the same, whether it’s a link to Vanity Fair or to FreeGaza.org, undermining the power of known brands.

Another quote suggests they want somebody to police the search results and ensure that the original source is ranked first.

It really just says that the original source, and the source with real access, should somehow be recognized as the most important in the delivery of results

I’m pretty sure that the PageRank algorithm covers this – the source gets the most links and therefore ranks highest. The only situation when this isn’t true is when the newspapers SEO and social media marketing skills are very poor.

Mainstream media sites get more links than anybody so if they can’t figure out how to get to the top of Google then they deserve to go bust, every single one of them.

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