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Nieman Journalism Lab: Google News and the ‘blog’ label

October 6th, 2009Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism, Search

So what’s a blog and does it matter? Google News has started – arbitrarily it seems – applying the ‘(blog)’ label to some sites and not others.

It’s all a bit weird, says the Nieman Journalism Lab’s Zachary M. Seward.

“On both technical and philosophical levels, there’s no meaningful difference between blogs that publish news and news sites that aren’t published as blogs. Many news organizations place material on both types of platforms without considering the content any different. Some use blogging software like WordPress to produce sites that look nothing like blogs.”

His analogy explains it brilliantly:

“Dividing content along these lines is like classifying brownies based on whether they were baked in aluminum or glass pans. There’s no difference, and it obscures what you really want know: if they contain chocolate chips.”

Full post at this link…

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  • http://www.bristol247.com Chris Brown

    After a long wait, bristol247.com is now listed on Google News – but I am listed as (blog). OK, so I am not a fully-fledged newsroom along the lines of the local and national media, but I think I have produced far more than a blog.
    And you could call me precious, but having the blog label is I believe detrimental to my site – as I don’t think net surfers will take my site as seriously as I would like.
    I’ve contacted Google News today to ask if they could ‘relabel’ me – I’ll let you know their response.

  • http://www.journalism.co.uk Laura Oliver

    Please do Chris – if this is affecting Bristol247, then no doubt similar independent news sites must have suffered the same – any others resolved the issue with Google?

  • http://www.bristol247.com Chris Brown

    Quick update: Google got back to me on the same day saying they would update my listing as a news source, rather than a blog. Good news!
    If anyone else has the same trouble, just get in touch with them as soon as possible. I hope they are as accommodating for you as they were for me.

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