Browse > Home /

Liverpool Daily Post: Madeleine McCann keywords in every main local news story was ‘oversight’

July 1st, 2009 | 8 Comments | Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism, Search

It was an ‘oversight’ that Madeleine McCann related keywords were included in the metadata for every main local news story on the Liverpool Daily Post site, a Trinity Mirror spokeperson said, after Journalism.co.uk informed the company that the terms were present in the ‘hidden text’ of a series of unrelated news items.

The automatic inclusion of the keywords “madeleine mccann, madeleine mcgann, kate mcgann, kate mccann” in the HTML for Liverpool news stories has now ceased.

Journalism.co.uk learned in May that specific keywords, including those above, were used in the metadata for the ‘Liverpool News Headlines’ section on the Liverpool Daily Post site, regardless of the story’s relevance. This continued for at least one month before it was drawn to the Post’s attention on Monday (June 29).

Use of unrelated ‘hidden’ metadata is commonly known as ‘keyword stuffing’, a practice which Google firmly discourages. Using popular keywords can help improve a site’s SEO performance. [Update: Google and most other search engines are no longer believed (Wikipedia link here) to recognise these tags: see Lammo.net post at this link.]

Google search results for “Madeleine McCann + Liverpool” shows that the Post and its sister site, the Liverpool Echo, have top rankings for related Madeleine McCann stories. [Update: but lower rankings when a simple Madeleine McCann search is performed. It's unlikely the addition of the keywords aided the LDP's Google ranking. Google says: "While accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won't impact your ranking within search results."]

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “The metadata was inserted some time ago when the Madeleine McCann story was at its height and was the most-searched item on our web sites. It was inserted to make it easier for our users to access a huge story of national and local interest. The fact that it wasn’t removed is an oversight, which has now been put right.”

The evidence (before Liverpool Daily Post corrected the error this week):

A story about Len Williams, a well-known waterfront manager who recently died.

Waterfront

Keywords in the HTML version:
LENkeywords1
LENkeywords2

livpostlen

The section of the site which used these keywords for all stories:

livnews

Google’s  definition:

“‘Keyword stuffing’ refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google’s search results. Filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.

“To fix this problem, review your site for misused keywords. Typically, these will be lists or paragraphs of keywords, often randomly repeated. Check carefully, because keywords can often be in the form of hidden text, or they can be hidden in title tags or alt attributes.

“Once you’ve made your changes and are confident that your site no longer violates our guidelines, submit your site for reconsideration.”

A definition by Nathan Campbell on SEO.com:

“Some unethical SEOs choose to employ renegade tactics such as keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is overloading the content or meta tags of the web page with every possible keyword or phrase that relates to the site in many different forms.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

BBC crime journalism: Visual innovation from BBC News on teen murder mapping / Panorama faces allegations for paying teenager to brandish gun

January 12th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Multimedia

BBC’s Panorama programme faced allegations last week that a fixer had paid a teenager to wield a gun for a documentary film.

The Liverpool Echo reported:

“A teenage gang member was paid £50 by a ‘fixer’ to flaunt guns for a BBC programme, a court heard.”

The BBC has denied the allegations, and Merseyside Police are to further investigate the claims made in court.

Meanwhile, in a more positive look at the BBC’s crime journalism, Tracy Boyer praises its package designed to map UK’s teen murder toll: ‘great use of data visualization in this latest project,’ she says.

“BBC’s package is divided into four sections: a text overview, the database of victims, victim-map mashup, and a slew of statistics.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Liverpool Echo relaunches print edition

October 27th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Newspapers

As of today the Liverpool Echo hits newsstands showcasing a new style. The Trinity Mirror regional title has undergone a major face-lift after consultations with its readership.

In a statement on the paper’s website, editor Ali Machray said the local paper needed to reflect the the city’s current vibe:

“There’s a buzz about Liverpool right now. And there’s a buzz about an Echo that will bring you everything that reflects the amazing resurgence of our city and its people.”

The new look publication will feature brand new education and health sections, a section for women and comprehensive local football content. It will also sport a new design featuring a new masthead and cleaner layout.

Following last week’s launch of The Birmingham Post’s ‘Post Mobile’ service, this week sees Trinity Mirror’s Newcastle Journal and Evening Chronicle follow suit with their own news services for mobile.

Plans are still on course for Trinity to have 13 of publications active on mobile by the end of the year.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Geotagged journalism: behind Trinity Mirror’s news maps

October 13th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism

At last week’s Digital Editors’ Network event in Preston, Trinity Mirror’s new geotagged news maps were a popular topic of conversation.

Launched on the Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post (LDP) websites, the maps let readers search for news by postcode.

But what information are journalists required to input to make the maps work? and how does this affect their newsgathering?

Alison Gow, deputy editor of the LDP, explained the system to Journalism.co.uk:

“At the moment, every time our reporters create a news story they fill in certain fields which dictate where a story is placed online (e.g. story type, keyword tags, author).

“For stories to appear on the map the reporter simply ensures the new ‘postcode’ field is also completed; they do this by chosing from a vast selection of regional postcodes which are already included in a dropdown menu.”

For stories that could be tagged with multiple postcodes, the primary site of the news, e.g. the accident site in a road crash, is currently being used, though multiple location tagging is being looked into.

“We don’t use them for everything; there would be no point in geotagging Liverpool town hall for every council story, for example. But for location-specific articles they work really well.

“As it grows the map offers greater potential for ‘news from your street’ for readers, and it makes the Post and Echo sites more sticky – people can see markers for stories in their area and this should encourage them to click through and read more,” said Gow.

To develop the project further, the same map format is being looked at for other editorial content, such as business articles, she added.

Any more questions about the journalists involvement with these maps? Leave a comment and hopefully we can get a response.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

The Guardian publishes first ‘geolocated’ article

October 10th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Journalism

The Guardian has published its first article including geolocation data and is using geographic tagging to track reporters covering the US presidential race. Every time a reporter posts a blog their location will be highlighted on a Google map.

Geotagged content has been around for a while now, but is starting to take effect in the UK media: last week, the Liverpool Echo, published a hyperlocal news map.

On Guardian.co.uk’s Inside Blog, Paul Carvill describes the geolocating process: reporters add their latitude and longitude to their article or blog post, and their location will appear in the RSS feed, which in turn can be fed into a Google map using a java script.

Online users can type in their postcode to find out what is being reported in their area, or alternatively click on an area of the map to source information from another location.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Geo-what? Oh, it’s coming to the UK soon…

October 3rd, 2008 | 12 Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

This week saw the launch of a hyperlocal news map for the Liverpool Echo, as announced by Sly Bailey at the AOP Digital Publishing Summit (follow link for report in MediaGuardian).

It geotags news content so each user can search for news by postcode.

Nothing new there, web-savvy newshounds might think, but actually it is:

Though Archant announced plans for geotagged sites last October (it started with Jobs24 – a winner at yesterday’s NS ADM Awards – and Homes24 and has plans to roll out geotagged news content in 2008) to date we’re still waiting for the official launch of geotagged news.

Yesterday we reported that American site outside.in will be launching in the UK, which will link news with local areas (as localised as users specify). Outside.in thinks its opportunity has come about as a result of:

“The demand for personalized information on the web, and the failure of the newspaper industry to capitalize on featuring hyperlocal content” (Nina Grigoriev, outside.in)

Journalism.co.uk thought it was time for a bit of a run-down on the development of geotagging in the UK.

First, what is it?
Journalists record the locations referred to in each story and add their postcodes as metadata when uploading their copy to the web.

In that way, geotagged content allows users to prioritise the news they see online according to postcodes.

Where are we at in the UK?
The Liverpool Echo is the first site (of the large publishing groups) to do so in the UK. Although other sites have incorporated mapping into their sites, no other places has successfully incorporated news content as well.

The BBC plans to invest £68 million across its network of local sites, which will be decided upon by the BBC Trust in February 2009. Online Journalism Blog reported a sneak preview in January 2008, though the BBC have since asked us not to refer to the sites as ‘hyperlocal’.

Critics such as Trinity Mirror’s CEO, Sly Bailey, have voiced concerns over the BBC’s local video proposals, saying they will provide ‘unfair competition’ for the regional media.

Northcliffe is also developing geotagged content on its revamped thisis sites, and told Press Gazette in June the process has been difficult: “Because not all stories affect only one specific point, the company is finding geocoding challenging,” Hardie said.

According to the article: “The localisation functions will remain hidden until journalists have built up enough stories with postcode data.”

Back in July 2007 we saw reports of Sky geotagging its news, but it hasn’t developed at the same speed or as widely as in the US.

What’s happening in the US?
Everyblock is developing fast across the US. It’s a new experiment in journalism and data, offering feeds of local information and data for every city block in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC, with more cities to come. Not in the UK yet, but watch this space.

Elsewhere, the Washington Post has used outside.in’s maps for their own site, while the New York Times’ Boston.com (the online Boston Globe) uses MetaCarta’s geographic search technology for maps.

So, what does this mean for UK based geotagging?
With the arrival of highly efficient US based sites such as outside.in (who said an UK based office is a possibility) maybe it’s time for Archant, Trinity Mirror and Northcliffe to get their skates on before it’s too late.

Please send us your examples of UK based geotagged content, from formal publications or otherwise, as we want to track it as it expands in the UK.

(Then we can make a geotagged feed and map of geotagging in journalism. Then our heads might explode)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Election 2.0: blogs, video and mobile streaming out in force for local election coverage

May 1st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

The BBC’s coverage of today’s local elections will feature live blogging, with comments being expertly sifted by Newsnight and BBC News 24 presenter Emily Maitlis, assisted by leading political bloggers Iain Dale, Luke Akenhurst and Alix Mortimer.

The elections see 4000 seats up for grabs at 159 councils nationally, along with the London Mayoralty and the London Assembly.

“It’s become increasingly clear that the web has something extra to offer on election night. An elaborate network of opinion formers, activists and analysts collide online producing fact, rumour, and mood not found anywhere else.” Craig Oliver, editor of BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten, wrote on the BBC Editors Blog.

“While guarded politicians offer the official line on radio and TV, the web provides the unvarnished truth about what the parties are really thinking.”

Harnessing new web technology for election coverage is not exclusively the domain of national big guns. The Liverpool Daily Post and Liverpool Echo will have reporters at each of the 10 vote counts in the area, who will feed to a live blog accessible on both sites.

There will be newspaper staff at three of the counts – Liverpool, Wiral and Knowsley – using mobile phone technology to stream live reports and a TV unit will produce a video package of events. The final video version is expected to go live by 7am in time for the morning rush.

“Harnessing the new technology on the Post and Echo sites will enable us to bring the most comprehensive coverage of local elections to readers who now demand nothing less,” said Alastair Machray, editor of the Liverpool Echo, in a press statement.

The titles attempted online election coverage last year, which was viewed by over 4,000 people. The sites have since been relaunched and with improved technology the two expect the coverage to be a hit with voters.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement