Thursday, June 7, 2007

News aggregators are not the same; or all headline pick-ups not equal

Increasingly, while monitoring potential coverage for our clients, we land on headline sites that aggregate disparate press releases in attempts to drive traffic to the site. The reason: site owners can boost the fees they charge on click-through ads when the number of clicks to their sites increase.

In our opinion, these site are less than useful, they are website spam. They are not destination blogs, even those that slap on a title for the site, claiming to be focused on a topic. They are useless compared to search engines, especially because they post truly random headlines. For example, Security Consultants on Security on AbangPOWER,, includes the following headlines:

  • Turkey Declares 'Security Zones'
  • Pope in procession after security scare
  • Red Hat, Symantec bundle security offerings
  • American Academy of Actuaries to Discuss Medicare & Social Security

Design News,, doesn’t seem to post actual design news, instead it posted stories about Spider-Man 3, a study of unexplained respiratory infections, a bomb threat against Sen. Clinton, and the new French president walking on a red carpet during inauguration (one wonders how he might react to Joan Rivers' asking him "who are you wearing?").

We have found a few such sites that actually offer focused headlines. But I’m still not sure why you’d go there instead of a search engine or a trade publication for industry news. We recommend clients ignore these sites, and that they don't count those pickups when looking at how their competitors are doing or when looking at how well they're doing in comparison. They're just not quality hits.

No comments: