Is There A Problem With Google News Using Press Releases?

from the I-don't-see-what-the-big-deal-is dept

Andrew Orlowski over at the Register continues to see himself as some sort of technology crusader. His latest target is Google News because (gasp!) they include press releases in their results. I, for one, not only don’t mind this – I appreciate it. I know that a lot of other bloggers have been complaining about this, but the ability to search Google News for press releases has been very helpful for me to get more details on stories I post here. Orlowski seems to think it’s a horrible bastardization of the news. Apparently, he doesn’t read many technology sites, because most technology news sites, simply republish press releases as articles anyway. At least when doing a Google search, the results are pretty clearly marked as press releases. Now, I’ve certainly complained in the past that press releases are “fake news” – and I will almost never (except under special circumstances) link to press releases from here. However, in researching the details of a story, press releases are very helpful in pointing out specific details and giving additional contact information. Orlowski says that there are tools like Business Wire and PR Newswire for such things – but that’s missing the point. By using Google News, you get one source where you can search them all. Besides, PR Newswire (in particular) has a dreadful search engine. You actually can find press releases much easier using Google News than PR Newswire’s own search engine. Just because Orlowski can’t seem to distinguish what’s clearly marked as a press release from a news story, he shouldn’t take it out on those of us who find the service useful.

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