Does Google News Have A Sense Of Humor?

from the perhaps-not dept

David Goldenberg writes in with a link to an article he wrote for the site Gelf "about how Google News deals with its sources -- in particular, satire publications. I talked with several different editors about their interactions with Google, and found out some interesting things, like how Google News seems to rely heavily on reader input to manage its sources and why satire sources sometimes appear more relevant than straight news." Once again, like so many things Google, the biggest complaint people have is the complete lack of transparency -- which often makes their decisions seem completely arbitrary. From our own, Techdirt, standpoint, it's been interesting. Google News originally told us we weren't acceptable for their site, based on a list of four criteria, not a single one of which was accurate. After we countered each point, they did let us in. However, it seems like they only pick up on one or two posts from Techdirt every few days, rather than all of our posts. That's fine... except that they do seem to include almost every post from another site (not named here) that simply takes our content and posts it as their own. That leads to plenty of people finding our content on that other site, rather than here, since Google News turns up that site much more frequently than ours. I have no problem with the site in question, which does credit us (though, it would be nice if they credited us a bit more clearly), but it seems like Google News should at least include our original content more frequently than a site that simply copies our content. As for the sense of humor thing, perhaps we really do need to start using sarcasm tags, or perhaps just a color coded system to make sure that Google understands which parts are jokey and which are not.

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