Newspapers such as The Sun and The Times in Google Gaffe! Huge SEO Mistakes
Newspapers that charge their online users to view their content are becoming more difficult and sometimes impossible to find under organic search results for their articles, due to what one could describe as huge SEO mistakes. National UK publications such as The Times and The Sun seem to be totally erased from Google’s news results and posts now unable to find on the first page of the search engine results. This is likely to have a devastating impact on their viewing figures and ultimately the impressions that their served ads receive leading to loss of income from ads.
From an SEO perspective it seems that Google are also being blocked from seeing the code in the same way as the visitors are. This would highlight the artificial intelligence of Googlebot (the software that crawls websites and returns information to Google which then uses the information to rank). A second reason could be information about the article or important meta data may be missing from the source code itself. A third reason one could suggest is that Google are simply not qualifying their articles as news anymore!
Let’s used today as a prime example: Addison Cresswell, Arsenal vs Chelsea and Rolf Harris were all Googled over 100,000 times collectively today alone according to Google trends. Missing out on a top page Google listing (taking on average over 60% of the traffic) would lose 60,000 viewers! If you combine all the general searches on Google that the likes of these newspapers used to dominate the first page for, I would estimate that over one million impressions per day in the UK alone would be missed. It would certainly have made interesting viewing to see the Analytics of such a large company with high volumes of content when the search result sanctions were imposed.
Potential ways to combat subscribe only newspapers loss in traffic:
It could be argued that as opposed to SEO mistakes the main reason is that Newspapers opted for a paid subscription approach is a reduction in turnover as a result of the digital era. Newspaper sales on a population percentage level have understandably dropped and after all, we were getting this for free. As a result they were willing to take a hit on natural website visitors. Surely though this method was abit extreme as every top SEO expert knows where there is a will there is a way. Therefore in my opinion it is more important for the SEO team at the newspapers in question to capture the traffic using Google’s crucial News section of the first page results. Whilst implementing the paid subscription process. So how would they do that you ask?
- The newspapers could do a temporary subscription, such as a one hour timer.
- The webmasters could implement code that show Google bot the article data but hides it from the visitor until they subscribe.
Does anybody contest this? Have facts or figures that back it up? Do you have any ideas of your own? If so we encourage you to share and comment below!