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Searching the Net for a LOCAL news story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Simon_Cowbell, Mar 31, 2009.


When you hear about a local news story, how do you navigate the Internet to check it out?

  1. Go to my local paper's site, typing in the URL

  2. Go to my local paper's site from a bookmark/favorite place

  3. Put keywords into Google

  4. Put keywords into another search engine

    0 vote(s)
  5. I only watch it on TV without reading any coverage online

  6. I have my local paper Web site up all day and just refresh the page

  1. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    A few shops are starting to go into SEO-term (SEO-search engine optimization) overdrive in prepping stories for the Web... blanching/blunting/dumbing down headlines in lieu of piling on a bunch of keywords like so many sacks on an alpaca.

    Yet, I am trying to figure how the Web site getting a piece on the front page of Google does much to help LOCAL advertisers. You know, the people who pay everyone's paychecks.

    I can honestly say, I have never seen my paper show up on the first page of a Google search, unless I put in the name of one of said paper's writers.

    I couldn't imagine wasting my time with Google for a LOCAL piece when I could be on a LOCAL paper's Web site in a single slick.

    Now, yes, I Google the hell out of national breaking items, and everything else. But not local stories.

    I have been an outlier, a rogue, a stubborn exception before, that's true, but the efficacy of SEO for local readership really mystifies me.

    How about you all?

    P.S. How many "pages" will you traverse on a Google search? I rarely go past the first page and never past the second.
  2. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I don't go past the first page when I'm using google.

    If a "national" story breaks I usually go to the local paper of record where the story occurred. I rarely look at USA Today, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
  3. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    But what about local stories?

    Do you use Google when you hear about a tanker-truck jacknife 5 miles from your abode?
  4. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I usually have the radio on at work so I listen to that. If not I jump on the local paper website or one of the local TV websites.
  5. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    What would the SEO headline be for a jack-knifed truck?

    18-Wheeled Tractor Trailer Crashes, Spilling Load of
    Juicy Sweet California Navel Oranges on I-43 near
    Home of 28th United States President Jack Johnson

    Or for a sports story:

    Memphis University Tigers Fans Await Decision of Head
    Basketball Coach John Callipari as he Considers Taking the
    Offer from the University of Kentucky Wildcats for Job

  6. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    For local stories, I always go to our Web site first, then to the competitor's site. Never use Google.

    For national stories, I usually go with a Google News search.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I've found most newspaper sites are an abomination and make it impossible to find stories. So I google it, and then that gives me the direct link.
  8. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Active Member

    We had some lunatic from the online branch of our company lecture us on how to put headlines on stories for the Web and actually write copy so it can easily be found on Google.

    I understand the whole concept of nut grafs and such, but this guy wanted us to write ALL stories (even features) in an AP style-like fashion, just so that when someone types "Podunk basketball" in Google, our story will be at the first page of search results.
  9. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I'll use google for local stuff when I'm seraching for something older because our local archives search sucks.

    I just did a search for something local that ran back in the fall and has reared its head again tonight (I'm covering it). I typed in a google search and the sixth link was our story.

    Not bad.
  10. Herky_Jerky

    Herky_Jerky Member

    I share this sentiment.

    I go to Google News and find the most recent stuff, no matter whether it's our story or an AP story.
  11. Herky_Jerky

    Herky_Jerky Member

    We've also had to start doing this at our shop for all stories pertaining to our main university.

    At first, we just needed to get the school's name into web headlines.

    We would change something like "PS men throttle Shit Towne" to "Podunk State men throttle Shit Towne"

    Now, we've changed it to something more uniform. So now it would read "Podunk State basketball: PS men throttle Shit Towne"
  12. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I'm with IJAG and Herky. I have a few custom searches already set on my Google News home page, and if I'm looking for something specific, I'll just type that in and search for it there.

    Newspaper search functions/archives are an abomination.
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