The Truths and Myths of Google News as a Reputation Management Tool
By David Snyder.
Much has been made around the Web about the “Truth and Myth” post by Software Engineer Andy Golding on the Google News blog. There have been quite a few posts written about how the ideas discussed by Golding relate to publishers, SEOs, and PR professionals.
What about the social media marketer and corporate reputation manager?
Many people, who have not found the value of great reputation management tools such as Trackur, utilize Google News Alerts to find out what is being said about their company on the web. The question is, how does this recent post effect how these professionals obtain and utilize information?
Among the myths and truths discussed a few are of significant importance to those that monitor and repair reputation.
1) Golding suggests that updating an article after posting it will create problems with Google News. The reason given is that, “the Google News crawler only visits each article URL once.” This means that the article misquoting your CEO’s stance on outsourcing will not benefit from a revisionist note. The brand advocates that might be monitoring your company through Google News will only be alerted to the first report and not its retraction. This is also an obvious disadvantage with RSS feeds, and bloggers making quick reports and retractions.
A way to combat this disproportionate reach of the truth as opposed to the blunder is see if the publisher will print a retraction or follow-up article separately. This could get the piece put in the same cluster as the original item and help you tackle any miscommunication that came from the misreported information.
2) Golding purports that the idea that publication time of an article affects its ranking is simply a myth. To the reputation manager that means no matter how long ago a damaging story might have hit there is still time to react in a quick and transparent manner. As a reputation manager you should always have a few well respected Google News publishers in your network. By creating a well constructed, transparent response to a potential reputation damaging article, and then getting that piece published through a high quality site you stand a good chance of battling the damaging piece in the Google News rankings.
3) Golding states that stand alone images and video cannot be added to the rankings. This means that trying to combat a reputation crisis in Google News via a Youtube video is not a sound strategy, although creating an article tying the video to the blowup could be an answer.
Google News can be a great tool for the internet marketer, from SEO to reputation management. It represents free, fast access to quality information and chatter, however knowing how to use the tool beyond the reception of the message is important in safe guarding your company’s reputation.
About David Snyder
David Snyder is the online marketing manager for THAT Agency.