Published in News, Rants and Ephemera on Monday, August 27th, 2007
The NY Times gets some SEO voodoo applied to their CMS and now old news stories are "coming back to haunt" those that were reported upon.
This is an interesting consequence that seems to be getting pushed on SEO, rather then perhaps looking at it from the aspect of accountable reporting, no?
Nicholas states that:
With search engine optimization - or SEO, as it's commonly known - news organizations and other companies are actively manipulating the Web's memory. They're programming the Web to "remember" stuff that might otherwise have become obscure by becoming harder to find.
The result is that:
People are coming forward at the rate of roughly one a day to complain that they are being embarrassed, are worried about losing or not getting jobs, or may be losing customers because of the sudden prominence of old news articles that contain errors or were never followed up.
So, in the past as the print info (newspaper issues) simply disappeared or, more recently, as they hid the content behind paywalls and poor SEO, newspapers didn't have to worry about the consequences of
articles that contain errors or were never followed up, but now people may suffer from these mistakes and lack of integrity.
What do you think the answer should be? Nicholas Carr asks Should the Net forget? I'm not so sure, and I don't think that the answer is that simple.
There's a learning curve to moving print onto the web, and this case encompasses one facet of what needs to be conisdered, but it would be great if some form of integrity from those doing the reporting kept these kinds of things from happening.
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