I don’t normally blog hard news here. I usually create what I’d call political or social commentary. But every so often a great piece of news or a scoop comes my way and I’m only too happy to share it with the blogworld. Recently, Tikun Olam was the first publication (blog or news media) to carry news that Steve Jobs’ had lost a court battle to demolish the historic Jackling House in Woodside, CA. I tried desperately and vainly to interest any mainstream media outlets in the story, but no one responded. Then Peter Slatin, a Forbes.com real estate blogger picked up the story followed by AP, and the rest is history. My scoop was scooped by media outlets far larger and apparently more credible than my own.
That resolved me to ensure this didn’t happen again. Someone suggested I become a member of PRWeb.com so I can issue my own press releases when I cover a news story. Then someone suggested (or I thought of it myself) I submit my site to Google News. Recently, I noticed that some political non-hard news sites were being offered in Google News search results. I thought: what do I have to lose. So I submitted my site. And it was promptly rejected. I found the rejection interesting and infuriating:
We do not include sites that are written and maintained by single individuals.
To which I replied:
Could you tell me the difference between a news site run by a media company and a news blog written by an individual? Do you mean to say that the latter platform does not generate serious news? I find this policy deeply prejudicial to bloggers and blogging & plan to say this in a blog post. Should you have any comments you’d like included in which you explain this policy, I’d be happy to do so.
To which the Google Team responded helpfully:
…We’re unable to provide specific information at this time…
I just did some research in the Google News FAQs and this is what I found:
“We’re pleased to work with individual publishers to ensure their content is appropriately represented in Google News.”
They probably meant to say “individual NEWS publishers” but they didn’t. As bloggers are “individual publishers,” you’d think Google News had clearly indicated they accept individual bloggers. But the bottom line is Google News is so clueless when it comes to news blogs that it doesn’t even know how to word its own FAQs so as to exclude them.
I’m curious if anyone knows of blogs written by individuals which ARE featured in Google News? Has anyone had experience of their own regarding submitting your site to Google News? If you’re a news blogger, let your voice be heard. Tell Google News what you think of their policy.