UPDATE — Centcom.mil, Google News, and Yahoo! News: Brain Shavings Explains It All (and I Almost Understand It)
This post follows up on yesterday evening’s entry on how:
- All but a very small piece of the news coming out of Centcom.mil is not making it into Google News — the only exception is the news from the “horn of Africa.” News about Iraq, Afghanistan, other countries in the Coalition besides the US, daily news releases, and daily press releases are not getting in.
- Yahoo! News appears not to be picking up any news from Centcom.mil whatsoever.
I’m reproducing the parts of Puddle Pirate’s entry at Brain Shavings that directly relate to the Yahoo! News and Google News search engines, because those are currently the primary Internet arenas of the information war. Unfortunately, Centcom is (mostly) not playing in those arenas, and that needs to change — FAST. I hope as many eyes at Centcom see this entry (and the original) as possible. I am pleased that someone who signed off as being from Centcom Public Affairs has already read over and promised to follow up on the info in Puddle Pirate’s entry. There is more info at Brain Shavings for those who want to add Centcom feeds to their own individual Yahoo! and Google accounts and/or web sites.
So, here goes:
….. CENTCOM’s feeds apparently aren’t included in Yahoo’s news site, nor are they available in its news search engine … which is where the vast majority of Yahoo’s news-reading users will go. Yahoo has yet to regularly crawl any blogs or RSS feeds for inclusion in their news search results (although at one time they did so).Yahoo really doesn’t need to do much to add CENTCOM to its search results. After all, Yahoo always has fresh content from my puny blog available in their search results within moments of publication. That’s because I have FeedBurner set up to ping Yahoo whenever I post something new. The price? Zipski. It’s free. If CENTCOM would just take advantage of a free service like FeedBurner to publish their news feeds, they would get more attention. More importantly, by taking care of the feed updates and pinging ahead of time, CENTCOM would have an easier time persuading Yahoo to add them to the news search engine.
Now on to Google.
Google’s blog search engine actually does include CENTCOM news in its results, but almost nobody would think to look there for news from a major organization like CENTCOM. Since Google already keeps track of RSS feeds from thousands of sites, it should be a snap for them to include CENTCOM’s news releases in Google News’ search results (note to CENTCOM: FeedBurner pings Google too, so my puny blog’s even listed there). Google News includes posts from blogs like RedState, TownHall.com, Power Line, The Jawa Report, and The Huffington Post. Those sites are hardly unbiased. CENTCOM certainly has a stronger claim to being a news source than those blogs do, and if CENTCOM adopts the same approach to Google as outlined above for Yahoo, it shouldn’t be long before things improve.
Who would think that Google would treat the news out of Centcom as if coming from a blog? I’m not one to jump to conclusions, but from here that classification appears to be the result of a conscious decision by people at the company, and is NOT a decision I believe most people, if given the opportunity, would instinctively make. Especially in light of the actual blogs that are included in Google News, Centcom’s exclusion, accidental or intentional, is an outrage.
I will soon be sending a couple of e-mails to Google in an attempt to determine how Centcom was afforded this (in my opinion) very dismissive treatment. Having asked to have the various Centcom sources included as Google sources yesterday, this may become moot, but I’d still be interested in the (lack of) thought process that led to Centcom’s blog classification.
This isn’t necessarily to go lighter on Yahoo! News, which as Puddle Pirate notes, doesn’t include Centcom, but, like Google, has noooooo problem including the enemy in news searches (obviously, I’m referring to #2 below):
And the military isn’t totally off the hook, either. It shouldn’t have taken a non-techie blogger to figure out that the military’s side of the War on Terror isn’t getting out to two of the biggest (actually, I think Google News and Yahoo! News are THE two biggest) Internet news search engines. All right, that’s spilt milk, but now that the problems are known, PLEASE, let’s get them fixed, and make sure that the situation is continually monitored.
It’s becoming more clear with each passing
day hour that the establishment media is either gullibly or intentionally allied against what our military men and women are doing. The media’s story is not only ignoring good news (which most of us have known for three-plus years), but is also all too frequently either negligently or deliberately passing on lies about what is happening.
It is wayyyy too much to ask of the mil-supportive side of the blogosphere to debunk the all the lies and take up the slack indefinitely. The military and the Administration all the way up to the President need to be doing much more, and need to be doing it much more proactively.