Monday, March 24, 2008

Google makes it easier to avoid Morning News website

First, let me say, as tens of thousands of others in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex have said over the last three-plus years since the Snooze, officially known as The (don’t forget to capitalize that “the,” New York Times pretentiousness and all) Dallas Morning News, changed its website to its current form.

It sucks.

It sucks donkey dongs.

It sucks George Bannerman Dealey’s donkey dong, in fact.

It is probably THE WORST website of any major seven-day daily newspaper in the United States, excepting of course, other A.H. Belo papers in Riverside, Calif. and Providence, R.I. (Belo websites suck because Belo blows — the different papers’ websites are mirror images.)

One of the worst things about the Snooze’s website is the impossibility of finding any Snooze story that is not actually linked on the website’s homepage. The story may have been written in the last 24 hours; it may have run in that day’s hardcopy.

But, if it ain’t on the homepage of the website, you ain’t gonna find it.

Solution? After getting frustrated at the donkey-dong sucking Snooze website (see for yourself), I go to Google News, hit the advanced news search, enter Dallas Morning News as my search (don’t even have to use “the,” let alone the prissy-fit capitalized version), and then enter my normal Google search words.

Voila! Link(s) spit out to just the right articles.

Well, now, Google is going one step further.
This month, the company introduced a search-within-search feature that lets users stay on Google to find pages on popular sites like those of The Washington Post, Wikipedia, The New York Times, Wal-Mart and others. The search box appears when someone enters the name of certain Web addresses or company names — say, “Best Buy” — rather than entering a request like “cellphones.”

The results of the search are almost all individual company pages. Google tops those results with a link to the home page of the Web site in question, adds another search box, and offers users the chance to let Google search for certain things within that site.

The problem, for some in the industry, is that when someone enters a term into that secondary search box, Google will display ads for competing sites, thereby profiting from ads it sells against the brand. The feature also keeps users searching on Google pages and not pages of the destination Web site.

Tough shit. Your unsearchable website, with further editorial cuts ahead, certainly won’t get better. If anything, it will get worse.

Oh, and to throw you further under the bus… you have a paper always bragging about the APME awards it wins for sports coverage, then it outsources all its high school stuff to a third-party site, one that doesn’t have as much online high school sports as the DMN did five years ago.

You don’t like it? Make your own website better. Google is, indeed, just saving me more work now.

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