Search Queries Now Determining the News on Yahoo

Why is it important to have a strong web presence and to develop content that resonates with the audience you’re trying to reach? Just consider the new platform launched Tuesday by Yahoo that relies on search queries to determine what content makes it into its news blog called The Upshot.

As the New York Times outlined in their July 4 story on the launch, this process will be a guideline for editors at Yahoo that will allow them to deliver the news that readers want.

The latest and perhaps broadest effort yet in democratizing the news is under way at Yahoo, which on Tuesday will introduce a news blog that will rely on search queries to help guide its reporting and writing on national affairs, politics and the media.

Yahoo software continuously tracks common words, phrases and topics that are popular among users across its vast online network. To help create content for the blog, called The Upshot, a team of people will analyze those patterns and pass along their findings to Yahoo’s news staff of two editors and six bloggers.

The news staff will then use that search data to create articles that — if the process works as intended — will allow them to focus more precisely on readers.

An eMarketer.com story today describes that internet search usage makes The Upshot a natural.

This isn’t news, per se, but it is good business sense. While it flies in the face of good, hard journalism, the site ostensibly gives “the people” what they want—or are looking for, anyway. There is ample fodder for The Upshot, since searching for news and information is one of the most popular activities for US internet users. Among the many studies that report this information is one from Accenture.

Recent survey results from Accenture show 94% of internet users are online for searching and/or reading news information. eMarketer.com also points out: news aggregators such as Yahoo! are a strong second behind major US TV news sites, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

News is no longer solely in the hands of producers or editors. What you develop for a client or your business is the information that the end-user on the internet may want to read. The more they find your information, the more editorial outlets like Yahoo will provide broader coverage of your story.

Tom Cosentino

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