Thursday, April 15, 2010

According to Google, Candy Blog reviews are not news

For years I’ve had Google Alerts set up for many key words related to candy and chocolate. (As well as some related to whales & dolphins.) I find a lot of great coverage via these that I wouldn’t ordinarily find and I probably wouldn’t go to Google News and just search there regularly. I find candy reviews as conducted by web-only content providers such as The Village Voice or Associated Content but never ones from those whom I consider my candy blogging peers (the blogroll) and of course none from Candy Blog.

I’ve submitted Candy Blog to Google News many times. Here are the reasons that Candy Blog has not been included as a Google News source:

8/3/2006:

We reviewed http://www.typetive.com/candyblog  but can’t add it to Google News because we currently only include sites with news articles that report on recent events. We appreciate your suggestion and will log the site for consideration should our guidelines change.

8/11/2006:

Thank you for your note and for providing us with this information about your site. We’ve reviewed http://www.candyblog.net again but can’t include it in Google News at this time. We don’t include sites that are written and maintained by individuals. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us and will log your site for consideration should our requirements change.

2/27/2007:

Thank you for your note. We’ve reviewed your site but are unable to include it in Google News at this time. We don’t include sites that are written and maintained by one individual. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us and will log your site for consideration should our requirements change.

9/18/1007:

Thank you for your note. We reviewed http://www.typetive.com/candyblog  and are unable to include it in Google News at this time. We don’t include sites that are written and maintained by one individual. When we visited your site we were only able to find articles written by one author. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us and will log your site for consideration should our requirements change.

6/9/2009:

Thank you for your note. We reviewed your site and are unable to include it in Google News at this time. We don’t include sites that are written and maintained by one individual. We currently only include articles from sources that could be considered organizations, generally characterized by multiple writers and editors, availability of organizational information, and accessible contact information. When we reviewed your site we weren’t able to find this evidence of an organization.

4/13/2010:

We reviewed your site and are unable to include it in Google News at this time. We currently only include sites with news articles that provide timely reporting on recent events. This means we don’t include informational and how-to articles, classified ads, job postings, fictitious content, event announcements or advice columns. We appreciate your suggestion and will log your site for consideration should our guidelines change in the future.

I can understand the position of not using “singular voice” websites as news sources, but Candy Blog is an opinion site for the most part. Sure I throw facts in for context, but for the most part it’s about a first hand experience with a product.

My argument all along is that a review for a candy product is the same as the review for an album, a TV show, a movie, a book or a vacation spot. It’s news because it’s relevant to everyday life because Americans are consumers. Candy is a $30 Billion industry in the United States alone, few other American food review blogs have had the consistency of content that Candy Blog has and just because it’s about candy doesn’t mean that it’s trifling or should be shuttled off with the “advice columns” as entertainment. The content on Candy Blog is 99% original (I say it’s not 100% because I do quote from press releases & packaging plus I use candy company photos for the Candy Tease features), there are few newspapers who can say that.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:40 am     Curious News

Comments
  1. I sympathize with you, but it’s Google’s service and they can run out however works best for them. I’m wondering if your distinct publisher was an attempt to circumvent their earlier issue, but that’s just my simple curiosity.

    I think their problem may be that if they admit you, they’ve opened the doors to millions of other, similar sites and including them all might dilute the effectiveness of their service.

    Even though your site is very active, including the comments as proof of multiple authors may be stretching things a bit!

    Maybe someday you’ll get recognized by them, but to be fair, while your reviews are new to you, the products themselves aren’t always new!

    Comment by Russ on 4/15/10 at 10:44 am

     

  2. Russ - I’m not sure what you’re saying. I got a “publisher” because I was taking advertising and Manny provides a layer of insulation from me editorially. I don’t talk directly to the advertisers, he does and manages the invoicing. (Manny also takes photos while we’re at trade shows, which are published on the blog, so he does provide content - though none of the text.) I never said that comments meant that there were multiple authors.

    Their policies are not applied consistently, they treat other product reviews differently. Sites written by one person that cover the iPad (and have never actually touched an iPad, but instead use promo images and CC licensed ones) are already in the Google News system. Sites with no actual editorial oversight like Associated Content (which requires only registration and agreement to terms & conditions) are included.

    What’s the difference between this:
    http://www.twincities.com/life/ci_14881984?nclick_check=1

    And this:
    http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/qbel_double_dark

    I agree that not all reviews are for new products. They were at one time, but I now review 5 times a week and there simply aren’t that many new products to feed the machine. But again, reviews included on Google News are not always for “new” things - such as hotels, restaurants, long-running Broadway shows, etc. I review things that are available.

    Yes, it’s Google’s service. They never said don’t apply again ... I’m following their rules. (6 applications in 4 years isn’t exactly harassing.) Is there any reason why I shouldn’t try to be included?

    Comment by Cybele on 4/15/10 at 12:32 pm

     

  3. There’s no reason at all why you shouldn’t keep trying to be included. Keep it up!

    I was just grasping at straws when I talked about comments, thinking maybe you used that as an argument to convince them of multiple voices being included on CB.

    Thx for clearing up the publisher question. Like I said, it was just something I was curious about. My other guess was something having to do with some obscure (to me) tax advantage or something.

    Kathie Jenkins’ blog differs from yours in what Google must believe is one important respect: it’s hosted by a newspaper and isn’t a standalone site. That’s my guess, anyway.

    I’m on your side here, btw. I’m just trying to understand their arguments for denying you and arguing their position. They’ve already crossed the line with reviews from what you’ve said, so maybe that’s because the products are new(ish), the restaurants have added a menu item or changed somehow, or something like that. I guess it all depends on what you call “news.” Associated Content, from your description, meets their definition of an organization, so I guess that’s why they give it a pass. Their position and rules from the quotes you pasted, make sense to me.

    I agree it’s not all black and white (unlike some dogs I could mention) and I hope there’s enough wiggle room for them to let you in.

    Comment by Russ on 4/15/10 at 2:08 pm

     

  4. Stop trying to ruin Google news! Your site is to news as Mcdonald’s french fries are to health food. Damn you must be annoying those poor people at Google!

    Comment by anon on 6/09/10 at 7:52 pm

     

  5. just a give informative post. informative post is a news.

    Comment by utari on 7/11/10 at 7:46 pm

     

  6. Does Google include music/movie/theatre reviews on sites maintained by individuals in Google news? Does Google include every 12-year-old saying “I love Twilight” in Google news? Your site is fun but completely inappropriate for Google news.

    Comment by alison on 8/14/10 at 8:06 pm

     

  7. maybe google just thinks you are boring….because you are….which is why your “wonderful plays & novels” collect dust, not fans.

    Comment by pips on 11/07/10 at 11:26 am

     

  8. pips - think your reading comprehension skills need improvement. The point is that Google is inconsistent in its application of its own guidelines.

    As for the personal critique of my other works, well, yeah, I’ve largely abandoned my work as a playwright though my publications still seem to be selling consistently. The past seven novels haven’t been read by other people, I can’t consider that a rejection since I’ve never submitted them or even revised them.

    (For the record, pips arrived at typetive.com & candyblog.net via the search strings “cybele may asshole” and “candyblog sucks”. I’m glad pips found what he/she was looking for.)

    Comment by Cybele on 11/07/10 at 11:51 am

     

  9. Cybele, it’s good to see you don’t seem to take people like pips with more than a grain of confectioners sugar. What a rampant flood of ignorance! BTW, love the candy blog

    Comment by ElctrcRngr on 12/07/14 at 4:43 pm

     

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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.