Why aren’t CENTCOM press releases included in Google News or Yahoo News?

**UPDATE: Tom’s still asking questions, and so am I.**

BizzyBlog’s Tom Blumer wonders why Google’s and Yahoo’s respective news search engines miss almost all of CENTCOM’s news, and asks for help figuring it all out. No problemo, Tom: I dug around and found a few relevant facts that might interest you.
I found a link on CENTCOM’s home page that offers access to all five of CENTCOM’s news feeds. Then I started probing Yahoo and Google to see if the URLs for those feeds turned up anywhere.
Yahoo! NewsI note with some satisfaction that three valid CENTCOM news feeds are available (log-in required) for inclusion on anyone’s My Yahoo! page. Of course, you have to log in and drill down to a particular sub-page to search for those feeds, or you have to manually type in the entire URL of a feed to add it yourself. Now, I did this myself over two months ago, but I’m unusual. Want to venture a guess as to how many people have done the same? I’ll bet it’s a very small number. Most folks have neither the time nor the inclination to decipher the finer points of manually adding news feeds to their My Yahoo! pages.
Newspaper and coffeeFortunately this is one (small) problem that CENTCOM can fix by adding chiclets to its home page and its news pages. Or CENTCOM can do what I did and add one easy-to-click link that lets FeedBurner’s web site handle the whole chiclet thing automatically … for free!
OK, so Yahoo has an obscure way to keep track of CENTCOM’s news releases via RSS feeds. That’s nice, but I’m nearly certain that nobody uses it. Worse, 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 NewsGoogle’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.

Update: BizzyBlog and NixGuy keep connecting the dots. And don’t forget the enemy’s propaganda successes, either. One Oar In The Water pulled on a loose thread and exposed a propaganda lie published by the L.A. Times, in which an American airstrike supposedly killed a slew of Iraqi civilians. How many more stories like that have slipped through? You’d be surprised.
Update 2: Rusty Shackleford at The Jawa Report asks pointed questions about shady Iraqi stringers reporting “news” of American atrocities. To top off the cavalcade of happy news, Rusty throws in a story about a terrorist instruction manual that explains how to wage jihad by manipulating Google. C’mon, CENTCOM … get serious.

6 comments

  1. Tom at BizzyBlog

    Thanks SO MUCH for the work on this. I would have had NO idea how to scope this out. One of these days I need to get my web guy to get all this feed stuff right (better yet, teach me how).
    The KEY point here is that Google is treating Centcom as just another BLOG instead of as a credible news source.
    This is what I would classify as “an insult to my intelligence.”
    As my post noted in an update, Google News also includes Al Jazeera.
    I’m glad to see someone at Centcom picked up on this. Mr. Ziegler, thanks for your service, and please get the powers that be on the stick. If you’re checking other blogs during the past 24 hours, more and more bogus sources and lying stringers are being exposed. Your side (that really means “our side”) of the story (i.e., the truth) needs to get out.

  2. Anna

    Google doesn’t list them because CentCom information and facts directly dispute what the MSM has printed. See Flopping Aces and their post on how these reports that US soldiers shot and killed 11 civilians and then see that it is not true at all. No US soldiers in the area and even the Iraqi Police say no coalition forces were there!

  3. BizzyBlog

    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…

  4. Brain Shavings

    CENTCOM needs to get aggressive in the propaganda war

    With General Petraeus’ progress report on Iraq almost upon us, it’s time to revisit the propaganda war (and our military’s lack of success therein). Last year Tom Blumer wondered why CENTCOM’s news releases weren’t showing up in key places online. I sug…