This week I wrote about Google News and the benefits of being included in Google News, however I have noticed a great many sites that are listed that don’t deserve to be listed, either through offering poor quality content, duplicate content or content hidden behind login pages.
For example, this week I was looking for some news on business travel for a particular website and found the website for airflights.co.uk listed in Google News. The article listed seemed very suspicious so I ran it through Copyscape and found that sure enough, it was taken from an article directory.
Not strictly against the rules of the article site, but certainly against Google’s TOS. You can’t duplicate content from other websites and expect to rank for it. However, not only have airflights.co.uk duplicated content, they managed to get that content listed with Google News, which is ridiculous. Does this mean that Google’s news service is going to become full of duplicate content and spam results?
It shouldn’t as Google News has a manual review process in order to gain entry, so anything like this really should flagged up. Checking Copyscape is one of the first things I do when I look at a website for SEO, so you’d think Google would be on top of that, wouldn’t you?
Even so I filed a spam report for Google, so hopefully they’ll do something about it, but history shows that spam reports filed to Google don’t necessarily have much impact.
We’ll see if this one gets anywhere as I’ll be monitoring Google News for airflights.co.uk to see if their duplicate content continues to get indexed as news, when it isn’t.