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USAToday.com is Cheating Google News

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USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Sherry Goldberg 7/3/13 8:35 PM
I have logged into Google News multiple times today to see what's new in entertainment and I keep seeing the same USAToday.com articles at the top. What's strange -- or cheating -- is that the times on the articles keep refreshing to 1 minute old every couple minutes so that they remain at the top. There are articles over a day old now, according to the date and time published on the article at USAToday.com, that still keep refreshing to 1 minute old to remain at the top.

https://news.google.com/news/section?pz=1&cf=all&topic=e&ict=ln

Someone needs to shut whatever they are doing down as it's completely ruining seeing new content on Google News.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News chrz 7/4/13 9:12 PM
Hi Sherry,

Thank you for the report - I'll see if I can recreate the same thing and have the team look into it.

You can also help by going to the bottom of the results page and clicking on the 'send feedback' link - then you can send a note and provide additional information through their questionnaire,

Chris
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Sherry Goldberg 7/5/13 8:04 AM
Thank you, Chris. I used the "send feedback" link the same time I wrote in this forum that I found while searching, though the exact example I used in that is no longer valid. There are plenty of new ones as it appears to still be going on as of this morning (Friday) on many articles.

The easiest way to spot it is to look at the main "Entertainment" section page, spot the USA Today articles that are at top for each story cluster, and then refresh for a couple minutes until the time resets.

The "Silver Shines Again in Lone Ranger" and "Way Way Back makes a refreshing summer splash" articles I saw on there yesterday, and both say less than a half hour old right now a day later.

I just captured the attached screenshot and you can see USA Today is 5 of the 8 stories, and all have young times on them that keep refreshing down to a minute at seemingly staggered times. It is happening in other sections as well, including the Google News homepage, so I'd be surprised if I am not the only one who is complaining about their blatant attempt to monopolize news stories for extended periods of time at the expense of ruining the diversity that makes Google News special to begin with.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News chrz 7/5/13 2:34 PM
Hi Sherry,

Thanks again, I've pass this info along to the team,

Chris
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News ca209 7/5/13 5:28 PM
I notice this exact same thing. I'm a Tour de France fan and notice that USA Today tend to have articles at the top of searches all the time. Just a couple hours after the 7th stage of the Tour de France, I saw their 6th stage news story was still at the top of the page and updated about 30 minutes ago (at that time). This is just wrong!
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Procrastinator 7/5/13 5:34 PM
Give them hell Lance! Lol. Seriously, it would be nice if there were a more judicial sharing of ranking, though I must confess I was recent recipient of generous Editors' picks run.

This forum is great because it is the sole way to communicate with the editors.

Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Sherry Goldberg 7/7/13 3:36 PM
It's still going on and has been awful since when I first noticed it on about July 3. Yesterday USA Today had the top SFO plane crash article resetting its publication time every 5 minutes or so for hours on end. Today they have the top Entertainment section for a Lone Ranger article doing the same thing, resetting the time every 2-5 minutes by whatever nefarious means so that no one else can be at the top for virtually the entire day. This is happening across all sections of Google News.

I sincerely hopes that Google News takes some kind of action ASAP as this is clear manipulation. However I doubt that they will penalize a large publication like USA Today and "pause" them as a news source while the technicians figure out how USA Today has managed to cheat the system.  That is assuming the system is being cheated and it isn't happening with Google News' consent.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News chrz 7/8/13 6:15 AM
HI Sherry,

I don't know either, but things like this can take time to look in to, especially considering we are just getting off a holiday weekend :) 

Chris
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Sherry Goldberg 7/8/13 7:18 PM
Thank you, Chris. Please let me know if your team needs any additional screenshots. The USAToday.com article publish time resetting is in full swing this evening.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News chrz 7/9/13 7:25 AM
Your welcome - I think they have the details they need, 

It is being looked in to by the team,

Chris
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News gnews_threats 7/11/13 8:47 PM
I too have seen this taking place. Both the BBC and USA Today are dominating stories as they are repeatedly refreshed every 20 minutes or so. 
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Sherry Goldberg 7/16/13 12:11 PM
Chris, I commented in a thread another poster started for the same issue. Any updates? The issue is still prevalent.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News chrz 7/16/13 6:32 PM
I haven't received an updates but I know they are looking into it. 

Do let me know please when you do see changes - 

Chris
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News googlenews5783901 7/17/13 8:54 AM
This one is going it again. 

Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News googlenews5783901 7/17/13 11:38 AM
And this one now: 

Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News googlenews5783901 7/17/13 12:40 PM
The most popular section of the entertainment page on Google News is nearly all USA Today articles -- all of which are show they were added less than 20 minutes ago.

Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News googlenews5783901 7/17/13 1:15 PM
And now Discovery News seems to have their article refreshing on the science page of Google News. 
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News gnews_threats 7/17/13 1:59 PM
These pieces are dominating the Google New science page:


Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News googlenews5783901 7/18/13 8:44 AM
Guess what? Another glitchy topic group. 


Nice job, Google News. You guys are brilliant.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News googlenews5783901 7/19/13 7:40 AM
Another day, another set of refreshes. 


Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News nikkitheking 7/23/13 10:01 AM
I can see the same error in Google news for India. It seems Google took the Last Updated time from this page http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Mumbai/Congress-gets-a-bill-of-troubles-over-Mumbai-restaurant-shutdown/Article1-1097188.aspx and showed that the news was published 1 hour ago when I searched at exactly that 1 hour mark after the Last Updated time. Seems like a bug with Google!
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Zazoo 7/27/13 12:38 PM
I've noticed this as well, certain sites will get all the top spots in search for certain key words.

I think this is changed because of the spam and the anti spam algorithm but it also makes smaller bloggers suffer. How are we supposed to get organic search traffic if we can't even rank higher in search unless we are a huge news corporation or a popular news blog with already have built in traffic?

What I was told is that usually outsourced reviewers will review sites and manually mark them down by human reviewer if they are not a big news site, what bugs me is we want FRESH news, many people complain that even in search they are only putting articles that are old at top, while fresher news articles from smaller sites who are not big entities are flushed away and only show up on sort by date.

Another thing is someone told me that much of this has to do with Adsense, many news blogs have adsense and there was a time when these spam copy scrapers were overrunning google news and were making money from adsense, the ones who suffered were the advertisers who were paying to put their ads because they were getting invalid clicks or the people click their ad didn't convert to being actual customers so they took a loss.

Whatever it is, it is going to be extremely hard to rank highly on search or on google news again unless you pay advertising space and get more traffic that way.


Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News gogoi 7/29/13 9:32 AM
i have also noticed this. but this isn't with USA today only. This is with some other big websites as well.

their old news are shown as fresh by Google News. I think the glitch is with Google News.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Procrastinator 7/29/13 10:05 AM
I appreciate the effort here to have Google News deliver traffic in a more democratic way, but I'm pretty sure Google News knows who is benefitting the most. Have you looked at which of the big sites integrate Google ads in their pages? Not all of them do. That would be a consideration too. 
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News chrz 7/29/13 7:22 PM
I don't believe AdSense ads are a positive factor in ranking in Google and Google News.

Don't know for sure of course, but some studies indicate that heavy use/above the fold use of AdSense (and other ads) can be a negative influence,

Chris
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Julie McCormick 8/21/13 3:42 PM
This issue is still going on.  I've noticed that Cleveland.com (The Plain Dealer's website) is also doing this.  A story posted yesterday showed up again in Google news as having been posted in the morning, and then later in the day it shows in Google News as having been posted later in the afternoon.  And that's just one example. 

What the heck is going on?  This should not take WEEKS to resolve. 


I've always preferred Google News to get my news, but this is really annoying me.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Gareth78 8/22/13 6:55 AM

I'm seeing the same thing today when clicking on the Google Doodle article (in the UK). The Guardian have remained top all day due to the time-stamp updating (on Google) every 30 mins or so. The strange thing is that the article time-stamp states it was last updated at 07:54 this morning. It's now 14:51. 

Something very strange is happening and it doesn't seem fair to the smaller publishers. Google should distribute the traffic evenly!
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News AmirK 8/22/13 8:28 AM

Hi Gareth,

You are correct. It seems The Guardian is in someway violating Google News rules. I just searched for the same term that you did (Claude Debussy), and here is the result: "The Guardian ‎- by Keith Stuart ‎- 14 minutes ago"
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Julie McCormick 8/22/13 8:43 AM
I've also seen it on Ohio.com stories today.

It is not fair to other publishers......and not fair to readers.  I go looking for NEW news...find a story saying it was recently published, only to find out it was actually published yesterday when I click through.

Anyone gonna fix this?  This is a major problem.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Gareth78 8/22/13 9:17 AM
Just checked this article again and it seems the Guardian have updated the date published to 16:32 (previously (07:54 this morning). Multiple factors are influencing the time stamp within Google it seems, although this one the Guardian are manipulating (how can an article have 2 publication dates?)

Come on Google, wake up!
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News noembed42 10/4/13 4:25 PM
Hoping for an update on this.  Months later now and not only has the problem not been solved, it seems to have gotten worse.  More publishers are starting to follow USA Today's lead and use incorrect dates in order to fool Google News into thinking their content is new, when it is not. Likely they felt they had no choice, since this tactic has basically allowed USA Today to take over all facets of Google News. 

This continues to be a real problem.  Has there been any response from Google on this at all? 
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News latolund 10/17/13 3:05 PM
Chris, was this ever resolved? I'm still seeing the timestamp issue.
Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News gnews_threats 10/19/13 11:28 AM
Seriously Google News, how is this still going on? It seems to be especially bad when a topic has a lot of sources going after it. I don't think this is a publishers trying to game the system, but rather an astounding level of incompetence among those working at Google News.

Fix the damn problem. 


Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News Paolo19 11/15/13 11:53 PM
Hi, I confirm that the problem is spreading also in Italy (news.google.it) and the bad technique is not from big websites, but by some blogs that when other sites have published a news, is changing the article date to stay on top. This is the situation in the section health: it seems that this blog has taken the section over! 


Re: USAToday.com is Cheating Google News TibiP 11/30/13 8:49 AM
Yeah. so it seems nobody cares. Our website was kicked out of G news 1 year ago although we never violated the rules. I'm still submitting induction orders from time to time , but i always get rejected. Meanwhile, big sites keep gaming G News on a daily basis. Terrible, terrible content management. 


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