Opportunities with Search for Newspapers

This post was written by Darcy Katzman on February 20, 2009
Posted Under: Federated Search,Reviews,The Deep Web

Peter Krasilovsky of the Newspaper Association of America just posted an article regarding the value of web-based search to newspaper organizations (read the article).

In the article, he very briefly discusses federated search and the value to newspapers.  He says, “A near relative of enterprise search is federated search. It is an effort to collect all forms of content –articles, archives, advertising and classifieds — and organize them so they are all displayed in response to a user’s query (i.e. searching for “pizza” yields results that include reviews, ratings advertising for pizza restaurants and even job listings for pizza delivery. Seattle Times.com, Boston.com and StarTribune.com are all using federated search.)”

He goes on to say, “Federated search is especially helpful for newspapers that have multiple websites.”  With all due respect to Mr. Krasilovsk, he is promoting a common misconception about federated search.  Federated search makes it possible to search other search engines, aggregating all the results, de-duplicating them and producing a ranked list from multiple search engines.

This is an important distinction, because by adding true federated search to their websites, online newspapers have a tremendous opportunity to increase the value of the search results to their readers.  It’s no longer about just the information located within the news websites themselves, but about the topics of interest to their readers.  For example, a news story about breast cancer can turn up articles about the topic from the NIH, governmental sources, etc.

This makes for a richer experience for the user, giving them incentives to come back and stay longer, ultimately increasing ad revenues for the online newspaper.

Thank you, Mr. Krasilovsk. for bringing up the concept of federated search.  If you truly harness the power of federated search for newspapers, the opportunities are boundless.

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address