Is this far-right tabloid newspaper successfully gaming Google's news search results?

by Baumr   Last Updated November 08, 2018 20:04 PM

If you search for "weather uk" in Google's news tab, the top-three result fields look fishy. The only non-tabloid newspaper appearing there is The Independent:

Top 4 results of The Daily Express dominating Google SERPs

There no highly-acclaimed newspapers, or reputable weather channels appearing at the top.

Scrolling further down, and visiting other pages, it becomes clear that The Daily Express tabloid is dominating the results.

It appears in the first 4+ pages almost exclusively:

Further SERPs on page 1 with Daily Express tricking Google?

This continues page after page.

Now, that's for just a simple, generic query like "weather uk".

However, with many other search queries that I've tried — political, social, economic, etc., they also not only rank first, but dominate the SERPs below on the first page:

The Daily Express dominating "brexit" SERPS in Google News

My questions are:

  1. Does it look like they are gaming Google's search results for news?
  2. What could they be doing?
  3. Is there a way to alert Google to investigate this without having direct proof (e.g. such as spammy links, or questionable on-page practices)?

Answers 1

I doubt that they are gaming it. The Express, regardless of its objective merits or lack thereof, is one of the UK’s most popular newspapers. And it’s notorious for publishing lots of weather stories based on dodgy long-term forecasts from publicity-seeking pseudo-meteorologists, because those (along with equally dodgy stories about house prices and things that cause/prevent cancer) are what sell newspapers to its target audience. And so it’s not surprising that it should perform well on searches for UK weather.

Mike Scott
Mike Scott
November 08, 2018 19:37 PM

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