Josh Cohen Interview: Comment Here

In this interview with Josh Cohen of Google News, we go into a lot of detail on the inner workings of Google News. Perhaps the most interesting bit of information was confirmation that Google uses click data as a ranking factor for Google News. If the Google News team is using it, it seems likely that the web team is using it as well. This is something that has been long suspected, but I am not sure I have seen it confirmed before.

We also cover other aspects of what Google News requires, and how it can be an important way that sites who publish news oriented content can obtain visibility for themselves. Check it out!


  1. says

    hi Eric,
    I’ve often wondered if and when google will start factoring clicks into web rankings. It certainly makes sense for news stories. For website ranking, the only problem I see is the “self fulfilling prophesy” aspect of it… that is, the number one site usually gets the most clicks anyways, which would then keep it as the number one site.
    ~ Scott

  2. says

    hi again Eric,
    I guess I should have read the interview with Josh before posting my comment above. :)
    He explains that if, lets say, the #4 result consistently gets more clicks than the sites above it, that might be an indicator that it should be moved up. This makes more sense to me.
    But since Josh explains it much better, I’ll just quote him:
    Per Josh, “I would say another really important signal for us in recent quarters has been the user behavior. Their behavior has become a really helpful signal for us in trying to determine that same trusted quality of a given source. So in a given cluster, the first link will get the most clicks, the second gets less clicks, and the third, the fourth, and so on, keep getting fewer and fewer clicks. But, if you look at a user who comes in, and instead of clicking on that first link which is what they were “supposed to do,” and instead let’s say they click on the fourth link; that is a very strong signal about both the source that they clicked on and also the three sources above it that they didn’t click on, even though they were “supposed to” click on that.”
    Great interview! Thanks. Cheers, Scott
    PS. It appears that your commenter’s links don’t work. :(

  3. says

    Hi Scott – thanks for your comments. I will have to look into the reasons why the commenter’s links aren’t working. However, I am not a PHP programmer, so I may need to get some help on that.

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