New search engine has appeal for journalists

A new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, recently was unveiled. The Online Journalism Blog notes that “Its use of databases and semantic search should be particularly exciting for journalists because a) it searches parts of the ‘hidden web’ that most search engines don’t reach (i.e. databases); and b) it has the potential to throw up quick answers to questions about relationships and facts that Google is also not great at.” Definitely worth a look for anyone doing research for a story.

New factor in writing: SEO

Search Engine Optimization is the use of techniques to ensure “that your content is found by the millions of people every day who use search engines as their first filter for news and those who don’t search at all but trust an automated aggregator, such as Google News, to filter stories for them,” according to Shane Richmond in the British Journalism Review. One consequence of using SEO techniques is that writers need to tailor their copy to be found more readily. While some writers complain about those restrictions, Richmond notes that

It should be clear by now that there’s nothing to debate when it comes to SEO. If you want your story to be found, you have to adopt these techniques. There’s no room for argument.