It’s the mantra of tabloid editors everywhere – bad news is good news as bad news sells papers. But with the face of news changing, and many people accessing news and information online, is this true anymore?
If you are a brand or business the use of news content is important to keep your online presence buoyant, as social media networks like Facebook have changed their algorithms to favour news content. But should you use this as an opportunity to grab web users’ interests by focusing on the negative, just like the tabloid editors? Google think not, as their coverage of the World Cup has proved.
During the tournament Google had a team of researchers analysing search requests during games, using the top queries to create news they believe will be the most shareable, but keeping an upbeat feel to the news feeds.
So even after Brazil’s cataclysmic 7-1 defeat to Germany, Google focused on stories based on searches like ‘highest score in a world cup victory’ rather than stories based on Brazil’s ‘shame’.
In a statement, Google said: “Our social channels exist to share interesting and relevant information to the people who want to hear from us. Unlike your average 16-year-old, we don’t share every single thing we might have to say. Throughout the World Cup, we’ve shared more than 150 titbits in 13 languages looking at Leaping Legends to Waving the Flag and everything in between. If people want more, they can always use google.com/trends to see what topics are trending at the time. Our primary goal, more than anything else, is to share what matters most at the moment to the most people. And, it’s good to have that goal, as we don’t want to have to rely on penalty kicks.”
So, rely on bad news to grab attention, or follow Google’s lead and stick to the sunny side? You decide…