'Commonwealth Confidential' owns its Google Search, does your newspaper blog?

Last month I mentioned the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Harrisburg bureau Commonwealth Confidential blog didn’t own its own name in a Web search.

Well, a Google search today shows that they got it right now. Why’d it take so long and what else can we learn?

The name of their blog, Commonwealth Confidential, isn’t in its Web address, which, of course, is a heavy way to help search fields find it. Instead, the address is philly.com/philly/blogs/harrisburg_politics.

That could mean only two things to me. Either, when designed or to date, the Inqy’s Web people weren’t so sure about the name and wanted to be flexible.

More likely – and more hopefully – they’re hoping for increased hits via Web searches for “Harrisburg politics,” which they’ve done just fine. I do wonder if there wouldn’t be a greater net yield for searches for “Pennsylvania politics,” for which the Inquirer doesn’t even register, but that isn’t much the point. There are lessons to be had for every newspaper news blog.

If someone is looking for news on “Harrisburg politics,” I wonder if the Inqy wants the yield to be exclusively blog posts, considering from newspapers they are typically extra news not worthy a full-length story. Working with its CMS, I’d like to see newspapers develop Web sites in which related news stories can run in the same forum.

That is, if I find “Commonwealth Confidential,” why aren’t the Harrisburg bureau’s stories also available from that RSS stream? That would give one focused tap for “Harrisburg politics” and news from the Inqy and would let you show visitors from Web searches to see the best of your content.

What’s more, being on a blog essentially called “Harrisburg politics,” would only help the Inqy Harrisburg stories steal clicks from the Morning Call, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other competing Pennsylvania papers, perhaps even the Patriot-News.

I’ll only briefly mention that putting your newspaper stories in an effective blog format would finally give readers simple, permanent links from their Wed address bar, instead of moving stories around as most newspapers foolishly do now.

Header courtesy of Commonwealth Confidential.

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