In an interview with The Financial Timesthis week, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt (pictured, right) said he had considered buying a newspaper but decided instead to help papers’ websites better position themselves to make money from online advertising. That could mean any number of things. But here’s a suggestion if he’s looking for a good first project: Help papers understand how to climb higher in search results, something that many no-name blogs have already mastered.
Consider the following example. The New York Times ran a cover story yesterday about a terrorist bombing plot in the Bronx, which was covered by newspapers all over the world. But if you typed “Bronx Bombing Plot” into Google search yesterday morning, most newspapers were being outranked in the search results by small blogs and TV sites. Here’s what we found:
—The top three media names in the search results: Xinhua, China’s state-run wire service, followed by ABC News, and the New York Times.
—Blogs are placing much higher than newspapers: Just below the New York Times is a blog owned by MSNBC (another TV network) called Newsvine, followed by blogs called Memeorandum and Beltway Blips. Then comes the Daily News, but after that, you get lost in a sea of small blogs — newsonfeeds.com, macsmind.com, brokencontrollers.com and goatmilk.wordpress.com, to name a few.
—Smaller papers can get in on the action too: The Salem-Winston Journal placed a respectable eighth in the rankings.