Why Hit Pieces Outperform Honest Journalism

Why Hit Pieces Outrank Honest Journalism (And How To Fix It)

In Dealing With Haters by Chad FahlmanLeave a Comment

'Alt-Right' equals lazy journalism.

Don't believe me?

Take a shot for every headline mentioning the alt-right, far-right, or white nationalism.

(Now stop. I need you sober to read.)

I've noticed hit pieces outrank honest media. Even if the piece is shit with no engagement. 

Here's what I think is going on and how to fix it.

Let's take Lauren Southern for example. She's an activist, journalist, and hedgehog lover exposing white oppression in South Africa.

South Africa votes through motion that could lead to seizure of land from white farmers without compensation.

Seems like a big deal.

There were 2 articles recently published about her. One by Breitbart and the other a hit piece by Right Wing Watch.

Searching her name in Google News returns the following.

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I wondered why Right Wing Watch outranked Breitbart. It was a response to Breitbart's earlier interview after all.

Was the former getting more shares or comments? Not even close.

Here's the score at time of writing.

BREITBART
3 May 2018

Facebook Shares: 5.95k
Comments: 1,764
Linking to: 3

RIGHT WING WATCH
1 May 2018

Facebook Shares: 134
Comments: 0
Linking to: 3.

Social engagement couldn't be a factor. I ran both articles through a tool called SEMRush.

That's where I found my answer.

BREITBART

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RIGHT WING WATCH

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Organic search traffic are visitors that arrive by natural Google search. No ad referrals.

We can see which search terms lead to the articles.

BREITBART

Image

RIGHT WING WATCH

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South African white genocide has been trending since South Africa passed the motion. 

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South Africans connect the dots.

Lauren tip-toed around the phrase stating, "I fear there is going to be the beginning stages of what many would call genocide." That may have been the article's downfall.

Right Wing Watch does use the phrase in addition to actually putting Lauren's name in the article.

Her full name is mentioned in both titles yet Right Wing Watch put it in the body.

What Can We Learn From This?

Trends change and what ranks news now may not later. Ms. Southern may have benefited had Breitbart done keyword research.

Terms like Alt-Right and Far-Right serve another purpose than maligning opponents. They're trending and rank articles higher in 2018.

I personally think keywords are less important than getting in front of your ideal audience.

Recall that Breitbart's piece has far more shares. More than Right Wing Watch has views.

Why do you think an article ranks higher than another? Comment below.

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