Google announced yesterday that it would launch an experimental program to change the way online media presents the news, in partnership with the New York Times and Washington Post.
The pilot program, called "Living Story," will demonstrate the possibility of all content relevant to a given story being centralized within a single, dynamic webpage. Google says that the traditional "inverted pyramid" model of newspaper storytelling – a holdover from the days of the telegraph – carries some disadvantages when used on the web, including that bane of search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners, duplicate content.
The Living Story app will use tracking cookies to ensure that it only displays content that has been added to a given story since the user’s last visit, and Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land says that editors will have full control over the amount of content displayed on the page. There is some speculation that listing only partial stories on the Living Story site could improve search engine optimization (SEO) by encouraging click-throughs.
Journalism and the world of search have had a contentious relationship in recent years, as traditional revenue sources for newspapers dry up and online news sites struggle.