Dear SMH – just fix your search engine why don’t you
Working for a customer experience consultancy, as I do, I am always on the look out for stories about customer activism or advocacy — so I was very interested in this story on the SMH about the influence of a customer in the removal of soft porn content from the Telstra BigPond service. Except it wasn’t quite the story I had read in the Saturday paper, which I have quaintly photographed and included for you below.
I wanted to archive the article in my bookmark library on Delicious, so I
- searched the article title on SMH with no luck
- searched the article title on Google with no luck
- searched the author on SMH with some luck
Now the SMH search is unreliable verging on useless at the best of times but it is usually OK for articles a few days old. Also, I didn’t expect any problems cause I had a pretty accurate search query being the title itself.
It was on the 3rd search of the author name that I recognized a pretty similar article title with pretty similar content. Surely this is something that other news junkies do? (Print title: “BigPond tips cold water on soft porn”; Online title: “Telstra pulls out of porn market after customer backlash”.)
So this blog post is a plea I guess, from a loyal reader of all formats, who still buys the paper: get your search engine to take all versions of a story into account, when a story appears differently online than it does in print. Think about the fact that readers still experience these different formats as the one entity. And just fix your search engine – unless you are trying to avoid your loyal readers finding the news on your site.
It’s just confusing otherwise, and really it just shouldn’t be such hard work.