Let me ask you this. If last year was all about Google’s war on thin content, does taking a bulletpoint list of 20 items and turning it into a 22 page slideshow make each individual page too thin? I’d say so, so maybe Google could turn its attention to penalizing the Huffington Post?
I follow the Huffington Post on Twitter and saw this tweet just now:
Interesting story, “A tale of two worlds: The highest and lowest unemployment rates in America.” OK, I’ll bite. I headed over:
Two arrows. Let’s focus on the lower one first. The story promised me the cities with the highest and lowest unemployment rates in America. But it’s not actually delivering that. None of the three paragraphs of the story actually tell me what these cities are.
Instead, to discover this, I have to start clicking to open up one of the 22 parts in all that this story is made of. To get to the cities with the highest unemployment rate, that’s 10 additional clicks:
All that, just so I can find underneath the giant photo the answer to one of the questions the story purported to provide: “Unemployment Rate: 27.2 Percent.” And to get the other city I was promised, that with the lowest unemployment, it’s another 10 clicks:
Again, all this just to get the short text: “Unemployment Rate: 2.8 percent.”
Basically, this is a single page article that could have been done with two sets of bulletpoints, one listing the ten cities with the highest unemployment in the US, the other listing those with the lowest. But the Huffington Post craptastially turns it into this unnecessary slideshow because that generates plenty of page views.
The Huffington Post is far from the only publication to do this. Business Insider is also in love with slideshows in this way. But at least BI always makes sure to provide a single-page view, so that at most, it’s only causing two clicks.
Not the Huffington Post. If there’s an option for this, I’m completely missing it. That first arrow points to a print-only version, but that only shows what’s on your current page, not the entire “article” all at once.
But hey, why stop when you still get rewarded like this:
There’s the Huffington Post article, top ranked on Google for a search on “highest unemployment.” Are those searchers really being best served by being routed into an article with a misleading headline, misleading in the sense that the only way you get the answer to your question is if you perform 20 additional clicks?