PCC gets SEO in new ruling on online corrections


Mirror URL which could land them in court

More from the PCC following yesterday’s Twitter ruling: new guidance on online corrections shows a surprising awareness of search engine optimisation techniques.

Among other points of the guidance are that:

  • “Care must be taken that the URL of an article does not contain information that has been the subject of successful complaint. If an article is amended, then steps should be taken to amend the URL, as necessary.
  • “Online corrections and apologies should be tagged when published to ensure that they are searchable.”

The guidance addresses a recurring problem with news reports which are corrected after subs see sense – but whose HTML and URL continue to display information which could land the publisher in court – for example that shown in the image above (from here) and below, from this post.(Thanks to Martin Belam for finding the main image) – if you can recall the others, let me know.

UPDATE: Thanks to Malcolm Coles for pointing me to some prime candidates at the end of this Robots.txt file

UPDATE 2: Here’s another one from Malcolm: even newspapers who change their URL can still be found out.

Daily Mail article - corrected text, but original HTML

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4 thoughts on “PCC gets SEO in new ruling on online corrections

  1. Andy Mabbett

    The PCC’s advice is bad, or at best inadequately specific.

    If a published URL such as that in your first example – which may be indexed by search engines, bookmarked, printed on paper, linked to by third parties or otherwise still in circulation – contains false information or implication, then it should be redirected (status 301 “moved permanently”) to the corrected article or to a stand-alone correction, at a more suitable URL.

    Returning a 404 “not found” error code might be seen as indicating an administrative error, or as a routine time-based deletion, rather than a correction.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention PCC gets SEO in new ruling on online corrections | Online Journalism Blog -- Topsy.com

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention PCC gets SEO in new ruling on online corrections | Online Journalism Blog -- Topsy.com

  4. Pingback: The Sun changes its story – but not the URL | Online Journalism Blog

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