Every week Associated Content puts out assignments for reviews of TV shows. I have been claiming the American Idol reviews that include individual performance as well as an overall performance review. These reviews are published as display only through the News template which means the article needs to sit in the queue until it gets approved. I broke down the page views of my American Idol articles based on how they were published.
This week I changed how I published these reviews. I was convinced that my reviews were losing page views because they sat in the queue for 14-16 hours before they were published so I opted to just publish them as display only. The problem was that the articles would not go out on the news feed. So which way is better to publish reviews, through the news template or as a display only piece?
Advantages of Publishing through the News Template
The articles you submit to the news template will go out on AC’s news feed. This means that your article has the potential to reach a broader audience instead of it sitting around waiting for people to search for the information.
Disadvantages of Publishing through the News Template
If your article is time sensitive then it will sit in the queue awaiting approval. Sometimes it will sit for less than an hour but it can be there for up to 24 hours. AC says that news is published within hours and that is true but my AI articles were written at 10pm EST and they weren’t reviewed and published until at least 1pm the following day.
Advantages of Publishing Display Only
When you publish an article as a display only then it publishes immediately. There is not waiting for approval.
Disadvantages of Publishing Display Only
Your article has to be found through a Google search (or other search engine) or another news feed will have to pick it up. There is also an issue as to how fast Google will index the article. If the article doesn’t index then no one can find it if they search for it.
Results of Publishing through the News Template
I published a total of seven American Idol articles through the news template. They averaged 502 page views per article in the first two days. They ranged from 173-1312 page views depending on the article.
These articles were published at 1pm the day after the performances or 14 hours after they were written. These articles were tweeted the day they were published with HootSuite reporting 43 clicks.
Results of Publishing Display Only
I published only four American Idol articles as display only. They averaged 474 page views per article in the first two days. The page views ranged from 86-1106.
These articles were published within an hour after the show aired by 10:30pm. Only two of the four articles were indexed within the first two hours. All four articles were indexed by 7am the following morning (8 hours after they were written). These articles were also tweeted that night and the next day. HootSuite reported a total of 86 clicks.
Is it Better to Publish as Display Only or News?
This question really boils down to this: Is an article published immediately more important than getting it out on the news feed?
I don’t think that tweeting the articles made a difference. Maybe I don’t have enough followers (223) but with only a total of 129 clicks I don’t think it was worth my time to set up the tweets. All articles were two pages so at the most Twitter gave me 258 page views. Between the two weeks it took about 3 hours of scheduling, retweeting and chatting to promote the articles on Twitter.
This non-scientific experiment has led me to conclude that it may be slightly better to submit through the news template even if the articles don’t get published until hours later. The highest page view articles were both reviews of the same contestant. The ideal situation would be to be able to publish through the news template 24 hours a day.
This was a fun experiment but the page views were not worth the time spent to write the articles. I will probably still do some American Idol articles because I do like to see the spike in page views and they are fun to write.