In the current media world, there is a huge debate about the importance of the visibility of a news website in order to secure its existence. Thus, search engine optimization (SEO) practices have emerged in the news media systems around the world. This study aimed to expand the current literature about the SEO practices by focusing on examining, via the walkthrough method, the ways that news companies allow the users to comment on their online news articles. The comments on the news websites are related to the notions of social influence, information diffusion, and play an essential role as a SEO practice, for instance, by providing content and engagement. The examined sample was collected by the most visited news websites' rankings of alexa.com for a global scale and for the countries Greece and Cyprus. The findings reveal that the news websites throughout the globe use similar features and ways to support the comments of the users. In the meantime, though, a high number of the news websites did not allow the users to use their social media accounts in order to comment the provided news articles, or provided multiple comment platforms. This trend goes against the SEO practices. It is believed that this finding is associated with the difficulty of the news organizations to regulate and protect themselves by the users' comments that promote, in some case harmful rhetoric and polarization.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Computer Networks and Communications
- News websites