We knew it was coming, and we knew the New York Times was “getting” SEO. And it didn’t take long. The King of Content is now dominating the Google SERPs across a wide swath of the keyword space, via the re-published, re-purposed, New York Times Archives. Each “article” is re-purposed on a clean, CSS-driven text page, clearly dated TODAY and not-co-clearly labeled as “originally published” back in 1997, 1998, or whatever all the way back to 1981. Of course cross-referenced, categorized, sub-categorized, ad-infinitum.
You can check for yourself on your own “current events” topics of interest. Look for query.nytimes.com (search results) and topics.nytimes.com (archives) showing up in the #1 spot for search phrases, as if the re-published content was “fresh news”. Via Google referral, many of them are full articles. Via the New York Times archive search pages, my tests mostly returned pay-per-article results sets. Yes, there are ads on the pages.
Clearly if Google is going to rank “newly published” results as most relevant in a SERP, there is a nice big fat incentive to “re-publish” such archives fairly often. I wonder what the plan is, and what the monetization looks like?
[Update: Within a few hours of this post Google updated the SERPs.The result set mentioned in the comments was apparently "hand edited" - the NYT no longer ranks for that result. I just did my own re-check of one of my queries and it's still query.nyt as #1 and topics at number 4. I suppose if it were important to me, I would list them here and get the NYT removed. Isn't that good to know? (that was "sarcasm", by the way)]