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Fidel Castro Resigns : Search Engine Coverage of the Historical Event

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Fidel Castro Resigns : Search Engine Coverage of the Historical Event

Fidel Castro today announced that he will not be seeking ‘reelection’ by the Cuban Parliament to renew his position as the leader of Cuba on Sunday after nearly 50 years; which more or less marks a first step to progress in Cuba, which may transform the Revolution to more of a diplomatic one with the United States and hopefully one day lead to a Major League Baseball team in Havana.

This is probably one of the largest news stories in years, keeping the television news networks pinned on Cuba and Castro’s legacy, while also leading to a sharp incline in Castro and Cuban oriented search terms in the search engines.

Today’s Google Trends for the term ‘Castro’:

Fidel Castro Resigns : Search Engine Coverage of the Historical Event

A quick search on Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com shows widespread News Search coverage of Castro’s resignation along with some very high rankings for a neighborhood in San Francisco called Castro, and its Castro theatre.

I think that the division in results for the term ‘castro’ represents a need for search engines to alter results to answer user intent, especially on a large news day.

Google, MSN, Ask.com and Yahoo all serve news results at the top of their search results for Castro, but only Ask.com does a fine job of differentiating itself from the others and supplying the searcher with a highly relevant Castro result page with a Castro Smart Answer anchoring the results which include News, Images, Video and other multimedia.

Fidel Castro on Ask.com

I’m rather surprised that there is not a Yahoo Shortcut for Castro, or even Fidel Castro, as Yahoo has done an amazing job with its Shortcuts for sports players and musicians. Sometimes Yahoo replaces their Shortcuts with News results stories when there is a peak in news coverage for a term. However, after searching for other Heads of State like George W. Bush, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Sarkozy, there are no Yahoo Shortcuts set up for Heads of State.

If Lebron James and Kid Rock gets their own Yahoo Shortcuts, shouldn’t the democratically elected President of the United States and other Historical icons receive such an honor?

Surely there is a problem here.

Looking at Ask.com; Lula, Chavez, Bush and Sarkozy all have their own educational Smart Answers. Searching on Ask.com is in itself an educational experience, like dusting off a collection of encyclopedias which has not been touched in ages, just without the dust.

After looking at these searches in all of the major engines, I come to the conclusion that Ask.com serves much more educational search results for such political and Internationally aware queries , and would be the only search engine I would recommend to a student looking for more information on these world leaders. On a day like today, when my eight year old nephew asks me “Who is Fidel Castro?” I would feel incredibly confident sending him to Ask.com to find his answers.

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Loren Baker

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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