Business surveillance & privacy

Telegraph totty – politics and page impressions

Websites that carry adverts are typically paid based in terms of £/$/E1 per 1k page impressions. The more visitors the more page impressions and the longer you can keep them on site browsing through different articles the better. It’s all about dosh.

If you look at any particular post you see many inducements to stay in the site. “Related articles” or “More from the Telegraph”. You will see that recently we have started to add such links on and are in the process of getting to grips with whether this can be automated when the new site goes live.

It’s quite amusing therefore when reading a serious article on calls for DCMS Minster Maria Miller to resign to see that the Telegraph’s presumably automated system of determining which links to include come up with what appear to be “female” related posts. They don’t appear particularly relevant unless the Telegraph knows something we don’t2.

telegraph totty mariamiller_300















I make no comment here on whether Mrs Miller should be sacked or not.

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1Pounds $hillings and pEnce
2The screenshots are from the mobile version of the site which seems to have different links to the desktop site but hey…

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

2 replies on “Telegraph totty – politics and page impressions”

If you look at the desktop display of their site you’ll see a ‘Related Articles’ bit mid-article that does appear relevant and probably uses her name as a ‘tag’ for its sorting. By contrast the bottom “More from the telegraph” bit is most likely just summarising articles by a combination of factors like date and popularity.

You do need to be careful with ‘Related Article’ code though, it’s very easy to stress your database by having too many tags, outputting too many ‘related’ articles or searching too far back in time. I try to limit ours to only checking against “primary” tags but I really must add a date limit to stop the MySQL queries getting too tedious.

It would be interesting to know how this automated logic copes with longer-term technical matters and whether some manipulation is possible to reduce the exposure of really uncomfortable political matters.

E.g. I added a comment to a FT article but it was later in the day removed presumably at the request of an interested party. However I had taken the precaution of copying the text into our own web site and I reproduced it here too:-

The sad thing is that there has been no follow up yet from the Editor.

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