06 January 2022

A Year of Yahoos

This post should not be confused with Year-end Yahoos (December 2021), my Yahoos' post covering the last month of 2021. For an explanation of 'Yahoos', see the note at the end of this post.

The charts below show some basic data across the 12 Yahoo posts for 2021. I recorded a total of 1133 stories for the entire year. For some reason, the number of news stories for January 2021 was less than later months. Starting in November, Google News changed its algorithm for selecting results of a news search; see the November and December (above) posts for details.

Left: Number of stories returned by Google News on the date of the monthly post.
Right: Top news sources over the 12 months of the year.

The chart on the right shows sources that had five or more stories for the year, a total of 21 different sources out of the 367 recorded for the year. The following table gives a count of sources that had five or fewer stories for the year.

5 stories, 4 sources
4 stories, 9 sources
3 stories, 10 sources
2 stories, 43 sources
1 story, 284 sources

It's no surprise that Chess.com was the top source for the year. It was the top source for each of the 12 months, always by a wide margin. It's also no surprise that the next three sources -- Chessbase, USchess, and Chess24 -- are chess sites with active, well respected news departments. As for 5th and 6th -- the Guardian and the Financial Times -- they are both associated with Leonard Barden.

Last on the chart is the original 'Yahoo News', although its count is misleading. There were four different Yahoo sources in 2021, including three stories from 'Yahoo Finance', for a total of 10 real Yahoos. A similar narrative holds for 'Fox News', listed above with five stories. There were five other Fox sources, each with a single story : 'Fox 28 Spokane' is one example.

I could go on about other statistics -- 78 stories with 'Carlsen' in the title vs. 20 with 'Nepomniachtchi'. Along with these there were 26 'Kasparov' stories, seven 'Netflix', and even two 'Fischer' stories, etc. etc.

The 188 stories without 'chess' in the title make me wonder how Google News chooses its chess stories. One example was titled 'Framingham Council asks administration to review transferring management of Pearl Street Garage'. Hint: It was dated the same day I recorded the results of the news search and mentioned,

"It’s a chess piece that’s been on the table for a long time," said Stefanini. "...This simple move is the first piece in a series of moves to advance the vitality of the downtown area."

I could go on and on, but I'll stop the stats here and promise to be back at the end of the month to start a new year of Yahoos. Will 'PogChamps' in 2022 beat its record of 26 stories in 2021? Only time will tell.

[Yahoos (mainstream news stories about chess) are derived from Google News top-100 (or so) stories from the past month.]

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