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Publishers get early look at new Google tool, Google News tips and other SEO best practices: What we read this week (8/28)

Each week the News Dashboard staff reads dozens of articles about Google, search engine optimization, digital publishing and the news industry.

Take a look at the stories or tips we think you should be on your radar.

Google teams with German, Brazil publishers on new product

On August 20, Google announced it gave publishers in Germany and Brazil early access to a set of publishing tools to help test new features coming to Google News and Google Discover.

The announcement was an update to release the company made in June which outlined a new licensing program for news publishers.

Quote: “We’re also discussing paywall integrations, where Google would pay for free access to allow readers to read articles on a publisher’s site. This will help paywalled publishers grow their audience and deepen their relationship with readers.”

Our thoughts: We’re a fan of anything that helps get more funds into the hands of money-strapped publishers. We mostly have technical questions about how these integrations will work and how end-users will be affected. For example: What kind of (if any) changes will publishers need to make to existing web code in order to participate?

How to: Google Web Stories

Carlos Alonso and Vahe Arabian at State of Digital Publishing pulled together a great overview of Google Web Stories. Formally called AMP Stories, Google rebranded it to Web Stories in May.

Google Web Stories benefits:

  • Embeddable everywhere
  • Browser neutral
  • Quick loading
  • Discoverable

State of Digital Publishing gives several top-notch examples of Web Stories produced by major news publishers. The examples are definitely worth checking out.

Our thoughts: Google continues to emphasize Google Web Stories. If publishers have the resources they should experiment with the platform.

Everything you need to know about web analytics is now as ubiquitous in the publishing realm as Google Analytics, Crowd Tangle and Chartbeat. In early July, the team published a lengthy how-to guide on web analytics.

Questions the post addresses include:

  • What is web analytics?
  • What is the right analytics tool for my company?
  • Which metrics should I track?

Clearly the guide is targeted at novice audience analysts and SEOs, but that’s OK! It’s a great starter course for deeper audience analysis tools and techniques.

Hacking Google News: Demystifying the “black box”

News Dashboard SEO Strategist Extraordinaire Chelsey Heath appeared as a featured panelist on an iZooto webinar earlier this week. Heath gives a survey of the Google News landscape and offers insights into how publishers can make the most of their Google News and Google news-related ranking visibility.

Don’t forget to check out our Google News tip sheet for more tips, tricks and best practices.

Why your site may have lost rankings

During a recent Google Webmaster Central office hours, Google guru John Mueller fielded a question from a web administrator whose site has lost rankings recently despite having solid rankings previously.

Mueller gives four reasons why your site may loose rankings.

The reasons:

  1. Top rankings are temporary
  2. The Internet is a moving target
  3. Google’s algorithm changes
  4. Your audience may change

Search Engine Journal breaks down each reason here, or you can watch the full video below.


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Read more

What news publishers have in common with Fortnite and unraveling Google Discover’s mysteries: What we read this week (8/21)

Google ‘People Cards,’ a paywalled content alert app and what a world without cookies could look like (8/14) 

What’s next for big tech? Google Web Stories and how Google evaluates SERP changes: What we read this week (8/7)

Coronavirus domain winners, Google’s day in front of Congress and revenue sharing: What we read this week (7/31)