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YouTube embeds, the investigation into Google and licensing via Google Image Search: What we read this week (9/4)

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 SEO news or tips we think you should be on your radar.

Everything you need to know about YouTube embeds

In my previous life as a video strategist for a large daily newspaper I championed YouTube not only as a video platform, but as an SEO play. Call me vindicated.

Brian Freiesleben at gives a thorough accounting of YouTube’s effect on SEO, the inventory of ranking types in which YouTube videos can appear and how publishers can benefit from embedding YouTube videos in their stories.

The big takeaway

If you’re not already on YouTube, consider it. If you’re already on YouTube, keep at it.

Our thoughts

YouTube videos are ranking on the SERP more often now than maybe ever, according to News Dashboard data. And YouTube absolutely dominates video carousels (no surprise).

(Stay tuned for further YouTube analysis)

Anything that can help increase a publisher’s content visibility is worth a shot. Think of posting videos to YouTube as taking another bite of the SEO apple, as it were.

Justice Department lawyers on a tight timeline for Google case

The Department of Justice could bring an antitrust case against Alphabet, Google’s parent company, soon. Attorney General Bill Barr is pushing department lawyers to press forward, despite some lawyers saying they need more time to build a case, according to The New York Times.

The Justice Department opened two antitrust inquires into Google, and big tech at large, last year. One investigation reportedly focuses on Google search and its advertising business. The other probe takes a wider view and looks into alleged anti-competitive behavior across Google, Facebook and Amazon.


The Trump administration and the Republican Party in general have been skeptical of Google since 2016. President Trump in a tweet accused Google of bias.


During the Congressional antirust hearing earlier this summer Republicans accused Google, Facebook and Twitter of bias against conservative news sources and opinions. Democrats generally focused on Google’s ad software and how it helps Google dominate digital advertising.


Kenvin Rose at The New York Times reported recently that conservative voices are often the most engaged with on Facebook.

Our thoughts

State attorneys general across country support the antitrust investigations. That kind of bipartisan agreement doesn’t happen often. The Trump administration could gain politically from announcing a case against Google during this election cycle.

What’s likely to happen? It’s hard to say. All we know is that Google is pushing back against regulations in Australia. The company launched a major lobbying campaign, telling Aussies that new regulations could forever change the Internet. Some users are rallying to Google’s side.

“Licensable” images now marked in image search

Users will now see badges in Google image searches that indicate whether or not an image is licensable, Search Engine Journal reported this week.

This new feature relies on publishers providing information via markup. You can read the technical details from Google here.

This feature is entirely optional for publishers and won’t affect ranking, Google’s John Mueller said.

Our thoughts

Licensing images can be complicated especially for news publishers who may have ethics concerns. Is this a feature for everyone? No. Could it help drive revenue by leveraging a newspaper’s photo archives? Most definitely.

How newsrooms can get the most out of SaaS products

Penny Riordan, a veteran product manager formally of both GateHouse and Gannett, posted a great list of pointers to help other product managers get the most value from SaaS products.

Her tips include:
  • Set up regular meetings
  • Ask to be part of product roadmap conversations
  • Have 2-3 staffers use the product every day, and connect them to SaaS staff
Our thoughts

We agree.


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Read more

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

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)