Google News Initiative’s Realtime Content Insights for publishers now live
The new programs help news organizations with their data, including understanding data capabilities and gaps.
The Google News Initiative is a year-old set of efforts intended to help evolve publishers’ digital business models, support news organizations through technology and strengthen online journalism. The initiative released four new tools Monday to help online publishers understand and segment their audiences with a subscription strategy in mind. Two of the tools are widely available; the other two are in closed beta to a select few publishers.
Realtime Content Insights. Available to any publisher that uses Google Analytics (GA), RCI offers a more robust version of the real-time data in GA. It shows the top articles in realtime and past 30 minutes, realtime readers by geography and referal source.
RCI also has a tab that offers “Trends in Your Region” insights to show trending topics using data from Google Trends and Twitter. Publishers can use this information to gauge reader interests, analyze article placement, improve user experience and optimize headlines.
Data Maturity Benchmark. Publishers are constantly competing for reader attention, so improving and monetizing reader engagement is paramount. That’s why Google, in collaboration with Deloitte, has created the Data Maturity Benchmark, a tool that assesses the ability of a publisher to understand and use data. The are four focus areas: strategic direction and data foundations, reader engagement, reader revenue and advertising revenue. Publishers can compare themselves to competing news sources.
Propensity to subscribe. This closed beta program, part of Google Ad Manager, helps publishers identify who is likely to pay for content and who isn’t. This allows publishers to present offers to people most likely to subscribe at an optimal time that’s far more likely to lead to a subscription than offers presented to readers disinclined to pay.
GNI Data Lab. Another closed beta, the GNI data lab is an intensive training program focused on helping publishers understand and improve their data capabilities. It also focuses on how to create more efficient advertising programs that help publishers optimize bidding strategies based on context and reader behavior.
Why you should care. These efforts stem from Google’s eventual acknowledgement that its ad tech dominance has not brought prosperity to publishers. Efforts to focus on subscription monetization, insights and other tools have been welcomed by publishers. Of course, Google’s investments in this area aren’t altruistic. It sees mutual benefit in supporting journalism and quality content that users want.