Google Releases New Data Tools for News Organizations

Brian Blondy, March 22, 2020

It’s hard to believe that the news industry previously functioned as one in which the news of yesterday was exclusively printed onto actual paper the day after.

Today, the news cycle refreshes itself over the internet on a minute-to-minute basis – rendering the news outdated almost as quickly as when it was published.

In comparison, old-school print journalism, the one where the news was printed and sold offline, obviously did not provide news departments data, feedback, or even the understanding of whether the readers actually appreciated, or even consumed the content once it was out in the world on the newsstands. 

To address our fast-moving world, publishers now have an ever-growing toolbox of solutions available to better understand and navigate the complexities of covering the news and satisfying their online readership.

To better empower publishers and address the status-quo, Google has rolled out a suite of data tools built for publishers to make more informed decisions through data.

Today, we’ll outline the new tools and why you should consider adding them to your arsenal of tools for better analyzing your website activity and optimizing your content rollout.

Real-time Content Insights

You can identify in real-time which articles are the most popular with your readers and which broader topics are currently trending in their region. Real-time Content Insights enables engaging data visualization for newsrooms and is available for publishers using all versions of Google Analytics.

Why use it?

  • Real-time data to make decisions about content creation and distribution.
  • Display powerful information about content performance in real-time.
  • Identify trending articles on your site in real-time
  • See where your real-time readers are coming from
  • Localized trend aggregator
  • Enable engaging data visualization for your newsroom

News Consumer Insights (NCI)

Publishers can identify in real-time which articles are the most popular with their readers and which broader topics are currently trending in their region.

Real-time Content Insights enables engaging data visualization for newsrooms and is available for publishers using all versions of Google Analytics.

Why use it?

  • Real-time data to make decisions about content creation and distribution.
  • Display powerful information about content performance in real-time.
  • Identify trending articles on your site in real-time
  • See where your real-time readers are coming from
  • Localized trend aggregator
  • Enable engaging data visualization for your newsroom

Measure the performance of your audience by using baked-in benchmarks and pro-active recommendations for addressing and improving your business gaps.

Google’s News Consumer Insights can assist to boost user engagement and grow your consumer revenue strategy.  News Consumer Insights looks at your Google Analytics through a subscription-oriented lens.

Additional advantages:

  • Which readers drive value on your site?
  • What are the most effective ways to reach consumers?
  • How to build a loyal user base of readers?
  • What are the most effective ways to improve engagement with your users?
  • How to convert users into paying consumers through subscription or patronage?

How it Works

The User Funnel

The News Consumer Insights report uses the funnel concept to visualize different Google Analytics reader segments and how they engage with your site.

The end goal is to provide insights that help you move users from the “Casual Readers” segment down the funnel to becoming “Loyal Readers”, or even “Subscribers.”

User Value Scores

In the News Consumer Insights report, use custom metrics to enable your digital team to understand the value of each user segment visiting your website.

The “User Value Score” (UVS) is calculated using key metrics (Pageviews per User, Avg. Session Duration, Avg. Sessions per User and Avg. Pages per Session) and is measured across industry benchmarks.

This number emphasizes how much your user segments engage with your content, providing insights about their potential ad and consumer revenue, including subscriptions

UVS identifies the values of your audience across your site and compared to other news publishers. Combined with insights and techniques from the News Consumers Insights Playbook, the UVS can help you identify gaps in your business strategy and to assist you to focus your resources accordingly.

Industry Benchmarks

Use news industry data to create benchmarks to measure your performance against comparable publishers and globally leading content websites.

You can segment data by user type and device type (mobile vs. desktop/tablet). When merged, these metrics will provide you deeper understanding of what really motivates qualified traffic and where you should consider focusing your resources in order to maximize the value of each user segment.

Improving engagement and audience monetization

There are a multitude of opportunities to capture value by improving overall reader engagement, increasing direct-paying relationships with readers and driving additional revenue from advertisers.

Achieving data maturity

The  Data Maturity Benchmark (DMB) is a diagnostic tool based on our study with Deloitte of how news and media organizations leverage data to drive engagement and monetization across their digital properties.

Discover where your news organization is on the data maturity scale and identify steps and processes that are effective for creating a digital transformation through data to get to the next level.