Google is bringing some new analytics tools for news publishers

Google is looking for ways for newsrooms so that they understand their online audiences and how they feed into their business in general. This falls under the category of the Google News Initiative, which was introduced in 2018 as a way to fund journalism and to support the industry. Since then, Google has launched two products that are on top of Google Analytics: News Consumer Insights (NCI) which is designed for publishers to make more profits by helping them grow their audience and Realtime Content Insights (RCI) which helps newsrooms see more up-to-date and trending content.

Amy Adams Harding, the director of analytics and revenue optimization for news and publishing, said that they knew that there was a demand for such products because of their partners but there was a difficulty as to how they would go about it. She also added that it was important that the products were free to use and accessible to anyone using Google Analytics.

Recently, Google introduced version 2.0 for NCI and RCI, adding a new feature called the News Tagging Guide (NTG) which is supposed to make it easier for publishers to collect the data they need in three categories: video analytics, user engagements, and reader revenue. Publishers can select the category and the specific types of data they want to track after which Google will give them JavaScript that they can input on their website.

The NCI now includes personalized recommendations for the publishers. It may highlight signup activities to a publisher’s newsletter and suggest ways to improve them. Harding said that NCI didn’t lack recommendations before and had to refer to generalized playbooks rather than having relevant recommendations. RCI has been extended to include similar data and also historical performance data about video content, enabling the publishers to see which stories and in what time period they performed the best. It will also track social engagements and identifies which stories are doing better between casual readers, brand loyalists, and loyal readers.

Anntao Diaz, the head NCI, RCI, and Google Surveys for Publishers, said that one is not better than the other. He suggested that different readers are attracted by different articles that serve various purposes, which may build relationships with a loyal audience who pay for subscriptions and also increase the growth of the total audience.

Google has already begun testing the new features with various publishers like Time and Lee Enterprises. As Kyle Rickhoff, the director of analytics at Lee Enterprises said that the new version of NCI, which is powered by NTG, improves their understanding of readers’ engagement and helps them prioritize business opportunities with better data.

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