Archives May 2019

Reuters Report, India Digital News Report

The India Digital News Report 2019 by Reuters UK shows Search Engines as major Traffic sources

India Digital News Report

 

In this report we show that English-language Indian news users with internet access are embracing a mobile-first, platform-dominated media environment with search engines, social media, and messaging applications playing a key role in how people access and use news in a setting characterised by low trust in many news media, high concerns over the possible implications of expressing political views, and widespread worries about different kinds of disinformation.

KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE

  • A mobile-first market: 68% of our respondents identify smartphones as their main device for online news, 31% say they only use mobile devices for accessing online news. These figures are markedly higher than in other markets,including developing markets like Brazil and Turkey.
  • A platform-dominated market: an overwhelming majority of respondents identify various forms of distributed discovery as their main way of accessing news online. Search (32%) and various kinds of social media (24%) are particularly important. Only 18% consider direct access their main way of getting news online.
  • Facebook and WhatsApp are particularly widely used, with 75% of respondents using Facebook (and 52% saying they get news there), and 82% using WhatsApp (with 52% getting news there). Other social media widely used for news include Instagram (26%), Twitter (18%), and Facebook Messenger (16%).
  • Online news generally (56%), and social media specifically (28%), have outpaced print (16%) as the main source of news among respondents under 35, whereas respondents over 35 still mix online and offline media to a greater extent
  • Many of our respondents say that they share (50%) and/or comment (33%) on online news, with particularly high levels of engagement on Facebook and WhatsApp, but many also express concerns that openly expressing their political views online could make their friends of family think differently of them (49%), make work colleagues or other acquaintances think differently of them (50%) or, perhaps most worryingly, fear it could get them into trouble with authorities (55%).
  • The most widely used online news sources (beyond platforms) are generally the websites of leading legacy media including broadcasters and newspapers, but some digital-born news media have significant reach, including some alternative and partisan sites who despite limited name recognition have built relatively large audiences.
  • Our respondents have low trust in news overall (36%) and even the news they personally use (39%), but interestingly express higher levels of trust in news in search (45%) and social media (34%) than respondents in many other countries. Partisans at both ends of the political spectrum have similar levels of trust in the news, whereas non-partisans have lower levels.
  • 57% of our respondents are worried whether online news they come across is real or fake, and when asked about different kinds of potential disinformation, many of our respondents express concern over hyperpartisan content (51%) and poor journalism (51%) as well as false news (50%).
  • Looking to the future, significant numbers of respondents express an appetite for more personalised mobile news alerts, more online news video, for donating to support news organisations, and to pay for news in the future, with 31% of those who do not currently pay for online news saying they are ‘somewhat likely’ to pay, and 9% saying they are ‘very likely’ to.

The report is based on data from a survey of English-speaking, online news users in India – a small (but important) subset of a larger, more diverse, and very complex Indian media market. Our respondents are generally more affluent, have higher levels of formal education, skews male, and are more likely to live in cities than the wider Indian population and our findings only concern our sample, and thus cannot be taken to be more broadly representative.

Source : https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/our-research/india-digital-news-report


Why SEO of News Articles in Google News Search Results is important for Media & Publisher Portals?

Announcement from the Annual Google IO Conference May 2019.

Google is planning to enhance its search results for breaking news and podcast queries.

These changes were announced at Google’s IO conference this past week by CEO Sundar Pichai, who discussed his company’s larger goal of building a more helpful Google for all users.

Changes that are coming in the near future to provide better answers to searchers center around enabling more comprehensive news coverage in search and making it easier to find podcasts covering topics you’re passionate about.

Full Coverage News Coming to Search

“Full Coverage” is a Google News feature launched last year that allows users to get a high-level overview of breaking news events being covered by multiple outlets.

The feature uses machine learning to identify different parts of a story and compiles them into a tappable format to provide users a holistic picture of how a story is being covered by different trusted news sources.

This feature used to only exist in Google News, but it will soon appear in search results for breaking news events.

Google has two goals with this effort; One, of course, is to provide faster answers for people who would just like to get a general overview of a story. The other initiative is to hopefully cut down on the spread of misinformation by providing easy access to credible news sources.

Additionally, for publishing companies, it’s a great way to gain increased exposure of their breaking news coverage.

Podcasts to be Indexed in Search

Earlier this year, Google began automatically transcribing podcasts to allow users to search for specific topics in Google Podcast.

Now, they’ll soon be moving this feature over to search results.

When you find a podcast that matches your query, you can either listen directly in search results, or save it to your phone or smart speaker to access later.

As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, it makes sense that Google would allow you to search for them, in the same way you would blog topics — not just by title, but by what keywords are in the content.

So with news articles getting listed in SERPs for over 6.5 billion Search queries every day on Google, it would boost the eye balls on Google News articles tremendously.

 The new Google News is now available in 127 countries and 65 languages. But building a news experience for everyone isn’t just about the languages offered, publishers highlighted, or topics shown. Google also want to make sure Google News works regardless of the phone or cellular service you have. If you go underground on a train and you lose service or you’re somewhere without a strong signal, Google News should still just work.

Google News offers four more core features that meet the needs of users who are using a lighter connection, including those with Android (Go Edition) phones:

  1. When applicable, videos in the app will open in YouTube Go, ensuring that it’s delivered in a lightweight yet clear format. Videos won’t auto-play, saving precious data.
  2. Newscasts (previews of a story) will adapt to become more text-focused, saving you data.
  3. Images are compressed and can be fully loaded with just a tap. Videos and gifs will also not auto-play. Plus, less data will be cached and saved on your device.
  4. Many articles can be saved for consuming in offline mode, easily downloaded over Wi-Fi for reading later.

And all of these features will turn on automatically—no need to toggle on a setting or make sure user is in the right mode.

The Importance of Being in Google News Listings for a Brand.

The below picture depicts the standout features of the news articles content which Google Search displays on it’s SERPs at prime locations like top of the SERP or in first view window where the searcher engagement is maximum.

This listing is more enhanced than the regular SERP listings with the article image and a larger snippet description in the SERP listing.  It is also prominently placed in the SERPs in locations with a highest probability of clicks.

What Are the Benefits of Being in Google News Listing
Being in the Google News listing is a good idea.

The Benefits of being in the Google News listing.

If your website is in the Google News listing, it signifies that you are either running a credible and informative web page. Google is quite particular about the news sites and media articles that they allow to sign up for inclusion in the Google News. Various details and verification checks are carried out by the Google News Publishing Center teams to ensure the accreditation and genuinity of the News Publisher and it’s editorial inputs.  Hence Users believe that news articles carried out in the Google News app and web section are from a credible Media Publisher Brand.

* You get more traffic on Google News

This is a No-Brainer to all. We all know that Google News is a well-known news aggregator app and web tool that is used by most individuals. With this, you can be sure that your news portal being included in the Google News listing will lead to a bigger traffic on your web page. With regular upgrades to the News App and Web tool, Google has ensured that the Online user / Searcher gets the most qualitative and fresh news to it’s users in a friendly user experience format.

* Increases your web page authenticity

Being included in the Google News listing also leads to a great increase in the authenticity of your web page and news articles. In the times of “Fake News” flooding Social Media and Sharing Platforms, a whole lot of internet users believe that the web pages that are included in the Google News listing are authentic. This simply gives your news portal a bigger advantage and makes people feel that your news publishing media brand and business is a genuine Media channel for News and Information.

* Increases in your web page authority status

 

If you are in the Google News listing, users all over the world will view your web page as an authority web page. More users will link to your site, and more users will bookmark your media news channel and are likely to check back every day. Also, Google and other Search Engines will recompense your page articles in the SERPs.

* You get more back links

A lot of blogs, websites, and so on mostly scout through Google News to come up with various ideas for branching off new follow up stories and articles. If the blogs and websites are upstanding, they will acknowledge your web page with a one-way link to your articles, news, stories. Getting more links from these different quality websites is one of the best ways you can get to the top of the Organic SERPs. Sometimes, when you post some articles or news that is timely on your media web portal, you tend to get a lot of links from other sites. This helps in attaining a better Trust Rank & Domain Rank wrt the Page Rank algorithm of the Google Search indexing.

* Quick indexing of your articles

This is one of the advantages of being included in the Google News listing. When you write quality articles, Google does not just put it in their News index quickly; they also include it in the main Google index also. You can imagine the advantages you can have if  your news article ends up being listed as the number one website in the main Google index.

* Multiplier visibility by articles getting shown on Chrome User Default Pages

With Chrome, Opera and many other browsers now displaying fresh content specific to user behaviour on their default home pages especially on the mobile devices, this content is sourced from the Google News and other News aggregator news platforms. For the top ranked articles in Google News for a particular section or category like Business, Technology, Current Affairs, Finance etc., these are shown in a snippet format to all the millions of Browser users by default. This can lead to multiplier effect on visibility, click and web traffic for the media portals from the news articles carried in Google News.

In a nutshell, being included in the Google News listing comes with a lot of benefits. Though it may be tough to get in, if you can be included in the Google News listing, you can be sure it will be of great advantage to you. If you are in it already, you are lucky; now you know the benefits. So, just keep enjoying the benefits of being in the Google News listings.

The bottom line? If you’re not yet visible on Google News,  you are missing out on valuable opportunities to attract, convert, close and delight new users every single day.

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eCommerce Product SEO Optimization for Amazon, Google Shopping

According to a recent Digital Study, SEARCH directs 58% of traffic to e-tailer sites. 

How people discover content on e-tailer sites

Three main mechanisms allow users to go from one page to the next.

  • On-site search: the search bar that 99% of sites have for searching product items.
  • The recommendation modules such that often are at the bottom of product pages (“people who looked at this product have also considered these products”)
  • Category browsing: some people still use only their mouse to drill down from categories into subcategories until they find what they need.

Putting an exact figure on the respective share of each three of these mechanisms is extremely difficult. Of course, the split varies tremendously between sites, as they will all put different levels on emphasis on different types of navigation.

Jumpshot has made some measurements for Amazon.com specifically and found out that 90% of product page views came from on-site searches.

 

Whether it’s on-site search, recommendation engine or category browsing, it all comes down to lists of products. Each site has a different method to come up with these lists, but whatever they are, it always comes down to rules in a search algorithm.

E-Commerce search algorithms

Search algorithms are mathematical formulas that create an ordered list of results for each search terms (or search tokens) that they receive. Each search algorithm is defined by the factors that it takes into account to pick and rank the results.  If we can understand which settings an algorithm is looking at, then we can figure out some tactics to improve the ranking of our products.

Algorithms come in all sorts of shapes and colors. An efficient way to look at them is to split them into three groups:

  • Text-based algorithms: they rely only on text resemblance between the search terms and product page texts.
  • Business-based algorithms: they add a layer of business intelligence to rank products based on the expected business outcome.
  • User-based algorithms: they rank results based on known user parameters and inferred preference.

 

Text-based algorithms

Creating and optimizing computer programs to recognize matching strings of text in large databases in a mathematical field of its own. We do not need to delve into such details though. What text-based algorithms do, as far as e-commerce is concerned, is surface product pages that include the inputted text. They feature different levels of advancement:

  • some will only find exact matches, while others support typos, plurals or the same words in any order,
  • some just look up the words in the product titles, while others index the descriptions, specs, categories, etc.

Business-based algorithms

These algorithms introduce some layers of intelligence in the way that they rank the results. They pick results to display to the customers based on some business factors.

As an e-tailer, your goal is to make sure that as many searches as possible result in a sale. The way to do that is to display relevant products, that sell better than others. It means that your algorithm will usually select all relevant results, then rank them. The algorithm is “fed” some additional variables to come up with a score. These may include:

  • Sales velocity
  • Average review score
  • Number of pictures on the product page
  • Average search result CTR (how often is this product clicked on when displayed)
  • Current stock status (show out-of-stock products last)

Advanced business-based search algorithms like Amazon’s factor in dozens of variables into search rankings.

User-based algorithms

These are the algorithms that are capable of tailoring search results based on what they know from the customer. A straightforward example might be:

  • a shopper searches for “shoes” on an apparel site,
  • the shopper only clicks on male shoes in the search results,
  • the shopper then searches for “trousers,”
  • the algorithm displays all male trousers at the top of the results.

In that case, the algorithm figured that the shopper was probably more interested in male clothes. It uses this knowledge to increase the relevance of results for this shopper. Other user-based mechanisms may include segmenting based on browsing behaviors, the device used, past purchases, etc.

And “Win Google to Win Online” is the underlying trend for Brands & eTailers online.

More than two thirds of e-commerce website traffic comes from Google. With 43% coming from Google Organic and 26% coming from Google AdWords.

And multiple Results Pages options for Google Products, Google (Youtube) Videos, Google Search, Google News, Google Images, Google Markup Results, Google Suggest, Google Local and Google Maps tabs on the Google Search Bar, Google Website & Chrome Browser etc. have made it easier for Users to research on Brands, Products, Offers and Product Reviews.

Google Organic Results, Amazon Search Results, Youtube Reviews Videos etc. have made an unmissable “Last-Click Attribution” to eCommerce Pages.  Many studies in the domain have shown that Google SEO Organic Results attribute maximum persuasion to the Email Campaigns, Display Campaigns, Paid Ad Campaigns, Brand Campaigns, Television, OOH, Print Ads etc. and so