Read All About It At Google!

The search engine giant is taking on its next frontier: the news!
If you’re even remotely internet savvy (you must be, you’re reading this blog post) you’ll have come into contact with the Google search engine. As the gateway to the internet for most web surfers, ‘Googling’ something has become synonymous with searching; they deal in information. It stands to reason, then, that they have turned towards a source of global information in their next pursuit and are taking on the news.
Google has a varied arsenal of apps available to the public, and it is through this array of resources that they brings us Google News Lab, a platform for us to publish news stories directly and expand upon them using Google Apps. This platform could be great for businesses who want to spread the word about their activities and product launches.
Within Google’s News Lab, we are given the chance to Research, Report, Distribute and Optimize our journalistic stories. Google provides training on their News Lab website which explores how each app is useful within these four areas.
This one is Google’s forté. Where better to research your story than in the largest library of information in the modern world? Google News Lab users will benefit from research tools as follows:

  • Advanced Search. This does what it says on the tin: Google has the power to perform intricate searches to help you find exactly what it is you’re looking for.
  • Reverse Image Search. Another self-explanatory tool aimed at ‘uncovering the backstories’ of the images available online for verification and explanatory purposes.
  • Public Data Explorer. The mine of big data which Google has access to is made available to those using News Lab, which can allow users to graph their findings to ‘create compelling visuals’.
  • Google Consumer Surveys. First-hand data from the guys themselves at Google: support your findings and draw new conclusions with the help of these consumer insights.
  • Google Alerts. This tool allows you to keep up with existing news channels and be on the cutting edge of the news. Breaking stories are only big news for a short time!
  • Google News Archive. A gold mine of information from the past is available in Google’s news archives. Create comparison studies and draw information from the past with ease.
  • Google Translate. Pack a global punch with access to all languages.

The way we tell our stories has evolved over time, and Google has been quick to emphasize the importance of visuals in their new news platform. How will you tell your story? In this section the following tools and partnerships come into play:

  • Google My Maps. This allows you to map your story onto the globe, giving ‘important context by building interactive maps’.
  • YouTube. Google’s acquisition of video giant YouTube is definitely an important plus to the Google News Lab. YouTube fame is rife, and having a video channel to go with your news publications is a plus.
  • Google Earth Pro. Put your audience in the thick of things and show them exactly where your story takes place.

Google has a wealth of tools to send your story to the masses; it does after all control what information most of us receive on a daily basis. Aside from the following apps, any self-respecting news resource should have their own killer website and be taking advantage of the power of social media:

  • Google News. Join a global network of news providers to reach a wider audience.
  • Google Play Newsstand. Publish your stories and monetize them by selling advertising space!
  • Google+. Not the world’s favorite social media channel, but a resource you should be taking advantage of nonetheless. Make sure your stories are shared across all social channels and are visible on your website.

On the analytical side of things Google knows its stuff. We recommend that anyone with a customer-facing website takes advantage of Google Analytics to gain insight into customer behaviour, and also where and when your site is most popular. Google’s recommended optimization tools are unsurprising:

  • Google Analytics. This offers you a host of tools to monitor and evaluate the success of your website or news efforts.
  • YouTube. The ‘subscribers’ feature of YouTube is a helpful measure of how popular your news channel is.

So what’s next for Google? World domination? We wouldn’t be surprised! Make sure your website is optimized in the eyes of the powers that be with search engine optimization.