Tag Archives: News

Hey Google, what’s the news?

Back at Google I/O, we launched the new Google News to help you keep up with the news that matters to you. Since then, millions of you have turned to Google News to follow the big stories of the day, subscribe to your favorite local and national publishers, and dig into topics and people you care about.


But there are moments in the day when you want to catch up on the news while your eyes or hands are busy. Maybe you’re listening to a podcast as you walk to work or catching up on what’s happening while driving to pick up the kids. We are beginning to bring the best of Google News to devices with the Google Assistant so that you can stay up to date wherever you are.


Last week, in the U.S., Lenovo launched the first of many Smart Displays with the Google Assistant. Smart Displays help you get more done with a glanceable touch screen and offer video or audio news briefings to catch you up on headlines, sports, politics, and more. You can choose your preferred news sources from hundreds of national and local broadcasters including CNBC, CNN, Cheddar and more. Just ask, “Hey Google, what’s the news?”

smart display

When you want to go deeper or learn more about a specific topic, ask the Assistant: “What’s the news on the women’s national soccer team?” or “What’s the latest on NASA?” The Google Assistant will find relevant videos from YouTube to play on your Smart Display, and on Assistant speakers like Google Home, it will read out excerpts from news articles from a growing list of publishers.

And whether you’re at home or on the go, the Assistant is there to help you stay informed. All these features are available today on Android phones and will soon be coming to Android Auto and Assistant-enabled headphones (including Google Pixel Buds).

Right now, these updates are coming to devices with the Google Assistant in the U.S. We plan to learn from the U.S. launches and then expand further, so stay tuned for more as we grow the news on the Google Assistant community globally.


Building a better news experience on YouTube, together

The work of trusted journalistic organizations is as critical as ever, especially when it comes to seeking information about current events online.

In March, the Google News Initiative (GNI) kicked off with the goal of helping journalism thrive in the digital age. Today, we’re announcing steps we’re taking with the GNI to support the future of news in online video, and product features we’ve been working on to improve the news experience on YouTube.

Supporting journalism with technology that allows news to thrive
We believe quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams and that we have a responsibility to support innovation in products and funding for news.

For example, in 2015 European publishers came to us to ask about how they could scale their video efforts, especially because maintaining video delivery infrastructure is costly. Working alongside them we launched Player for Publishers, a solution that enables news organizations to use YouTube’s video player to give viewers a world-class video experience across their own websites and mobile apps. Player for Publishers reduces costs and offers improved monetization for news organizations.

Since then, we've expanded these efforts beyond Europe. Today, over 100 publishers in more than 25 countries use Player for Publishers.

As part of the launch of GNI in March, we announced funding to support the future of news. Today we are committing $25M to a YouTube-specific investment:

  • Expertise. We’re establishing a working group with news organizations and experts from around the world to help us develop new product features, improve the news experience on YouTube, and tackle emerging challenges. News organizations including Vox Media, Jovem Pan, and India Today are early members of the working group. We’re looking forward to having more join as we convene the group in the coming weeks.
  • Innovation Funding. We will provide funding across approximately 20 global markets to support news organizations in building sustainable video operations. Provided on an application basis to news organizations of all types, these grants will enable our partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video.
  • Support. We’re significantly expanding our team focused on supporting news publishers. These specialists will be based around the world and support partners with training and best practices in formats, audience development, day-to-day platform operations, and sophisticated technical integrations.

News organizations interested in more information about these efforts can sign up here.

Making authoritative sources readily accessible
Authoritativeness is essential to viewers, especially during fast-moving, breaking news events, so we’ve been investing in new product features to prominently surface authoritative sources:

Providing more sources and context on breaking news
After a breaking news event, it takes time to verify, produce and publish high-quality videos. Journalists often write articles first to break the news rather than produce videos. That’s why in the coming weeks in the U.S. we will start providing a short preview of news articles in search results on YouTube that link to the full article during the initial hours of a major news event, along with a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change.



Expanding Top News and Breaking News
To make it easier to find quality news, our Top News shelf prominently highlights videos from news sources in search results (see the picture below on the left). And when a breaking news event happens, we want users to know about it. That’s why our Breaking News shelf highlights videos from news organizations about that event directly on the YouTube homepage (see the picture below on the right). Today, our Top News and Breaking News features are launched in 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and more. We will double that number in the coming months.



Showcasing more local news, starting with the U.S.
Many people want, value, and trust local news. And when a major event happens, local reporters are often the first on site to capture events as they unfold. We’ve begun testing features that surface local news in the YouTube app for TV screens across 25 media markets around the United States, making it easy to access local news in the living room--our fastest growing screen. So far, local news has seen strong engagement, and we will be expanding it to dozens more markets like Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Kansas City.



Providing context to help people make their own decisions
We also believe users should be able to choose and make their own judgments about the information they consume along with context to inform their judgments. That’s why we’re rolling out a few new features that we will continue to build upon:

Giving users more sources of information on topical searches and videos
Starting today, users will begin seeing information from third parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica, alongside videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing.



Investing in digital literacy education
Along with the Google News Initiative and Google.org, we have teamed up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise, a U.S.-based initiative designed to equip 1 million teens with digital literacy skills. Six incredible YouTube Creators, including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen, and Mark Watson, will be working with MediaWise to bring awareness to digital literacy and help educate teens.

We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organizations. We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources.

- Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer

Source: YouTube Blog


The new Google News: AI meets human intelligence

In the nearly 30 years since the world wide web launched, more than 2 billion websites have been created. It can feel impossible to keep up with the hundreds of thousands of tweets, tens of thousands of pages, and hundreds of hours of video that come online every single minute.

Amid this deluge of information, important new voices are constantly emerging. There’s more diverse content to discover and more great journalism being produced than ever before. In order to make it easier to keep up and make sense of it all, we set out to bring our news products into one unified experience.  

Today we’re rolling out an all new Google News, which uses the best of artificial intelligence to find the best of human intelligence—the great reporting done by journalists around the globe.

Using real-time AI/ML to organize the news

When we created the original Google News 15 years ago, we simply organized news articles to make it easier to see a range of sources on the same topic.  

The reimagined Google News uses a new set of AI techniques to take a constant flow of information as it hits the web, analyze it in real time and organize it into storylines. This approach means Google News understands the people, places and things involved in a story as it evolves, and connects how they relate to one another. At its core, this technology lets us synthesize information and put it together in a way that helps you make sense of what’s happening, and what the impact or reaction has been.

A news experience that keeps you fully informed

For many of us, news comes from dozens of different places—sports from a favorite website, politics from TV, and news about your community from your local paper.

When you’re in the app, “For You” makes it easy to stay up to date on everything you care about all in one place. We start with a briefing of five stories that Google News has organized for you—a mix of the most important headlines, local news and the latest developments on the topics you’re interested in.  

gnews_blog_briefing.gif

And the more you use the app, the better the app gets. We’ve also built easy-to-use and easy-to-access controls so you can decide if you want to see more or less of a topic or publisher.

As we built the app, we focused on letting the stories speak for themselves with great images and videos from YouTube and across the web. To help you quickly get you up to speed, we’re experimenting with a unique visual format called newscasts. Here, the latest developments in natural language understanding bring together a collection of articles, videos and quotes on a single topic. Newscasts make it easy to dive right into perspectives to learn more about a story—plus, it’s easy to read on your phone.

Full Coverage: Understanding the full story

If you want to get a deeper insight into a story, the “Full Coverage” feature provides a complete picture of how that story is reported from a variety of sources. With just a tap you’ll see top headlines from different sources, videos, local news reports, FAQs, social commentary, and a timeline for stories that have played out over time.

Having a productive conversation or debate requires everyone to have access to the same information. That’s why content in Full Coverage is the same for everyone—it’s an unpersonalized view of events from a range of trusted news sources.

To find out what the world is reading, head over to Headlines for an unfiltered view of news from around the world. Additional sections let you dig into more on technology, business, sports, entertainment and others.

gnews_blog_fullCoverage.gif

The best journalism from around the web

Of course Google News wouldn’t exist without the great journalism being created every day. The Newsstand tab makes it easy to find and follow the sources you trust, as well as browse and discover new ones. You can also access more than 1,000 magazine titles in a mobile-optimized reading format.  

gnews_blog_newsstand.gif

And if you want to support your favorite news sources, we’ve made it simple to subscribe with your Google account. This means no more forms, credit card numbers, or new passwords. And soon, thanks to the new Subscribe with Google platform (launched as a part of the Google News Initiative), you’ll get access to your paid content everywhere—on all platforms and devices, on Google News, Google Search, and on publishers’ own websites.

What’s next

The all-new Google News replaces Google Play Newsstand on mobile and desktop and the Google News & Weather app on mobile. It's rolling out starting today and will be available to everyone on Android, iOS and the web in 127 countries by next week.  

Greater transparency for users around news broadcasters

A big goal for us in 2018 is to provide greater transparency across the board to our community of creators, advertisers, and viewers. In one small step towards that commitment, today we will start rolling out notices below videos uploaded by news broadcasters that receive some level of government or public funding. Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube.

We’re rolling out this feature to viewers in the U.S. for now, and we don’t expect it to be perfect. Users and publishers can give us feedback through the “send feedback” form. We plan to improve and expand the feature over time.

The notice will appear below the video, but above the video’s title, and include a link to Wikipedia so viewers can learn more about the news broadcaster.



News is an important and growing vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right, helping to grow news and support news publishers on YouTube in a responsible way. This work follows a series of changes we made throughout 2017 to better surface authoritative news content. In 2017, we launched a “Breaking News” shelf on the home page to prominently surface news after a major event and a “Top News” shelf in YouTube search results to highlight news from authoritative sources for news-related queries.

This notice on publishers receiving public or government funding, though still in its early stages, not only carries forward our work in this area through 2017, but represents one of many more steps we will take throughout 2018 to improve how we deliver news content on YouTube.

Geoff Samek, Senior Product Manager YouTube News, recently watched "The Oxford comma's unlikely origin."

Source: YouTube Blog


More defenses roll out to thwart Clickjacking

At Google we defend our ad systems from fraud using technology in a variety of ways. Often our investment in these defenses goes beyond protecting against only known threats. Our engineering and operations teams are continually working to identify new and emerging threats.  Once a new ad fraud threat is found, we move quickly to defend our systems against it using a combination of technology, operations, and policy.

Recently we identified “Clickjacking” (aka UI Redress) as an emerging threat to cost-per-click display ads, and we’ve rolled out new defenses to protect advertisers against this threat. Clickjacking is a type of web attack where the appearance of a website is changed so that a victim does not realize they are taking an important action, in this case clicking on one or more ads. For example, a user may intend to click on a video play button or menu item, but instead clicks an invisible ad unit.

Figure 1: An example of a clickable ad hidden behind a video playback button.

Moving quickly to thwart Clickjacking attempts
Earlier this year when our operations team identified Clickjacking activity on our display network, they moved swiftly to terminate accounts, removing entities involved in or attempting to use this technique to trick users. Our engineering team worked in parallel to quickly release a filter to automatically exclude this type of invalid traffic across display ads.

This approach delivered a one-two punch to publishers who violated our policies: our operations team, which forms an early line of defense against invalid traffic, cleaned out publishers from our ad systems, while engineers built a new filter as a durable defense to protect against Clickjacking traffic.

Figure 2: An example of mouse-tracking, which leads to a page with lots of ads being opened regardless of where a user clicks.

Even as there are ongoing attempts to perpetrate this type of attack, our ongoing and proactive hunt for emerging types of invalid traffic has enabled us to move early and quickly to address Clickjacking threats on several occasions.


A combination of defenses
Our Clickjacking defenses operate at considerable scale, analyzing display ad placements across mobile and desktop platforms, evaluating a variety of characteristics. When our system detects a Clickjacking attempt, we zero-in on the traffic attributed to that placement, and remove it from upcoming payment reports to ensure that advertisers are not charged for those clicks.

This latest effort also is a great example of how our work against invalid traffic is at the intersection of technology, operations, and policy.  Each piece plays a key role in keeping our ad systems clean and defended against ad fraud.

Equally important, our efforts also promote a level playing field for good publishers on our ad systems.  And while our Ad Traffic Quality team works hard to keep our ad systems clean, we also rely on publishers to do their part in contributing to a healthy ads ecosystem.


Best practices for publishers
Publishers play a crucial role in delivering a good ads experience.  We’ve included some relevant best practices below to remind publishers of ways that they can improve the ads experience on their web properties.

  • Double and triple-check implementations to verify that your sites contain no programming errors, conform to AdSense policies, and display correctly across different browsers and platforms.
  • For mobile devices, plan your layout carefully to accommodate limited screen real estate.
  • Avoid placing ads close to other clickable content to prevent accidental clicks. For more guidance on how to implement banner ads see our best practices video.
  • Monitor analytics often to spot traffic anomalies. For example, setting up Analytics alerts can show if an unusual amount of traffic comes from a particular ad placement or site.
  • Lastly, if you find suspicious activity, please report it via the Invalid Clicks Contact Form.

We’re proud of our work to protect our ad systems against emerging threats like Clickjacking, and we’ll continue to be vigilant as we fight the good fight against ad fraud. 


Posted by: Andres Ferrate, Chief Advocate, Ad Traffic Quality


Source: Inside AdSense


Now you can also earn money with Matched content


Last year we launched Matched content to help increase user engagement on your site by promoting relevant content from your site to your visitors, which may help grow your ad business as well. Starting today, you can use Matched content units to directly generate revenue by allowing ads to appear alongside your recommended content.

Matched content with content recommendations and ads

With the new “Allow ads” feature, relevant ads will appear within your Matched content units, and will be styled to complement the look and feel of your content recommendations. We'll gradually roll this feature out to all Matched content eligible publishers across the globe over the coming weeks. To enable ads, visit your My ads tab and choose “Allow ads” for your Matched content units.


Matched content is available for sites with multiple pages with unique images and high volumes of traffic. Have a look at the site management settings in your account to see if your sites are eligible and to get started with Matched content. Matched content units don’t count towards your Google content ad limit per page - to get the most out of this new tool, check the best practices in the AdSense Help Center.

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts about this new feature in the comments section below.



 Posted by Tobias Maurer, Product Manager

Source: Inside AdSense


Introducing the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, for a faster, open mobile web

Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way we access information, and today people consume a tremendous amount of news on their phones. Publishers around the world use the mobile web to reach these readers, but the experience can often leave a lot to be desired. Every time a webpage takes too long to load, they lose a reader—and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions. That's because advertisers on these websites have a hard time getting consumers to pay attention to their ads when the pages load so slowly that people abandon them entirely.

In April, we announced the Digital News Initiative (DNI) together with a group of European publishers, aimed at working together to build a more sustainable future for digital news.

Today, after discussions with our DNI partners in Europe and publishers and technology companies around the world, we’re announcing a new open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages, which aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant -- no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you are using.

The project relies on AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, which allows websites to build light-weight webpages. To give a you sense of what a faster mobile web might look like, we’ve developed this demo on Google Search:



Over time we anticipate that other Google products such as Google News will also integrate AMP HTML pages. And today we’re announcing that more than 30 publishers from around the world are taking part too.

This is the start of an exciting collaboration with publishers and technology companies, who have all come together to make the mobile web work better for everyone. Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat, Parse.ly, Adobe Analytics and LinkedIn are among the first group of technology partners planning to integrate AMP HTML pages.

In the coming months we’ll work with other participants in the project to build more features and functionality focused on some key areas:

  • Content: Publishers increasingly rely on rich content like image carousels, maps, social plug-ins, data visualizations and videos to make their stories more interactive and stand out. They also need to implement ads and analytics in order to monetize the content and to understand what their readers like and dislike. The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project provides an open source approach, allowing publishers to focus on producing great content, while relying on the shared components for high performance and great user experience. The initial technical specification—developed with input and code from our partners in the publishing and technology sectors—is being released today on Github.
  • Distribution: Publishers want people to enjoy the great journalism they create anywhere and everywhere, so stories or content produced in Spain can be served in an instant across the globe in say Chile. That means that distribution across all kinds of devices and platforms is crucial. So as part of this effort we’ve designed a new approach to caching that allows the publisher to continue to host their content while allowing for efficient distribution through Google's high performance global cache. We intend to open our cache servers to be used by anyone free of charge.
  • Advertising: Ads help fund free services and content on the web. With Accelerated Mobile Pages, we want to support a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks and technologies. Any sites using AMP HTML will retain their choice of ad networks, as well as any formats that don’t detract from the user experience. It’s also a core goal of the project to support subscriptions and paywalls. We’ll work with publishers and those in the industry to help define the parameters of an ad experience that still provides the speed we’re striving for with AMP.

We hope the open nature of Accelerated Mobile Pages will protect the free flow of information by ensuring the mobile web works better and faster for everyone, everywhere.

The measurement revolution: An update

Over the past few years we’ve been committed to investing in a suite of new metrics that would be as actionable for brand marketers as the click has become for performance advertising. In that spirit, today we are announcing a new GRP solution, comScore vCE in DoubleClick, and updates to our Active View viewability solution.

Our goal is to enable brand marketers to answer some essential questions about the success of their campaigns:

Announcing an update to Active View - Ensuring your ads are seen

If a human being never has a chance to see your ad, then nothing else matters - the campaign will not succeed. That’s why we’ve been steadily introducing Active View technology across our product suite: the ability to buy based on viewability in AdWords, and reporting on viewability in our DoubleClick advertiser and publisher platforms. In a recent study that we published we found that 46% of all video ads on the web did not even have a chance to be seen. This contextualized the importance of video viewability and the launch of Active View for Video a few months ago.

We are firm believers in the IAB / MRC standard as the minimum viable definition for a viewable impression. We also recognize that there is a need for secondary metrics that complement the single standard and support individual advertisers’ objectives. In light of this, we are announcing that starting today, Active View users will be able to measure average viewable time - the average time, in seconds, a given ad appeared on screen - in DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Since introducing Active View, we’ve seen tremendous momentum with over 80% of clients having adopted our viewability technology. These advertiser and publisher clients have told us time and again that they would like to use Active View to measure viewability across all their media buys. So we are working with these clients to expand Active View beyond Google’s media and platforms.

Announcing comScore vCE in DoubleClick: Ensuring you reach the right audience faster

Last year we announced our partnership with comScore to bring to market a completely tagless and digitally actionable metric that would make real-time GRP measurement a reality for advertisers and publishers. Today we are announcing the culmination of that partnership: comScore vCE in DoubleClick.

comScore vCE in DoubleClick is the first independent, completely tagless, audience delivery measurement service to be directly integrated into an ad server and will give advertisers and publishers a trusted comScore audience measurement solution for both video and display that is effortless to set up and actionable.
This new GRP measurement solution is now widely available for all of our DoubleClick customers across DoubleClick Digital Marketing and DoubleClick for Publishers. This means advertisers can now see if they’re reaching their target audience as it happens. And publishers will be able to make adjustments during the course of a campaign to meet their advertisers’ needs -- no more after the fact reporting and make-goods.

With this tagless and single-click workflow, advertiser and publisher clients will have 100% coverage. Publishers will have the ability to forecast their audience availability to ensure they meet advertiser commitments. For advertisers, in addition to scheduled reports we are introducing new audience cards that surface reports with simple and easy to read visuals.



Measurement Matters

We will continue to look for opportunities to raise the bar on measurement through a combination of product innovation and partnership with industry leaders.

We’re excited about the progress we’ve made in enabling advertisers to ensure that their ads reached the right audience and were actually seen. But our biggest investments in measurement still lie ahead as we work to help advertisers understand what their audiences thought and ultimately did as a result of seeing their ads.

Posted by Sanaz Ahari, Group Product Manager, Brand Measurement

The measurement revolution: An update

Over the past few years we’ve been committed to investing in a suite of new metrics that would be as actionable for brand marketers as the click has become for performance advertising. In that spirit, today we are announcing a new GRP solution, comScore vCE in DoubleClick, and updates to our Active View viewability solution.

Our goal is to enable brand marketers to answer some essential questions about the success of their campaigns:

Announcing an update to Active View - Ensuring your ads are seen

If a human being never has a chance to see your ad, then nothing else matters - the campaign will not succeed. That’s why we’ve been steadily introducing Active View technology across our product suite: the ability to buy based on viewability in AdWords, and reporting on viewability in our DoubleClick advertiser and publisher platforms. In a recent study that we published we found that 46% of all video ads on the web did not even have a chance to be seen. This contextualized the importance of video viewability and the launch of Active View for Video a few months ago.

We are firm believers in the IAB / MRC standard as the minimum viable definition for a viewable impression. We also recognize that there is a need for secondary metrics that complement the single standard and support individual advertisers’ objectives. In light of this, we are announcing that starting today, Active View users will be able to measure average viewable time - the average time, in seconds, a given ad appeared on screen - in DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Since introducing Active View, we’ve seen tremendous momentum with over 80% of clients having adopted our viewability technology. These advertiser and publisher clients have told us time and again that they would like to use Active View to measure viewability across all their media buys. So we are working with these clients to expand Active View beyond Google’s media and platforms.

Announcing comScore vCE in DoubleClick: Ensuring you reach the right audience faster

Last year we announced our partnership with comScore to bring to market a completely tagless and digitally actionable metric that would make real-time GRP measurement a reality for advertisers and publishers. Today we are announcing the culmination of that partnership: comScore vCE in DoubleClick.

comScore vCE in DoubleClick is the first independent, completely tagless, audience delivery measurement service to be directly integrated into an ad server and will give advertisers and publishers a trusted comScore audience measurement solution for both video and display that is effortless to set up and actionable.
This new GRP measurement solution is now widely available for all of our DoubleClick customers across DoubleClick Digital Marketing and DoubleClick for Publishers. This means advertisers can now see if they’re reaching their target audience as it happens. And publishers will be able to make adjustments during the course of a campaign to meet their advertisers’ needs -- no more after the fact reporting and make-goods.

With this tagless and single-click workflow, advertiser and publisher clients will have 100% coverage. Publishers will have the ability to forecast their audience availability to ensure they meet advertiser commitments. For advertisers, in addition to scheduled reports we are introducing new audience cards that surface reports with simple and easy to read visuals.



Measurement Matters

We will continue to look for opportunities to raise the bar on measurement through a combination of product innovation and partnership with industry leaders.

We’re excited about the progress we’ve made in enabling advertisers to ensure that their ads reached the right audience and were actually seen. But our biggest investments in measurement still lie ahead as we work to help advertisers understand what their audiences thought and ultimately did as a result of seeing their ads.

Posted by Sanaz Ahari, Group Product Manager, Brand Measurement

Let’s work together to support quality journalism



Thank you Richard for that introduction and for inviting me to speak today.

Now, you might have seen in today’s papers that we’ve launched the Digital News Initiative together with leading European publishers.

If you did see that story it’s worth spending a moment thinking about how you read it. Maybe you bought a newspaper. Many of you will have read it on your tablet or mobile. Maybe it was in your Facebook feed, or you saw it on Twitter or via Google News. If you haven’t read the story yet, don’t worry - I’m about to tell you all about it using the most ancient form of media - the spoken word. Indeed, it’s interesting that today the spoken word - events such as this one - has itself become an important part of the business mix for modern news organisations.

The aim of today’s conference is to explore the radical changes the media industry is experiencing and to talk about new opportunities for growth.

No-one doubts that the changes are truly radical and challenging. But as we will see today, the opportunities in digital media are practically limitless.

The tools available to journalists today, to access information, to gather and create content and disseminate it to a global audience, represent extraordinary advances compared with what was available just a few years ago. And the quality and ambition of news journalism seems to grow year after year.

The way we consume news is changing dramatically too. More people are accessing more information than ever in history. The number of smartphone users will soon exceed 2 billion. According to Mary Meeker the typical smartphone user checks his or her device 150 times a day.

This represents an opportunity to reach an audience far beyond the morning paper or evening news show of the past. The Reuters Digital News Report found that in Europe in 2014, 37% of us consumed news on a mobile device each week.

Everyone recognises the opportunities the internet offers for the creation and dissemination of journalism. But the “new opportunities for growth” remain elusive. When I talk to publishers in Europe I hear deep concern about their ongoing ability to fund great journalism.

This is felt particularly on the continent. Perhaps the British and the Americans have it easier. In English it is possible to build huge global audiences - the New York Times, the Daily Mail and the Guardian have all proved this. But I’m from Italy, and it is much more difficult for Italian newspapers - and those from other countries with a smaller language base.

So, the challenge for European publishers is clear, but what is Google’s role?

First of all:

Google recognises and admires high quality journalism. As a strong advocate for the free flow of information we know the crucial role it plays in democratic societies.

We recognise that technology companies and news organisations are part of the same information ecosystem. We want to play our part in the common fight to find more sustainable models for news.

I firmly believe that Google has always wanted to be a friend and partner to the news industry, but I also accept we’ve made some mistakes along the way. We are a teenage “tech” company after all!

Over the years, Google’s relationship with news and the news industry has often been misunderstood and - dare I say it - sometimes misreported. So let me take a moment or two to set out how we work with the news industry.
Through Search and News, we send over 10 billion visits, for free, to publishers globally each month. We’re proud of that, and those readers represent real revenue opportunities for the publishers.

And through our advertising platforms, such as AdSense, we shared 10 billion dollars with publishers around the world in 2014.

Today we have more than 65,000 publishers in Google News, and Iet me be clear that those publishers are in control. They apply to be part of Google News. And if at any point they don't want any of their content to appear in Google News or in our Search results, they can opt out by inserting a simple piece of code that instructs us not to index it.

We also work with an increasing number of publishers who want to sell their content directly to consumers, especially on tablets and mobile. Google Play - our app store for the Android operating system - allows news and magazine publishers to offer their content to readers on subscription - whether paid or for free. We are working closely with publishers to improve the visibility and monetisation of their news apps. And today news sources are making their content available on Google Play Newsstand across 19 countries.

We provide publishers with free technology tools to build and engage their audience - whether through YouTube, live broadcasting with Hangouts on Air, or data journalism.

We work with news organisations to make the most of this technology, using it to build an engaged audience. And an engaged audience is essential for successful and sustainable monetisation.

But we think we can do more and better, particularly in Europe. I’m happy to announce here today - alongside a number of European publishers and journalism organisations - the Digital News Initiative to promote high-quality journalism through technology and innovation.

What are we going to do together?

A few months back we held an “unconference” called Newsgeist in Phoenix Arizona, bringing together a wide range of publishers, editors and reporters alongside engineers and developers. The idea of an “unconference” is that the audience chooses the agenda, and the title of one of the sessions they chose was: “What should Google do?”.

Several major European publishers were there, and their message was loud and clear: MORE COLLABORATION. So, we started a detailed conversation with a number of key European publishers, which has brought us to today.

Our joint efforts will be in three key areas.

First, product development. We will create a publishers’ working group from across Europe to explore product developments aimed at increasing revenue, traffic and audience engagement. Over the years we have worked on a range of news-related initiatives, but we tended to work in isolation, and the feedback has been that Google can be complicated to work with, and at times unpredictable!

We intend to change that - indeed it is my job to change that!

Second, we will significantly increase our investment in training and research. Through our newly established News Lab team we will bring dedicated training resources to European newsrooms for the first time. We are creating training programmes with a number of journalism organisations, including the European Journalism Centre, the Global Editors Network and the International News Media Association.

We will also invest in research into the fast changing media landscape. We are partnering with the Reuters Institute in Oxford to create the deepest and most comprehensive picture of how the consumption of news is evolving in Europe. For 2016 the Reuters Institute Digital News Report will be expanded to cover 20 European countries - an essential guide to the changing news landscape.

We will set up a grants programme for academic institutions who wish to carry out research into the growing field of computational journalism. And we will extend our successful Google Journalism Fellowships programme to Europe, aimed at students interested in using technology to tell stories in new and dynamic ways.

And thirdly, we have allocated 150 million euros to stimulating and supporting innovation in digital journalism within the news industry in Europe, over the next three years. In the feedback we hear from publishers and editors, it is clear that there is a great desire to experiment more freely, but risk-taking comes at a cost. The purpose of this is to make grants available to projects which demonstrate new thinking in digital journalism. No-one knows where the next great idea will come from - but we want to stimulate and nurture ideas that come from those who are closest to the action, from those who know best how journalism is changing. Anyone working on innovation in online news in Europe will be able to apply, including national and regional publishers, new players and pure players.

As someone who has been closely involved in the French digital news innovation fund over the past three years I can say with certainty that the initiative has led to some really inspiring and innovative projects.

  • Le Monde has built a complete new offering for mobile and tablet that significantly improved engagement with their app, increasing page views and time spent
  • Slate.fr built a new kind of newsreader, funded by native ads, that surfaces and curates trending content on social networks. It’s a powerful tool for reporters and great for consumers too.

These are just two of the more than 50 projects funded in France, demonstrating how much can be achieved when we talk and work together.

So I’m delighted to say that joining us in announcing the Digital News Initiative are some of the biggest names in European news publishing.
And we all agreed this is not intended to be an exclusive club - any European publisher, big or small, traditional or newcomer, who wishes to take part in any of the elements of the initiative will be welcome.

Journalism organisations - who play such an important role in helping the news industry navigate the transition to digital - are also welcome, and I am pleased to say that we will be partnering with the European Journalism Center, the Global Editors Network and the International News Media Association. And this is just the beginning - we invite others to join us. You can find details on the website: digitalnewsinitiative.com - or use any good search engine

To conclude:

It would be wonderful if there was one big idea which could fix everything for the news industry. So let me say this - this initiative is not about Google trying to reinvent journalism or to fix the news industry once and for all. That is neither our responsibility nor something we could hope to achieve.

I should also make it clear that much as we admire quality journalism we have no plans to get involved in creating or commissioning news. Although we seem to be quite good at generating it!

But I can’t promise it will be smooth. At Google we know that innovation is never a linear process. It’s always messy and often happens in random ways. Sometimes - often - we fail.

But I am convinced we will achieve much more if journalism and technology work together rather than apart.

Thank you