Tag Archives: Google in Europe

News Showcase is launching in Portugal

Google News Showcase, a product and licensing program for news publishers, will begin rolling out in Portugal today as “Destaques Jornalísticos no Google” in Portuguese. Participating publishers from local, national and independent Portuguese outlets can give readers more insight into the topics they choose to highlight, through curated story panels which can appear on Google News and Discover.

This is part of our global investment in news and reinforces our commitment to Portugal and journalism. With News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos), publishers can provide additional context about stories via curated panels, and add related articles, timelines and more. Publishers get more control of their presentation and branding, helping them be more visible to their dedicated readers and to those who are just discovering them.

Google has signed partnerships with 28 Portuguese publications, including O Jornal Económico, Jornal de Notícias, Observador, O MIRANTE and Jornal do Fundão. News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos) panels can appear on Google products, currently on News and Discover, and direct readers to the full articles on publishers’ websites, helping them deepen their relationships with readers. In addition to the revenue that comes directly from these more-engaged readers, participating publishers will receive monthly licensing payments from Google.

This image shows the logos of: 4gNews, A Bola, A Voz de Trás-os-Montes, Açoriano Oriental, Diário As Beiras, Diário de Notícias, Diário de Notícias da Madeira, Diário do Minho, Dinheiro Vivo, ECO, IOL, Jornal da Madeira, Jornal de Notícias, Jornal do Centro, Jornal do Fundão, Mais Futebol, Mensageiro de Bragança, Notícias ao Minuto, O Jogo, O Jornal Económico, O MIRANTE, Observador, Público, Região de Leiria, The Portugal News, TSF, TVI24, Visão

Logos of our News Showcase partners

“Quality journalism has a paramount importance in a free and democratic world. It gives everyone the knowledge to play an active role in society as the world evolves, beyond witnessing history,” says Marco Galinha, CEO of Global Media Group, who owns several titles in Portugal, including Dinheiro Vivo, Jornal de Notícias and TSF. “Sharing our quality information, strengthening our audience and connecting even more people is what we expect from Google News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos no Google).”

Since News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos) launched in October 2020, we’ve signed deals with more than 1,000 news publications around the world and have launched in more than a dozen countries: India, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Austria, the U.K., Australia, Czechia, Italy, Colombia, Argentina, Canada and Ireland. More than 90% of the publications that are part of News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos) represent local or community news. Local news is an essential way for readers to connect to their communities and ensure they get the news that impacts their day-to-day lives.

This image shows four different News Showcase panels (including timeline and related articles)  with just some of our news partners in Portugal

An example of how News Showcase panels will look with some of our partners in Portugal

“A Voz de Trás-os-Montes is a local newspaper, seeking, over time, to reinvent itself in the production of content and the formats in which it is presented, whether on paper or digital.” says João Vilela, Director at A Voz de Trás-os-Montes. “Google News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos no Google) assumes itself as a product that will enhance the presence of this title in the digital world, also promoting the practice of quality, reliable and independent journalism, and providing readers with a good experience in accessing regional information.”

To further strengthen these relationships, we offer News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos) readers the ability to read select paywalled content from publishers. This feature means readers will have the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s articles, encouraging them to learn more about the publication — and potentially subscribe.

“Earlier this year, we challenged Google and the Portuguese Press Association to work together to find solutions to support a sustainable Portuguese media ecosystem, and in particular the local and regional media, in order to respond to the digital challenges, based on a framework that respects individual rights and copyright and ensures that the Portuguese citizens continue to have access to credible and relevant information”, says André de Aragão Azevedo, Secretary of State for the Digital Transition. “We are proud to see such great progress and we are in full support of initiatives like this.”

Google News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos no Google) is our latest effort to support publishers of all sizes and the news ecosystem in the country. Through the Digital News Initiative (DNI) Fund, Google has invested nearly eight million euros to support 32 Portuguese projects, tackling major challenges such as boosting digital revenues to telling local stories and exploring new technologies. In 2020, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Google News Initiative offered financial support to 71 Portuguese newsrooms through its global Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. Around the world, the GNI, alongside a $300 million investment, has supported more than7,000 news partners in over 120 countries and territories.

Google also sends eight billion visits each month to European news websites from products like Search and News, which publishers can monetize with online advertising and subscriptions on their websites and apps. Our ad technologies enable news organizations to sell their ad space to millions of advertisers globally — including advertisers they wouldn’t have access to without these services.

Beyond working with publishers on their digital transformation, it’s vital we also support access to accurate and reliable information. Since 2015, the Google News Lab has trained 2,550 Portuguese journalists and journalism students on a range of digital tools to help them research, verify and visualize their stories. We’ve also supported a number of Portuguese specialists including Media Veritas, a project by the Portuguese Press Association to promote media literacy and combat misinformation, and we contributed 25 million euros to the European Media and Information Fund, managed by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, European University Institute and the European Digital Media Observatory to strengthen media literacy skills.

“Rather than a threat, digital can be an opportunity for publishers. This is why APImprensa is supporting its members (regional and local) to deploy all the advantages of participating in the Google Showcase project,” says João Palmeiro, President of thePortuguese Publishers Association. “The advantages are a unique opportunity to understand how to compete in the digital world using tools that can bring more information, knowledge and skills to newsrooms and to the digital business.

Google News Showcase (Destaques Jornalísticos no Google) helps readers discover even more news and provides publishers with a new online experience to deepen their engagement and relationship with their audience. We are happy to contribute to the news ecosystem, support the open web and continue to provide access to information in Portugal and elsewhere.

An update on our Privacy Sandbox commitments

For further background on this topic, please see our blog from June.

Since we announced our Privacy Sandbox commitments earlier this year, we have continued to work with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to address feedback that was raised as part of its public consultation process. We have also continued to update and seek feedback from the market and the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on our proposals.

We are determined to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox is developed in a way that works for the entire ecosystem and, as part of this process, we have now offered revised commitments, which can be found in full on the CMA’s website.

These revisions underline our commitment to ensuring that the changes we make in Chrome will apply in the same way to Google’s ad tech products as to any third party, and that the Privacy Sandbox APIs will be designed, developed and implemented with regulatory oversight and input from the CMA and the ICO. We also support the objectives set out yesterday in the ICO’s Opinion on Data protection and privacy expectations for online advertising proposals, including the importance of supporting and developing privacy-safe advertising tools that protect people’s privacy and prevent covert tracking.

The revised commitments incorporate a number of changes including:

  1. Monitoring and reporting. We have offered to appoint an independent Monitoring Trustee who will have the access and technical expertise needed to ensure compliance.
  2. Testing and consultation. We have offered the CMA more extensive testing commitments, along with a more transparent process to take market feedback on the Privacy Sandbox proposals.
  3. Further clarity on our use of data. We are underscoring our commitment not to use Google first-party personal data to track users for targeting and measurement of ads shown on non-Google websites. Our commitments would also restrict the use of Chrome browsing history and Analytics data to do this on Google or non-Google websites.

If the CMA accepts these commitments, we will apply them globally.

We continue to appreciate the thoughtful approach and engagement from the CMA and ICO as we develop our Privacy Sandbox proposals. We welcome, and will carefully consider, any comments that people provide during the consultation process.

New EU political ads law is a step in the right direction

Having access to the right information matters. During a democratic election, it matters more than ever. High-quality information helps people make informed decisions when voting and counteracts abuse by bad actors. Through programs like security training for campaigns, information about polling places and transparency for political ads, Google is committed to helping support the integrity of democratic processes around the world.

Political advertising is an important component of democratic elections — candidates use ads to raise awareness, share information and engage potential voters. Over the last few years, Google has proactively increased transparency around election advertising: we updated our ads policies to require election advertisers to verify their identities and show who’s paying for an ad. We also introduced transparency reporting for online election ads in Europe as well as in the US and other countries around the world, providing a range of data that goes well beyond what’s typically available for TV, radio or print ads.

We have also made real changes to how election advertising works. In 2020, we implemented industry-leading restrictions to limit election ads’ audience targeting to age, gender and general location (at the postal code level), similar to categories candidates would use in deciding where to run ads on TV shows or in print. That same year, we started rolling out identity verification and disclosures for all advertisers, providing even wider transparency about ad sponsors. These improvements, and more, are part of a larger focus on political advertising that helped us navigate elections in the European Union, the United States, India (the largest democratic election in history) and other leading countries.

Google was one of the original signatories of the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, which has led to constructive actions and change between the industry, policymakers and the expert community on the challenges of addressing disinformation. The Code laid out a model for voluntary action, facilitating work with policymakers on new transparency reporting on political advertising and helping users, governments and academics better understand how online election ads work.

We share the Commission's goal of increasing the harmonization of Europe’s transparency rules for political advertising and we support today’s introduction of legislation. As we expand our own efforts, we look forward to engaging with the Commission on how best to meet the goals laid out by the Democracy Action Plan and Digital Services Act. This is a complex field, requiring a balance between minimizing misinformation while protecting legitimate political expression. The Commission’s proposal is an important and welcome step and as the European Council and Parliament review it, we offer a few observations based on our experiences over recent election cycles.

  • Clear definitions for ‘political’ ads: It’s critical that the law clarifies which actors and what types of content are subject to the obligations regarding political advertising, giving clear examples of what would or would not be in scope. Without clear definitions, different companies will adopt inconsistent and conflicting policies, making for confusion for advertisers and undermining transparency for citizens. The current text could also inadvertently impact a wider range of ads than intended — for example, sweeping in ads from NGOs on issues of public concern or from private citizens speaking out about social questions.
  • Clear responsibilities for platforms and advertisers: Protecting elections is a shared responsibility and we all need to play our part to be more transparent. Advertisers are in the best position to validate their identity and best understand the nature and context of their ads. They play a critical role in providing accurate information and (as they do with other media like television) ensuring that their content complies with applicable laws. Advertiser “self-declaration” — whereby political advertisers verify their identities and declare when they are running political ads — would have advertisers due their share to contribute to transparency, making the law work better in practice.
  • Flexibility and dialogue: This is a dynamic and fast moving environment and we have seen a lot of changes to both political ads and governing regulations. Continuing discussions with stakeholders will help regulation react to changing contexts or emerging trends that might affect definitions, regulatory provisions or enforcement.

Elections are a fundamental part of democracy, and new regulations can help keep elections open, transparent and accountable. Legal certainty in those regulations will help candidates, campaigns, advertisers, publishers and platforms understand the precise scope of covered advertising and the specific obligations of each actor. In the coming months we look forward to sharing our experiences with the different institutions and bodies working to advance these important topics.

Designing a new local product for French urban readers

Editor’s Note from Ludovic Blecher, Head of Google News Initiative Innovation:The GNI Innovation Challengeprogram is designed to stimulate forward-thinking ideas for the news industry. The story below by Pascal Brouet, EBRA COO and Local Pulse Project Director, is part of an innovator seriessharing inspiring stories and lessons from funded projects.

When I took on the job of leading digital transformation for the French local daily newspaper group EBRA in 2018, print circulation was falling. The challenge for our future was revealed in our data — while circulation in the countryside was holding up, there was a sizable opportunity for expansion in metropolitan areas. And so our three-pronged internal project (at that time code-named “Local Pulse”) was conceived.

Working with Google

We applied for the Google News Initiative's DNI Fund, spelling out how we wanted to: (1) win back urban readers with a new editorial offering for each of the main cities covered by EBRA brands, (2) deliver that news through a mobile platform more attractive to urbanites and (3) ensure its sustainability with a subscriber-led business model.

The starting point for the work was a survey of more than 1,200 urban readers to get a better understanding of their consumption of local information, their main topics of interest, and most pressing concerns in their day-to-day life. We used their input and feedback to define an editorial mix and value proposition with some key principles:

  • Dedicated journalists on the project
  • A limited number of useful, essential and deeper-dive articles covering city life, without an information overload
  • A brand refresh and new style guide for the design and reading experience within a mobile app

Our editorial purpose required us to define a new revenue model mainly based on subscription and native advertising, breaking with the old advertising models which could only deliver results with mass audiences. Marketing this model — without any previous experience of this type of model — continues to be one of the biggest challenges for commercial teams and was exacerbated further by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also posed a challenge for our core editorial teams. During the beta phase in spring 2021, we did not completely succeed in delivering our editorial promise and value proposition. Over two weeks, we exposed our daily editorial mix to more than 200 beta-testers and as a result of the insights, refocused the editorial team on original local news rather than lifestyle content.

Launching ASAPP

In the Fall of 2021, after two years of work with the support of the DNI Fund, Local Pulse gave birth to ASAPP — a mobile app designed for younger, urban readers — and launched in Lyon and Strasbourg. The first results of ASAPP seem positive: 2,000 registered users and high engagement with an increased number of page views per visit (about 10 page views per visit),and high engagement rates with social communities (especially on Instagram, with 150,000 page views in the first month). Over the next three months, we will continue to improve user experience and specific benefits for subscribers before launching ASAPP in more metropolitan areas.

Helping European small businesses grow and succeed

Today marks the beginning of the European SME week, a time to recognize the contribution that millions of small and medium-sized businesses make to Europe’s economy, as well as an opportunity to explore how they can be supported to continue to grow and thrive.

This time of year is especially critical for small businesses. Shoppers really care about supporting their local communities, with 56% of holiday shoppers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa saying they will intentionally shop more at local small businesses this festive season.

Small businesses are the key to recovery from the pandemic, and our digital tools have helped them sustain their business through lockdowns and enable new jobs, growth and exports. That’s why we rapidly adapted products to improve support and provided training to help them make the most of digital technology. Supporting small businesses is a group effort, though — and the right skills and tools need to be underpinned by the right policies.

Providing helpful tools to connect with customers

The past year and a half has underlined the importance of technology in all parts of life — and small businesses are no exception. Research has found that small businesses in Europe with a sophisticated use of digital tools were able to build a ‘digital safety net’ during the pandemic, resulting in 80% better sales and 60% better revenue.

One example of this is the German company, das schöne leben. Opened in 2016, the store specializes in exceptional food and designer products for everyday living. When the pandemic hit, the founders of the store started advertising online alongside their in-store sales, and set up a Business Profile on Google Search and Maps to help existing and potential customers find them. Das schöne leben now has customers of all ages throughout Germany and has tripled their direct online orders with their first in-house search campaign.

A smiling picture of Manon Weßels, the owner of das schöne leben

Manon Weßels, owner of das schöne leben

Particularly for smaller businesses, Google Ads is the key for visibility and findability online. We would never have reached so many suitable new customers without the advertisements. Manon Weßels
Owner, das schöne leben

The example of das schöne leben and countless others show that online ads help businesses of all sizes find audiences they otherwise may lack access to, help them enter new markets and help build brand awareness.

At Google, we continue to innovate and invest in making all our products and tools more helpful — launching more than 200 features since March 2020 to help businesses connect with their customers in this shifting landscape.

We're also making it even easier for small businesses to manage their presence and connect with customers online. Businesses in Europe can now easily claim and verify their Business Profile directly on Google Search or the Google Maps app, and respond to messages directly from Search. Having more complete information online can have a huge impact for businesses: in Germany, for example, complete Business Profiles receive an average of over five times more calls compared to an incomplete profile. Moving forward, we recommend small businesses manage their profiles directly on Search or Maps. To keep things simple, “Google My Business” is being renamed “Google Business Profile.”

Ensuring that SMBs have the skills to get ahead

We know that providing the right tools is only helpful if businesses are able to use them. To make the most of the digital opportunities available to them, business owners need the right skills. Research has found that 22% of small business owners feel they lack the skills and knowledge to increase their use of digital tools.

Today, we are delighted to kick off our first-ever ‘Google.org Skills Week’ to help support select nonprofits mentoring thousands of underserved small business owners in Europe through scaled tech solutions. As a recent study highlights, medium, small and micro-enterprises — especially those led by women, young people, ethnic minorities, and migrants — were significantly impacted by COVID-19 with 70-80% facing major financial difficulties.

During this week, Google volunteers and product experts will share their skills and best practices through workshops, design sprints and 1:1 mentorship, to help educate select nonprofits that provide mentorship to underserved SMB owners. This week of training touches on many different skills including product management, design, marketing and AdGrants, Artificial Intelligence, YouTube, impact measurement, and aims to better equip the nonprofits to help small businesses improve their online presence.

We have seen how powerful these skills can be in helping to grow and scale businesses across Europe.

For Andrea Li Puma, the owner of the food truck Pastammore based in Bucharest, access to digital skills was essential to reach new customers and grow his business. The pandemic meant that Andrea had to take his food business online and pivot to deliver Pastammore’s homemade pasta directly to consumers at home. With support from Google.org-funded nonprofit Digital Nation, Andrea was able to develop an online marketing strategy, optimize his website, and launch new advertising campaigns that helped Pastammore survive through the tough period and even grow with sales increase by 15%.

A picture of Andrea Li Puma, the owner of the food truck Pastammore based in Bucharest, in a white coat in front of his truck

Andrea Li Puma, owner of food truck Pastammore in Bucharest

Since 2015, over 18 million people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa have participated in our Grow with Google training, resulting in more than four million people getting a new job, growing their career or growing their business*.

To make sure our programs best help tackle the barriers to digital success, we developed partnerships with training experts, public agencies and policy makers. For example, in France we collaborate with FFAC — French Association of Local Stores — in supporting 30,000 local shop owners everywhere in France in their digital transition.

A more inclusive economic recovery

The pandemic has been disruptive and small businesses have been at the sharp end of this change. While challenging, this past year and a half has also underlined how resilient small businesses can thrive through partnership, openness and innovation. Europe has a great opportunity to build a digital, inclusive, and sustainable recovery that works for everyone. We are excited to play our part in this.

*Analysis by Google based on internal data and a survey by Ipsos from Sep 2016 to Sep 2021 amongst EMEA residents trained via Digital Workshop.

Encouraging better diabetes management through wearable technology

The latest insights from Diabetes UK show that over 4.9 million people are currently living with diabetes in the UK, with rates almost doubling in the last 15 years. At the current prevalence rates, the NHS spends around £10 billion on average each year in managing and treating the condition, which will also increase alongside growing rates. However, research consistently shows that combined lifestyle interventions can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by ~50%.

The pandemic has significantly impacted patient access to healthcare and millions of patients with diabetes have been unable to get regular health checks with their healthcare team. With many GP appointments still being held remotely, wearable devices are increasingly being piloted to help people monitor long-term health conditions and, as a result, the value of wearable devices to help people better manage such conditions is becoming increasingly recognised.

Focusing on holistic health

In November, people in the UK and particularly those living with diabetes, will be able to use a new blood glucose logging tool from Fitbit. They will be able to track their glucose levels by manually logging them throughout the day. Users can then view those levels right in the app alongside other metrics from Fitbit such as physical activity, sleep and their logged nutrition, to help better manage their holistic health and wellness all in one place. Within the app, users will be able to set personalized ranges so they can see when they are outside their target range to better identify important changes. They can also receive reminders to log their glucose levels so they can view their trends over time.

Fitbit has a multi-year partnership with Diabetes UK to help raise awareness of the condition and help educate people on the importance of getting to know their body and how it works. This is in order to encourage behavior changes that may help lessen the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help people to understand and manage their diabetes, in addition to benefiting overall health and wellbeing.

“We want to help empower people with cardiometabolic conditions such as diabetes so they can better manage their health and wellbeing,” says Nicola Maxwell, head of Fitbit Health Solutions in EMEA. “We hope that by making the blood glucose logging feature available through our app, it will help provide accessibility for more people. We are passionate that our work with Diabetes UK will continue to raise awareness for and help improve the health of those living with diabetes.”

Useful tools and technology

The increasing rates of diabetes, coupled with increasing focus on patient self-management, highlights the need for tools and technology to help people with diabetes better manage their condition.

“Often when people are diagnosed with diabetes, they feel overwhelmed and in reality have to spend most of the time self-managing their condition,” says Emma Elvin, Senior Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK. “By logging their blood glucose levels in the Fitbit app, users can see what types of lifestyle factors affect their diabetes and how their blood sugar fluctuates. Seeing all their trends in one place can help people to gain back control. This can give them a greater sense of control and help them to begin to make small changes to manage their diabetes more effectively.

  • The Blood Glucose feature is not a replacement for medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. It is intended to simply help you monitor and keep track of your information. You should talk to your healthcare provider for more guidance on blood glucose management.
  • This feature is rolling out to all UK users, English only in November.

Things to consider when developing job training programs

The way we work has changed. When millions of people around the world had to turn their homes into virtual offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, technology became essential to stay connected with their day-to-day work. This uptake in technology use and the impact of the pandemic on the labor market have fundamentally transformed how we conduct business and the type of skills needed in the workforce.

As jobs with routine tasks like clerical work or bookkeeping become more automated, it's important for governments to invest in their workforce so everyone can get the digital skills needed to succeed in today's job market. That includes closing the digital skills gap for those who are at greatest risk of job displacement: women, those on lower incomes, young and disabled people, migrant populations and ethnic minorities who have borne the brunt of the economic fallout.

A full year after joining the European Commission Pact for Skills — an initiative to upskill and reskill the workforce — we are sharing the key characteristics that we feel should be considered when developing job training solutions. We draw on our experience implementing initiatives to help workers get the skills they need to get a job or grow their business. Since 2015, over 18 million people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa have participated in our Grow with Google training, resulting in more than 4 million people getting a new job, growing their career or growing their business.*

Provide in-demand training that's
accessible to everyone

Earlier this year we announced Google Career Certificates. These affordable courses were designed for people with no prior experience to foster new skills in high-demand areas like IT support and data analytics. Hosted on the Coursera platform, they help people who want to learn online at their own pace, or who may want to change careers and don't have the time or means to access traditional education. Moreover, they are designed to prepare learners for a new job within less than 6 months.

Invest in public-private sector partnerships

Addressing the challenges of the future of work requires collaboration between governments, companies and community organizations. Public organizations are often in the front line of addressing job displacement needs and play a crucial role in reaching those most in need of training. Google has partnered with organizations to helpreach trade unions and workers in the transport and logistics sector, developing programs to helpwomen build confidence in their leadership skills and funding nonprofits to provide critical services forunderserved small businesses.

We are providing 100,000 Google Career Certificates scholarships in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in collaboration with local organizations. Half of these scholarships go to learners from vulnerable populations through grant funding from Google.org to INCO for personalized coaching, mentorship, resume writing and other wraparound support. INCO has partnered with over 30 European non profits like Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG), an organization serving the Roma community in Spain.

A picture of  Alba Bermúdez at her desk facing her computer

Alba Bermúdez in Madrid

Thanks to FSG, Alba Bermúdez in Madrid for instance was able to learn about the scholarships for the Career Certificates. Since the age of 16, Alba worked in craft fairs, as a clerk at a local flea market and most recently as a hairdresser assistant. After losing her job during the lockdown, she decided to use the scholarship from FSG for the IT Support course as she had always been curious about getting into the technology field. Shortly after finishing the course, she found a job in IT support.

In the UK, we're providing scholarships for more than 10,000 people to be able to take these courses for free, including a partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions specifically aimed at jobseekers. We also worked with the Greek Ministry of Labor and the local manpower employer organization, OAED, to offer bespoke training programs in digital marketing, IT support and entrepreneurship to 10,000 unemployed young people in Greece. We have also partnered with Techfugees to provide digital skills training to unemployed refugees in Uganda, Kenya, Lebanon and the UK. These are just a few examples of partnerships with organizations in the region to provide financial assistance for digital skills trainings.

Work hand-in-hand with employers

While there are people that cannot find a job because they don't have the right skills, 40% of employers in Europe also struggle to find qualified people. To ensure digital skills training directly translates into jobs, we are working with companies and organizations who recognize the Google Career Certificates and openly express their interest in receiving applications from graduates.

We know that no entity or industry can tackle these challenges alone. Instead, it’s a shared responsibility, one that will require public policy solutions as well as efforts on the part of businesses, communities, and civil society groups. At Google, we are committed to doing our part. We have a once in a generation opportunity to boost the prospects of an inclusive and sustainable digital future that works for everyone.

*Analysis by Google based on internal data and a survey by Ipsos from Sep 2016 to Sep 2021 amongst EMEA residents trained via Digital Workshop

Google News to return to Spain

Last year, as reports of the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, there was an overwhelming amount of information about the new virus. Once the national lockdown was announced in Spain, my local and national news consumption skyrocketed as I looked for reliable information on the evolving situation. From the latest curfews in my hometown to whether public health restrictions allowed my family of five to sit down at a restaurant, news media provided critical information about the impact of the pandemic in my community.

One way people find news and information about important events is through Google News, a dedicated site and app which provides links to news stories. It helps readers find news from trustworthy and authoritative sources, from the world's biggest news websites to small, local and specialist publications, and directs them to the publishers’ websites when they click on links. For publishers, Google News provides a valuable way for their content to be discovered by readers and to help grow their business by turning readers into subscribers.

This service is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world — but not in Spain.

Google News returns to Spain

In 2014, we closed Google News in Spain due to local legislation. Today, we’re announcing that Google News will soon be available once again in Spain. We made this decision as a result of a new Royal Decree implementing the European Copyright Directive, introduced today by the Spanish government.

This is good news for readers in Spain. Starting early next year, Google News will provide links to useful and relevant news stories, from a wide range of sources, to help people in Spain find more information about current events and to dive deeper into those stories. Moreover, Google News helps people get more information from more news sources; a key tool in the fight against misinformation. For journalists and publishers, Google News helps them be discovered by more readers and generate valuable free traffic.

Working with news publishers

Along with the return of Google News, the new copyright law allows Spanish media outlets — big and small — to make their own decisions about how their content can be discovered and how they want to make money with that content. Over the coming months, we will be working with publishers to reach agreements which cover their rights under the new law.

Alongside this, we will work towards bringing Google News Showcase to Spain, a licensing program and new product experience which pays publishers to curate content for story panels across Google News and Discover.

Sustainable journalism

We believe that technology companies, news organizations and governments need to collaborate to enable a strong future for journalism. Over the years, we’ve taken many steps to support the evolution and long-term sustainability of journalism, from sending billions of visits every month to news websites globally to improving the ways that publishers who choose to be included in products like Google Search and News appear to readers, and the Google News Initiative’s efforts to help publishers transform their business models and spur growth.

We’ve also helped publishers make money by providing tools and technology that help them run digital advertising on their websites and apps. Every year, we pay out billions of dollars directly to the publishing partners in our ad network. In Spain, between 2018 to 2020, Google paid out more than $130 million to the top five news publisher partners in our ad network.

We are thrilled that we will soon be able to bring Google News back to Spain and help connect people with more news and information that matters to them and their community. To read more about how we support Spanish publishers in Spain, please visit: g.co/ApoyandoMediosEspaña

A GIF illustrating Google News in Spain

Google’s approach to Europe’s Copyright Law

Countries in the European Union are currently in the process of implementing the European Copyright Directive, which includes Article 15 or the “neighboring right”, into national law. Developed and debated over many years, the Directive gives new rights to news publishers online while ensuring that consumers can continue to freely access information through online platforms. As countries implement this new law, we have started negotiations with news publishers to license content under these new rights.

The Directive provides two important guiding principles. On the one hand, people and platforms can continue to link to, and include, very short extracts of publishers’ content (referred to as the snippet exemption or snippet exception in Germany). At the same time, the law creates new rights for news publishers when extended previews of their work are used online.

While the law in most countries does not define the scope of protected content, we have already started discussions with hundreds of news publishers across countries including Germany, Hungary, France, Denmark and the Netherlands where the law is now in effect. As part of this process, we are making offers for Extended News Previews, to cover the display of content from news publishers that goes beyond links and short extracts. Where possible, these offers take into account a publication’s readership, the “journalistic nature” of press publications (meaning the focus a publication has on producing journalism compared to other content) and editorial investment.

Many Member States are still in the process of implementation and it will take some time to come to agreements with news publishers that reflect national laws and the Directive itself, and we are taking on board feedback from our early discussions. Google is one of the world’s biggest financial supporters of journalism and our products and services create significant value for publishers through traffic, advertising technology and funding. At the same time, we don’t show ads — or make money — on the vast majority of searches and we don’t run ads on Google News. And, as always, publishers have full control over whether or not their content shows up in Search and how much of that content they want to be used in a preview.

Alongside these discussions, we will continue to invest in products and programs to provide even more support for journalism. Google News Showcase is another example of Google's financial support to the news industry: more than 1000 publications are signed up around the world and more than half of those are in Europe, including in Italy, Czechia, Ireland and Germany.

We look forward to working with publishers and journalists on all these efforts in the coming months, building on our long track record of support for journalism.

Are we stronger than we give ourselves credit for?

Fitbit is working with Professor Ilona Boniwell as part of paid collaboration to develop insights and guidance on positive psychology. This blog is based on that information as well as the results of a survey conducted by an independent third party, Course5 Intelligence, of general consumers in 12 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

What do you think of when you hear the word strong? An image of a weightlifter, Olympian or someone that can withstand a lot of exertion? Strong, based on its traditional dictionary definition, is a word that evokes images of physical fitness and being ‘tough.’ However, perceptions of the word are shifting as more people prioritize inner strength and self care. Here at Fitbit, we think the last 19 months in particular has shown how a holistic approach to health, prioritizing both our mental and physical well-being, can help us feel strong in uncertain times.

In a recent survey conducted by Course5 Intelligence on behalf of Fitbit in August 2021 of more than 13,000 people in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UAE and the UK1, one in ten people surveyed believe the traditional, or dictionary definition, concept of ‘strength’ as being physically strong. 46% of those surveyed recognize that the definition of true strength is a combination of mental and physical traits while 39% of respondents define it as the ability to deal with the stresses and challenges that life can present us with. So how can we lean into our inner strength to enhance our lives? Strength looks different for everyone and most of the time we can easily define someone else who we perceive as strong — but don't necessarily think of ourselves as strong based on our own personal definition of it.

This tendency to overlook our own strengths is reflected in our survey whereby 68% of respondents cited someone other than themselves when asked to name the strongest person they know, and instead naming a parent (20%), friend (10%) or spouse (10%). Though it’s great to recognize other people in our lives as strong individuals, honing in on our own strength and flexing it can help shift one's mindset.

What makes you feel strong?

Positive Psychologist, Professor. Ilona Boniwell who teaches positive leadership at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and HEC Business School, states: “If something doesn’t feel right people automatically look for what is wrong, what am I not doing right. I encourage people to think differently. Instead, look at what is working for you — when do you feel stronger? - and focus on that to affect any changes you want to make. A shift in mindset and strengthening your self-belief will help build resilience that will help you better cope with daily stressors and challenges — which is something we all face.”

When it comes to how people build mental strength to feel ready to take on each day, sleep comes out on top with 66% of people surveyed saying a good night’s rest helps them feel strong. Physical exercise came second for 52% of those surveyed, while the mindful activity of setting goals came third with 32% of people.

Tools to improve mental well-being

“The idea of ‘self-care’ is much more than a buzzword, it is a continuous practice and, like strength, it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. Mental strength is increasingly recognized as a major part of our overall health, but it takes time to nurture. Fitbit can help support your self-care practices with over 300 sleep and meditation relaxation session in Fitbit Premium2, including content from Calm, the #1 App for Sleep and Meditation3 and Deepak Chopra, M.D., Pioneer of Integrative Medicine, and Founder of The Chopra Foundation and Chopra Global, whose exclusive Mindful Method sessions are designed to help improve your emotional well-being,” Joanne Savage, Marketing Director in EMEA, Fitbit at Google.

So, more people are checking in with themselves, but what about how we speak to ourselves? Much of self-talk depends on your personality. In the survey, the findings show that men are more likely to engage in a more positive internal dialogue (42%) or what’s known as ‘positive self-talk’ compared to 33% of women. Alongside gender discrepancies, there were also differences in generations as well. According to the findings, when it comes to discussing mental resilience, 71% of those aged 25-44 were more likely to feel comfortable talking about their mental and physical strength with friends, family members or colleagues, as opposed to 67% of those aged 18 – 25.

“This is a strength in itself, recognizing how important it is to talk, to share how we are feeling with others,” said Professor Boniwell. “If you take time to focus on the positive aspects of your daily experiences you will begin to recognize just how strong you are. Before going to bed every night, think back over your day and remember three good things that happened - things that went well, that you succeeded in, enjoyed or were grateful for. This is more important than you think — appreciation helps you realize what you have accomplished, which, in turn, fuels your self-belief.”

As people move towards a more holistic approach to health, our recent survey shows that sleep and exercise are a top priority in feeling mentally stronger. To build on this, Professor Boniwell’s advice in shifting our mindset can help build resilience and therefore our coping skills with the inevitable daily challenges that arise. Fitbit can support your goals to help feel stronger through the community and tools which can help with your sleep, mindfulness and activity. Visit www.fitbit.com for more inspiration.

Professor Boniwell is one of the European leaders in Positive Psychology, having founded and led the first Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of East London. Today, she leads the International MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (I-MAPP) at Anglia Ruskin University and teaches Positive Management at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and HEC Business School, and consults around the world as a director of Positran. Her main teaching expertise lies in the areas of Positive Psychology and Positive Psychology applications.

1 A survey by Course5 Intelligence conducted on behalf of Fitbit in August 2021 of 13,053 adults in 12 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa. (UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, and UAE). The participants are a representative sample as selected by Course5 Intelligence.

2 Fitbit Premium is only available in select languages. Content & features subject to change. Access these services in the Fitbit app. Fitbit app is only available for compatible Android and iOS devices. Internet connection required for use.

3 Calmcontent is only available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Japanese, and Korean.