Content Aware media news: July 13, 2023

Published: 14 July 2023

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Googlequake, Meta journalists, and The Athletic eats the NYT  - all in this week's Content Aware.

Did your traffic decrease during Googlequake?
Google has been experiencing an issue with Google News Indexing which surely by sheer coincidence saw publisher news sites worst affected. Some sites saw significant drops in referred traffic, while - a genuine surprise - many syndication sites using the same content saw significant rises in traffic. Obviously, this was all an error and without nefarious motives as - let's be honest - Google doesn't need to flex its muscles any more to publishers that it's in the driving seat.

Corbidge comments on... Meta in the newsroom
Whatever we might think about the overall inability of the news-surfacing duopoly of Google and Facebook to play fair with publishers, it's churlish to ignore the actual money and resources they have pitched into the publisher pot over the years. So have you met a Meta-supplied journalist yet? Our man Rob has - and was impressed. But... well, that's always a but isn't there.

Brace yourself for carrot, celery, and smokey violet!
Few have the level of authority on design, style, and tone as the Pantone Colour Institute, which can be said to be the definitive source of truth on what a colour is. It means they are very cautious about adding new colours into their resource materials - used by designers worldwide to choose colours that could define a brand for decades. So what 225 new shades have been to the Pantone Formula Guide, and which will be at the heart of the colour palette for the next decade? Let's just say you better get used to organic and earthy hues.

Publishing's most opinionated man? You decide!
GPP CEO Denis Haman, who definitely did NOT write this week's Content Aware, is renowned for keeping his profile low and opinions of bad publishing tech to himself. Discovering what he thinks about things like managing your content in super powerful ways is usually difficult to do - until now! Haman will be the guest on AWS's Twitch show 'Let's Build a Startup!' hosted by Giuseppe Battista next Thursday, July 20th, at 10am BST/11am CET - and on demand after. The show specialises in helping early stage growth stories become super-sized successes.

One attention metric for all?
Amid industry fears of robot-readers and fake ad impressions, do you even trust your own audience figures any more? Plenty don't. When it's common to be circumspect about any audience claims, even your own, perhaps it's time we as an entire industry adopted solid new metrics we can all agree on.

The Very Hungry Athletic
Perhaps this internal memo would have tipped the wink to those who read newspaper politics like tea leaves, but the closure of The New York Times' highly-reputed sports desk in favour of sports content supplied by stablemate The Athletic still came as a resounding shock this week. As an acquisition The Athletic has proved to be an enormous success, and although there will be no job losses we bet there are a fair few noses out of joint. Maybe arguments about the allocated office car park spaces were just getting too heated. If we check back in a year as to who's running the sports department, we'll get insight into where the power lies for the future of the NYT.

Do you listen to your kids?
If your office is creaking like an old pair of knees on the boardwalk, you should ask yourself if you have staff young enough to speak the language of Gen Z and the next generation of audiences you want. Mpho Raborife, Managing Editor at news24 in South Africa, tells the Media Voice Big Noises podcats how to get the fasttrack of insight into new audiences from within their own staffroom.

It's all about the context my dear
As the game of tracking and targeting advertising gets trickier, contextual advertising is returning to the fore as offering the right tools to identify the right places to earn extra income. If we were super salesy we would labour the point that a good CMS which marks up content really well is super important to that entire line of ad revenue. But, we won't.

All the fAIls
A couple of reports from the frontlines of generative AI content this week have one UK broadcaster voicing their experiences after experimenting with the tech, and more examples of things straight up awful being published. The plausibility of its inaccuracies is what haunts AI, amongst other things.

'Cancel via Tweet' rules too onerous say businesses
Regulators worldwide are upping the pressure on anyone who offers subscription deals to make it easier for consumers to cancel. The general premise seems to be, however easy you make it to subscribe should be how hard it is to unsubscribe. But text in the guts of proposed new rules in the UK which mean a subscriber could unsubscribe via a Tweet or random web post are a step too far say lots of businesses and leaders.