Google is this week hosting Google for Publishers Summits in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya. The Summits will see over 200 publishers from across the region gather to get an opportunity to explore and better understand Google’s Publisher tools, as well as the challenges and opportunities presented by an online ecosystem growing rapidly in both size and complexity. These Summits are the largest hosted by Google in Africa, to date.
Through its Summits, and other initiatives, Google is empowering publishers to make money online and drive traffic to their sites. In this way, the company aims to give publishers the necessary support to help them monetise their content online, thereby creating opportunities for the industry to leverage technology in the digital world.
The Summits, which address the different issues being faced by publishers and advertisers, are designed to provide a more complete picture of the online ecosystem and the opportunities that lie ahead in 2017 and beyond. Key focus areas include the changing consumption journeys of online consumers as well as the tools available to publishers to optimise their benefits.
With Google having achieved its 2016 goal of training 1 million young people in Africa on digital skills within a year, there is even greater need for high-interest published content for online marketing as these web enthusiasts start their own ventures or assist other web entrepreneurs with theirs.
“Google’s relentless commitment to the growth and development of the people and businesses in Africa is given expression through summits like this as we deploy tools and initiatives to support businesses and individuals in Africa to grow,” says Google Nigeria Country Manager Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor.
Google enables publishers to sell their content directly to consumers through Google Play Newsstand, which now features some 4 000+ newspapers, magazines and blogs. And its search and ads services help publishers make money online and drive traffic to their sites. Google shared more than $11bn with its publisher partners in 2016.
In October 2015 Google joined publishers, analytics and ad tech companies and others to announce the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to dramatically improve the mobile web for everyone.
“Google believes preserving a robust and independent press is important for society. When excellent journalism succeeds we all do better,” Ehimuan-Chiazor comments. “This is why Google helps journalists use technology for reporting and acts as a collaborator and convener to listen and learn from those in the industry.”
Other initiatives driven by Google to assist publishers includes the Google News Lab, which collaborates with reporters and entrepreneurs globally to help build the future of journalism, partner on projects, and build and adapt tools like Google Trends to help them in their work. In 2016 Google trained over 100 000 journalists directly.
In February 2016 it opened Operation Shield — a tool for news orgs and human rights groups to protect themselves from DDoS attacks — to all news organisations.
“We boost content discovery and understanding through diversity tags like ‘opinion’, ‘highly cited’, ‘local’ and ‘fact check’ along with tools like ‘Editors’ Picks’ in Google News to allow editors to highlight original news content they believe represents their organisation’s best journalistic work,” says Ehimuan-Chiazor.
“Online publishers are at the core of the web’s content industry, and it is crucial that they get all the support required for them to continue to “feed” the web with content, while also being assisted to grow their revenues and their businesses,” Ehimuan-Chiazor concludes.