Solutions journalism and the future of google algorithms
Google algorithms define digital content strategies; new coding may rank solutions journalism top
A recent story from Journalism.co.uk hints a new google algorithm system could shake up page rankings for original, positive reporting.
The story reveals that to help publishers reap the rewards for their original investigative reporting, Google is changing the way investigative journalism content is recognised and ranked.
“Original reporting is at the core of journalism and we hope these changes will provide better visibility for this type of content and provide value for users in helping them keep informed about the world around them,” said Richard Gingras, VP News, Google.
Why Google’s changes matter for solutions journalism
Solutions journalism is a new, exciting journalistic form, that relies on unique, investigative, energised, transparent and thoroughly-researched stories.
The news that Google’s algorithmic changes will favour this type of writing are likely to see solutions reporting grow, both across global page rankings and in terms of newsroom importance.
Already, top newsrooms across the globe within The Economist, New York Times, Washington Post and BBC are all offering specialist, solutions-based investigations.
What does solutions-based reporting do for newsroom sustainability?
Google’s new algorithms will help drive original, solutions-based stories up page rankings. This in turn will give solutions content longer legs and offer higher audience retention, engagement and monetization potential.
Because younger audiences represent one of the key demographics that favour solutions-based content, there is also a telling opportunity for news organizations to grab engaged readers for the longer term, the likes of whom will stick with subscriptions that offer solutions for years to come.
“We’ll cover stories that are more societal – like how rescue dogs have been used to help prison inmates in the US, or the Spanish student who built his own prosthetic arm out of Lego. That perhaps stretches the boundaries of what makes solutions journalism – but it fits the mold of someone positively embracing a challenge. Solutions journalism should provoke a reaction from the audience – a ‘wow I’ve never thought of that’ or ‘huh, what a great idea’ and our teams go out with that in mind.”
Tom Platt, Reuters digital video editor – ‘Solutions journalism – empowering the informed.’
Futurism, monetization and new reporting forms
Today’s media environment appears increasingly disconnected; strategists seek new ways to win audiences, who in turn are bewildered by myriad subscription offers, paywalls and poorly written, rushed or SEO-driven content flooding devices and social media.
The rise of solutions reporting may well prove a welcome antidote to this dilemma. By stepping back and taking the time to report positive truths within deeper, originally conceived stories, there’s every chance newsrooms will win back trust, and with it financial stability too.