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Monday, October 10th
by The Fix Team

The best SEO strategy – deliver excellent content

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from Council of the EU, ESG Media Labs, Revista Cultivar, RTVE and many others!

We all can recognize a crappy website with content written with Google algorithms in mind, not humans. However, the algorithms are getting better and better – and they are increasingly good at recognising what’s actually useful for people rather than for search optimisation only. 

Therefore, the best long-term SEO strategy for news media is focusing on high-quality journalism, as Alberto Puliafito writes in a recent piece for The Fix. Puliafito explains Google's recent helpful content update and what it means for news outlets trying to build an audience today. 

Of course, news publishers should know and employ the various technicalities that help them stand out in search – especially because, as David Tvrdon previously wrote for The Fix, search is increasingly important for building an audience at the time when Facebook traffic is no longer a thing.

However, the quality of coverage should be front and centre. “The essence of journalism and the essence of SEO are substantially identical”, Puliafito writes – deliver great content people need.
From The Fix
SEO and journalism: what should we learn from Google’s helpful content update?
Alberto Puliafito
People search for information, and journalists produce it. It’s not about the click; it’s about this relationship
How audio newsletters can boost subscriptions and reduce churn
James MacLeod
How audio newsletters can provide value for publishers (sponsored by BeyondWords)
A pirate solution to break through Russian censorship
The Fix Team
reCaptions, a project by creative agency Lucy, uses pirated movie subtitles to deliver news to Russia
Breaking through Russian propaganda, supporting independent media in Eastern Europe – insights from The Fix Foundation’s event
The Fix Foundation
Leaders of creative agency Lucy, sales house Infopoint, and publication Zawsze Pomorze spoke at The Foundation’s first knowledge sharing session
Publishers’ “efforts will pay off in 2022 with markedly increased total revenue”: World Press Trends survey
With inflation rising, possible recessions looming and the ongoing Russia's war in Ukraine, the short-term business sentiment in the news publishing industry has taken a downturn, according to the first results of WAN-IFRA’s global industry survey.
What we are following 
Bots are a huge problem in advertising. Can you imagine paying money for advertising, getting traffic, only to find out it does not consist of real people? How can this be possible, you might ask? Wired covers how botmasters are creating a system where companies are paying huge sums of money to show their ads to bots.

Apart from being one of the US’ largest newspapers, The Washington Post is quite successful on social media. Almost every year WaPo adds another one million subscribers to its Instagram account. One of the reasons for this success is a social media team that works specifically on Instagram. For more on the news giant’s strategy on social media, read the interview with WaPo’s social media executive Travis Lyles. 

Readers are getting comfortable with paying for news media content. However, when more and more outlets are closing their coverage behind the paywall, users are lost in the preposition. Jeff John Roberts from FortuneCrypto believes that crypto and NFTs can be a fix. 

Industry news
Facebook is sunsetting its newsletter platform Bulletin, which was launched last year in an apparent attempt to compete with Substack and other subscription newsletter platforms. It seems that Bulletin never really took off, and now Facebook’s parent company Meta is shifting resources to other, potentially more promising pursuits. Bulletin will close next year, though some of the prominent writers the company recruited last year will receive full payments for contracts that go into 2024, The New York Times reports
Yandex Music, one of the most popular music and podcast services in Russia, blocked a slate of podcasts from independent news outlets, including Radio Liberty’s podcasts, as well as flagship podcasts by independent digital outlet Meduza and a show by Novaya Gazeta. Europe. The restrictions were requested by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state censorship agency. Since the start of Russia’s open invasion of Ukraine, the country’s tech giant Yandex has been under international scrutiny for bowing to the requirements of the state propaganda machine. Still, as The Fix reported recently, podcasting as a whole remains a largely free medium, with independent news media using it to bypass censorship.
Turkey’s parliament has started debating a controversial new bill that aims to combat disinformation but critics fear will restrict press freedom. The spread of “fake news” would be criminalised, with violators facing up to three years in prison. As AP News reports, “[с]ritics, including opposition lawmakers and non-governmental organizations, say the law is too vague and could potentially be abused by the government to further crackdown on independent journalism, especially media that has developed on the internet.” Press freedom has been significantly limited in Turkey, with the government controlling major news outlets and many journalists being imprisoned.
Opportunities and deadlines

2022 Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program. Columbia Journalism School is inviting news leaders to apply to the leadership program in New York City. The program trains news leaders to lead innovation and solve strategic business challenges. The scholarship covers tuition as well as travel costs for the residency weeks.
More info:
Deadline: October 21

Festival of Journalism. The PA Media Journalism in association with the Google News Initiative is organising a series of events across the UK. The events are offering training and opportunities for journalists to network.
More info:
Deadline: October 19 to December 1

Webinar: The emotional toll of investigative journalism. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford is hosting webinar “The emotional toll of investigative journalism.” The webinar is part of Reuters Institute’s Global Journalism Seminars series. The webinar features John-Allan Namu, investigative journalist and CEO of Africa Uncensored.
More info:
When: October 12

Job Openings

Programme Lead Training & Events. The European Journalism Centre is looking for a Programme Lead to support journalists and media professionals in their skill advancement. You will oversee the program implementation, engage with partners, and launch plans for online events, workshops and training programmes. The position is based in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
More info:
Deadline: October 23

Product Manager - Content Platforms. Economist Impact, part of The Economist Group, is looking for a content manager to develop content and community platforms operated by the company. Experience working with content management systems and strong analytical skills among other skills are preferable for this role. The position is based in London.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

Digital Growth Manager. Financial Times Group’s Investors’ Chronicle is looking for a Digital Growth Manager to help build on its online presence among the UK investing community. Key responsibilities include driving growth and subscription. The position is based in London. 
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
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