Tobias Willmann discusses SEO for News at SEOnerdSwitzerland. Watch the recording and read the transcript.

Insights Into SEO For News w/ Tobias Willmann

Here you will find the link to the full recording of the webinar & key takeaways regarding online SEOnerd Switzerland meetup SEO for NEWS Website with Tobias Willman.

A huge thank you to Tobias Willmann, head of SEO at the Preparing a presentation and being present at the meetup take a lot of time. The association SEOnerd Switzerland is nothing without speakers willing to share their knowledge. I am happy SEOnerd Switzerland got to welcome Tobias!
Learning from people is my favorite way to learn! Seeing so many participants connected Thursday October 29nd made me happy. Many thanks to you all for joining us.

Do you want to learn more about SEO for News? Listen to the WorkinSEO Podcast with Tobias Willmann

Meet Tobias Willmann

Tobias has a strong technical background in SEO. He understands the needs of publishing companies and how to apply successful SEO principles. For the his team and him are responsible for strategy, technical SEO, SEO Data and the collaboration process between SEO specialists and journalists.

Twitter @tobias_willmann

LinkedIn Tobias Willmann

Full Webinar Recording with Tobias Willmann

 Tobias Willmann at SEOnerdSwitzerland, 2020

Key takeaways about NEWS SEO

SEO for news’ website is about 

  • Faster production,
  • Content at the right time,
  • More SEO relevant content.

Process journalists <> SEOs at

At, input from SEO data to journalists is done via meeting, slack or any other medium. Journalists write the articles with some SEO consulting if needed. SEOs optimize the article, for example, meta titles, add additional explain boxes.

After writing and publishing the article, the team will update it later and optimise it to create a longer life cycle. The content of a web article is relevant longer compared to a print article. 

Tips for technical SEO for News website

News websites require a sitemap with specific requirements. ????? Read more in this article from Support Google: Create a Google News sitemap.

Add markup for News content and related matters. defines NewsArticle as “A NewsArticle is an article whose content reports news, or provides background context and supporting materials for understanding the news.”  Read more information Markup for News.

Add AMP, a web component framework to easily create user-first websites., stories, ads and emails. AMP is fast. ????? Read more on

Mind the Web vitals of your website, especially the Speed (obviously). For example, use one JavaScript file for each page type.

About #SEOnerdSwitzerland

SEOnerdSwitzerland is a non-profit association that aims at promoting and sharing knowledge about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEOnerd Switzerland organizes events in person and in webinars. 

Join the community of SEO enthusiasts.

Follow us on Twitter @SEOnerdSwitz where we share slides, nexts events and articles we enjoyed.

Full transcript of webinar: Insights into SEO for publishers

Isaline Muelhauser: Welcome everybody at SEOnerd Switzerland. First of all, can you just write us something in the chat to tell us if you can hear me well, if you can see us well, if you feel well, or just say whatever you want so we know you’re there and that everything is fine. And… Before we can start saying anything like very important. So, I don’t see the chat. So, Sara Moccand Sayegh you need to check it.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Okay, I’m checking the chat, yes. Obviously, I see. Hi! Yeah, we can hear yah, et cetera, et cetera. So, they can hear us. So, it’s fine.

Isaline Muelhauser: Oh, okay, that’s cool part.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: That’s good news.

Isaline Muelhauser: I’m sharing my screen, so, I don’t see the chat. Well, as long as you can hear me, then I’m happy, then it’s good. So, as you know, this is a webinar. So, we are going to wait maybe another minute but not really more because it’s not like in prisons person where we wait 15 minutes at least look at those who do wait in our region. But… I mean, one minute is still a nice thing to do, right? Okay, so maybe, first thing, can you tell us what do you do like, what kind of background you have, it’s more in marketing, it’s more technical, it’s a specialist SEO? It’s just to give us an overview of who we are talking to. And it helps us sort of, adapt our language if needs be or you know, or maybe ask more questions for you or just you know to have us an idea. Sara Moccand Sayegh, do you see anyone?

Sara Moccand Sayegh: No, that’s all. I see when you’re like, everybody like is there and they really want to say what’s their background, apparently. So… You can do it. You can give us the background. No?

Isaline Muelhauser: SEO specialist, marketing consultants, are you working for newspaper? I would love to have lots of people working for a newspaper.

Isaline Muelhauser: Oh, we have Digital Strategists. Awesome! You are at the right place, my friend. Okay so…

Isaline Muelhauser: We are waiting for the few others to come. Let me just introduce you the association, if you’re here for the first time. So, SEOnerd Switzerland is a non-profit association. We organized the meet-up, sometimes in person but mostly at the moment is, they are webinars which is pretty cool because webinars, we get to meet more people sort of internationally. And we get to have great speakers that don’t live in the same city. And… So, what else?

Oh, yeah. And for the little story, Sara Moccand Sayegh and I used to work together and we had fun working together so we decided to have a side project together and this is pretty much how SEOnerds started. And also we wanted to speak to other people doing the same job so this really good opportunity to meet people.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Yeah.

Isaline Muelhauser: Before we start with Tobias Willmann’ talk, I would like to tell you about next, next, next month’s talk. So, this is another great speaker. You have to come and see her. Rachel Costello, like she has loads of public speaking. She has published in the search engine journal. And she will help you prepare for Google’s page experience update. So, this is going to be a bit technical but very fun, so save the date. It’s Thursday 19-11, so, yes November. So, you have no excuse not to come. This is not the Christmas rush, yet. So… And now, I will just let Sara Moccand Sayegh introduce today’s talk.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Yeah, before that if you want to sign up and you still didn’t, you can check in the chat and I sent you the link to the event. I particularly like Rachel so…

So, coming back to today’s talk, first of all, thank you so much Tobias Willmann for coming. It’s so cool to have you here. Isaline Muelhauser and I are super happy. And for those that still doesn’t know Tobias Willmann, let me introduce you to him. So, Tobias Willmann is SEO Specialist, is Head of SEO. I can do it. He’s Head of SEO at Blick and he’s also SEO Trainer at the Zürich University for Applied Science. So, if ever you study IT Coder, go and visit Tobias Willmann. And his training, for those that doesn’t know it, if you follow Tobias Willmann on LinkedIn then you will be aware. He clearly has a strong technical background. He works for Blick, so he understands the needs of publishing company and how to apply SEO principle, obviously. in that case. So, Tobias Willmann, it’s him, responsible for the strategy, the technical SEO. He told me also once that he has somebody doing SEO data and the collaboration between SEO Specialists and journalists for Blick. So, I think that, I said everything there, Tobias Willmann. Is there something else that you want to add?

Tobias Willmann: No.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: No? it looks fine, okay. So, okay, if you have any questions you can ask him. And here is how we will organize today’s talk. If this is the first time that you join us, I will explain for people that it’s their first time to join. So, we will have Tobias Willmann talk. You can ask question. We have a, if you check, you have a Q&A and you can write your question and at the end of the presentation, we will select some question or Tobias Willmann too, he can select some question or all the questions if we get the time and he will answer to your question. So, if everything is good, let’s start. Okay, Tobias Willmann.

Isaline Muelhauser: Let me unshare my screen and so for the story, we met Tobias Willmann when we were at the Google Webmaster Conference and we were very impressed with his talk and so we have a renewed version today that looks wonderful.

Tobias Willmann: So, you can all see my screen. Yeah, let’s start. This is an extended version actually, of the Google Talk I had. There’re multiple versions and let’s start with this one. And I was already introduced so we can instantly start, I guess.

‘News SEO’, I will start with the two main fields we want to rank in. And it’s not like, the blue links, we want to rank mainly in these Top Stories Newsbox’s carousels. And these are special places in Google where you can rank. Yeah, just as a publisher here and you are really limited in the time you are able to rank here. It’s not like, you can rank here forever but you need to have news. That’s the first thing.

The second thing which is now becoming more and more interesting for us, is Google Discover. And Google Discover, Google mentioned its 800 million monthly active users. And I can tell you these numbers they show for, I don’t know, at least a year. So, I guess, it’s in reality much higher. And that’s a really interesting topic for us because that’s basically the recommendation engine which is showing people in Google News and other posts.

And when Google first reported the numbers of Google Discover, this was last year I think, we saw that, for us as a publisher that’s a really high share. Like, a lot of clicks are coming, and also impressions are coming through Discover. So that’s a really important field for us and I think for many other publishers it’s the same. The higher your Android share is the higher will be Discover, I guess So, that’s the situation, if you deal with News SEO, you see it’s a different field than normal SEO.

I also want to mention here, Aggregators. And Aggregators is something like Google News and also something like Upday, Toutiao and these are really big for publishers. And they basically work like with SEO methods, I would say. So, you need to be indexable and stuff like that and it needs to be crawled by all these Aggregators. And we also see some, especially in Switzerland, some correlation between Google Discover and Apple News widget. Apple News widget is, if you have an IOS device and scroll to the left, then you get these news recommendations. And there is some correlation but the thing with Apple News is it’s really hard to track it’s- In Google Analytics, it’s direct.

And so, I want to show you a little setup here, how you can get an idea about at least the differences in numbers here. So, it’s not like an accurate number but if you set up in Google Analytics, it filters and say, “Yeah, I want IOS. I want Safari.” The landing page is always an article so there’s never an entry on the home page coming from Apple News widget. The source is direct and if you have a mobile site and an AMP page, then it’s usually going to the mobile site. And… This is a setup which can help you to kind of estimate if there is a growth in Apple News. And… It’s not accurate but I think it’s, you cannot get much better because Apple is not having a proper referral here.

Yeah! Then, the topic links, I get some messages in Linkedin, usually, they want to send me links and I’m not interested just to mention that here because SEO link building might work and outreach is important but if you have a legacy and a really old news brand and you have a lot of good content then you have good links because of good content and it’s also growing naturally. Because if we have, for example, a story first, then usually other publishers with high trust link to our page. And so, you don’t really care about links which is really a cool part of the job here.

The second thing is content. If you’re working in an agency and you have to tell your clients like, “Hey, come on, could you please write something.” and then somehow, “No, we are busy.” Then… This topic is also not a topic for us as News SEOs because we have a 200 plus journalists which produce really good content and content is the core product. So, that’s really a good situation.

But… Yeah, it’s about- Because we are competing with other publishers, it’s about being faster and having a faster production here; having content at the right time; having more SEO relevant content. And so, you see that, you will see- I will show later some examples here that content for a publishing website is completely different than running like a business blog or something like that. And it’s much more about the speed and the timing and these things.

So, in our case at Blick, we work in a process which looks like this. So… We as an SEO team, we do research and we try to find the data, some topics and some ideas which are trending in search. And I will show examples later how we do that. Then we give it to the journalists because they are the expert in producing content and usually because there are much more journalists than SEO experts. We… We have this problem with that we need to be live as soon as possible. The articles get published in our case and we try to reoptimize afterwards. Sometimes during the production process but usually because it’s time critical stuff it gets published as soon as possible.

So, with this, we also have a big job with educating and training people. I train in journalists. And I will go with an example of inside set. How this could fail? And I think, every SEO who understands German will get the point here instantly. So, all these headlines are writing about unicorns and that’s a weird thing, I think. And… Actually, unicorn that’s a term for a startup, a successful startup. If you’re writing about economy news but, of course there’s a problem if you have such a title in the search results. And, yeah you can if you want to watch like inside set is doing that a lot. It’s really funny. You can grab at whatever you want here but you see that there’s some need to train people. And…

So, for example, just training people about titles. We train them of course to have like the location organization and people in the title. And we try to- We train them that they should put the title first. And also, what many publishers do is they have a separated headline and title tag because if you do a print newspaper then you want to enable the journalists to be free with whatever title they want even with unicorns and stuff like that. But then, they should have another title, for the title tag for like third-party distribution and to show it in search engines in a way that people understand what to expect if they click on the link.

So, inside set is doing that actually. So, you see here, the unicorn headline and you see below the title tag in Google search with mentioning the startup, in this case, ‘stripe’ which is like, you have best practice here. And… Yeah!

At Blick, it also happens you need to train people. At Blick it happens for example, sometimes that you go for something like Coronaldo. And I was like, “Who’s Coronaldo?” and of course, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo having Corona but, you know, like you need to train people to be a- To… Actually, we train the people to get the first version better so that we don’t have to optimize so much. And also, we know that the first version is super important for for Google to be ranked in a proper way. Yeah!

So, the next thing, if you are working in publishing, you struggle with like, especially if you have a legacy, a print legacy, then you struggle with this print and forget versus the internet. And if you’re thinking about the legacy life cycle of an article, it’s like you writes the article then you publish it, it’s printed on paper, you cannot change it anymore and so you have to forget about it. So, you cannot change it anymore. It’s printed on paper and you cannot change.

But the whole situation is different if you are now in a world where, I think we have 600,000 articles on And every of these, every article is accessible through Google in theory. And then you end up in this situation that you wrote two articles in this example about what’s allowed at the German border, in terms of Corona rules. And… If the second article is published, the first one is outdated. So, if a user is coming to the first one at the date of the second one then he gets wrong information. The user gets wrong information and that’s really critical for us to clean up here and to have a redirect or to like, we’re recycling with the article or something like that. And this is also a big job usually with News SEOs. So…

We try to extend this life cycle to have it like, do a recycling. Extend the article maybe. Not write a new article about the Corona rules but keep an old one always up to date because that’s, it’s a little bit of cleanup work for the platform so that every user, even the users coming through search, get a proper information and a proper site. Yeah!

Okay, let’s switch the topic here a little bit. And switch into technical SEO and I want to show you some special things for News SEOs so, what we do and also, want to show you some more detailed things which I think many publishers struggle with.

And the first thing I want to show you is this way to support bots. And… For SEO, it’s really, really important that the website is crawlable, of course. You all know that. So, you do something like proper linking. You have section pages. You have tag pages to get the bot kind of easily moving through the site and stuff like that. And one thing you can do as publishing websites is you could have a News XML Sitemap with special tags to inform Google that you have a new article and you have this image for this article and this publication date. And this is special for news. It’s also limited to you just can have in this sitemap articles, I think younger than 48 hours. It’s also limited to; I think 1000 articles. So, that’s a special sitemap and that’s what you can do with in publishing SEO.

In addition, you always want to extend your site with structured data and one thing here is the News Article Markup. There’re many special markups, you can also do with video and stuff like that as a publisher but news articles may be the most special markup for publishers with also something like author and publishing date, modification date. And this markup helps also to get into the top carousel and so on.

There’s also an option with this markup that you could decide which images are shown in Google Aggregators so something like, Discover. So, you can give an array with multiple images like in specific sizes and then Google will select the image and show it in Discover, for example or this is, I think, a new tab in Chrome, where also news is shown below. And yeah, that’s really powerful if you do the images, then you can manage that and you influence that but if you don’t, then yeah, Google will select whatever is there for them which is risky in some cases. Okay!

So, the next topic is AMP. AMP is a web component framework and website publishing technology. And… AMP, the main thing with AMP is it’s fast, I would say because it has limited JavaScript and CSS. And… Actually, the big benefit of being fast is its pre-cache coming from Google. So, Google is basically loading the site and then it’s of course super fast. It also has some blockers for bad practices in terms of speed and UX. So, you cannot do, I think render blocking ads. So, it’s always, content first and ads are lazy loaded or later loaded and it also helps you with avoiding layout shifts. So, it’s a powerful technology to achieve good web vital scores actually. If you’re speaking like that now.

And if you never saw these, if you are in Google search on a mobile device, you see this little icon, and this is the signal that, this is an AMP article. And if you click on those, it’s pre-cached from Google as mentioned. It’s obviously, then super fast.

Currently, if you want to be in the Top Stories, you need to have AMP. So, Top Stories on a mobile device but in next year, there will be changes and that’s really interesting changes. I think that’s a new slide, actually. And… So, Google is, next year they take the page experience metrics to be the ranking criteria to be in the top stories. So, you need to have a fast side and not blocking and good UX to be in that carousel and in the top stories. And they will remove AMP as a requirement next year, which may change the whole thing with AMP. But, I… We will speak about web vitals in a minute.

I first want to show you this one and this is from the AMP team, actually. So, it’s kind of biased but anyway. What you can see here is, if you build an AMP HTML website, it’s really hard to get it slow. So, it’s always like, super small, pre-cached from Google, having some best practice implemented and if you have a normal mobile site like if you don’t care about speed and good UX, then you are this average mobile site. And so, the decision is basically do you want to build AMP in addition to the mobile site, or do you want to really hand tune your mobile average site to be competitive with AMP? And… Yeah, so that’s the discussion publishers will have I think, next year. At least, if you start from zero, if you are starting from zero as a publisher, you will have this discussion. Like do I want to hand tune my site or do I want to go AMP as a second version of every article, will be really interesting next year. Okay.

So, let’s switch to this Web Vitals topic. Which is a big topic for publishers. And I want to show you first some things, how you could avoid layout shifts. And I show you here, this is actually not the case anymore for Blick, we have solved that but in what you can see here is that, the headline is jumping. So, first it jumps because there is some space made for an ad and then it jumps because here’s some space made for- or here the video drops in so this’s also jumping because of that. And so, the headline is super unstable and the side feels like jumping and which is not nice for the reader to read like that. In addition, if you have buttons in there, it can also be like misleading and if the user is clicking during the loading process on some area which jumps shortly before its- You know, that’s the CLS score, you should check that out in any case, but for publishers you see with ads and with all these elements. It’s a big topic.

What you can do here, I will show you one example. This is super, sorry for being having so many pixels here but, I don’t know, where i downloaded that. What you can see here, this is the old version and you see here the title, the headline and it’s jumping because of the video. And in the solution down here, what we did is, we have a placeholder in the size of the video which is coming later, which we load initially. And so, the whole thing stays stable and you see the headline here is not jumping. And this is a good solution because then the size is much more stable and not jumpy and it will help you to get a better CLS score. Yeah, you can solve, you can do a lot with placeholders actually, to improve that score, also for ads which we are working on currently.

The second thing is speed with Web Vitals. And I will go with an example, many publishers have that problem that, you have a lot of ads because you’re monetized by ads and you have a lot of JavasScript because you have some fancy, I don’t know, storytelling tools with graphs and stuff like that which are loaded with iframes and a lot of JavaScript. And you can end up in the situation where you load all of this stuff because the ad guys, they want to be tracked first. That’s of course, because that’s how they make money. You can end up in the situation that you load a lot of stuff before the first real image is loaded in this waterfall graph. And… If you have that, if you have such a situation then your Largest Contentful Paint scores will not be that good. And…

And if you’re talking with like, if you run a small website then usually people tell you, “Hey! Yeah, compress your images and stuff like that.” But I think many publishers are- That’s not a solution for many publishers because if you haven’t compressed your images as a publisher then you also spend a lot of money for all the volume, you’re shifting through the network through your CDN. So, probably these easy things are solved for most publishers and you need to solve more advanced things to improve the Largest Contentful Paint and similar scores.

And… I want to show you one example here with a big CSS file. And let’s imagine this big CSS file is render-blocking and you load this big ‘X’ as a big file and your setup could look like this. So… There is a home page and a section page and an article page and all of these pages load the same big JavaScript file and the same CSS file. And just a little part of this JavaScript and this CSS is needed really for all the pages, for example, for the framing. This means that, whatever URL you’re loading, all the CSS and all the JavaScript is loaded.

And, this is a problem because, of course, on the home page you don’t want to load the CSS and the JavaScript which is needed for comments. Because comments are, on article pages really below the fold somewhere down there. So, this is really low prio to load the CSS of the comments but with this setup, that’s a problem. And…

Yeah, you can save, you can solve that for example, with something called CSS in JavaScript, the JSS and I want to explain a little bit how that works. The idea is to have, in an extreme example, like in this demo page I built. You have zero CSS so there’s no CSS file anymore but how do you do that?

And the idea here is, or how that works is you use something, this is a React application and you use style components which is a library to do CSS in JavaScript. And what you do here, this is a React component which is generating this line here with this beautiful yellow background. And here is some JavaScript calculating how many stars you get here and here, you see, this is background color yellow, that’s CSS and it’s bundled with the JavaScript. So, it’s one file, one component.

And what happens if you then load something like that to see that there is a JavaScript file loaded and in the JavaScript file there’s somewhere hidden this CSS. And… This is super powerful with- Because you just have to load the JavaScript. And…

JavaScript, I found this- Javascript has much more options to load, async and defer and to manage the priority of what you load if you compare that with CSS and you check out this recommendation which is like if you Google-CSS async or so then this is one of the first recommendations and it’s a good one but it’s basically, saying, this CSS is a print CSS and then it’s switching it, on load it’s switching to, this is a CSS for all. So, this is, it’s a hack in the end if you do something like this. Like this and with… With JavaScript you have much more options to manage the load prio here. So…

Load prio management like with the same example, what you can do here, in addition is to come back to just loading the comments, if the comments CSS is needed. What you can see here is, I’m on the home page now, I click on an article and now this, the JavaScript is loaded. So on the home page there’s nothing loaded which is not needed on the home page and that helps a lot to not just for the home page but also for the article page or in this case the event page, to reduce the amount of JavaScript and CSS loaded.

So, the setup looks like this as an example. So… The common JavaScript and the common CSS is just loaded on article but for example, the weather widget, JavaScript which is on every page in the top corner, is loaded for all of those. And if you apply a logic like this, then you reduce the amount of JavaScript and CSS per page and then it’s getting faster actually. In addition… If you have solved that and you splitted everything nice and everything is like, into components, then you want to apply some load prior probably to all these things.

That’s a really good article by Eddie Osmani. He’s working for the Chrome team and he’s explaining that for example, an ad framework would have a defer if you load it. And… It’s telling, it’s a really good document telling about how you can prioritize the JavaScript files in in the load order.

And then probably you come up with something like this, okay the common JavaScript is just loaded on article and it gets script defer at the end of the body because it’s not so high in pre-prio. and then, the things which are important and which make the site look fast in a higher priority. Actually, that’s a lot of work and if you run a WordPress site which is like, click together, it’s really hard to apply something like that. I saw almost impossible. So, with modern JavaScript frameworks, you can do that And… And, I would definitely recommend to do that because this makes the site super fast if you apply that stuff.

Okay. The last thing here with tech, I think is web stories. These were AMP stories before. It’s a topic for News SEO again. A pure topic for News SEO, I think. And… What AMP stories or web stories now do is actually that’s visual storytelling. So, you can create something like this on here from BBC. And it’s a nice way to explain, to do a story, probably a more evergreen-like story. And the difference compared to an Instagram story is that, it’s HTML and HTML-based. So it’s not a video of something like that or images. It’s a real XML Markup thing. And… The next difference is that you don’t upload those to Google or to Facebook or something like that but you own it. So, it’s your- It’s like a website but it generates something which is, I think, a really nice way to do visual story time.

Why is this an SEO topic? Actually, in Switzerland, it’s not yet an SEO topic but if you are in the US, in Brazil, or in India, then these web stories are in a premium position in Google Discover. And I mentioned before Google Discover is, in our case 40% of the organic traffic. And… If you end up in such a situation that Google Discover is opened and the web stories are in top position then you want to have web stories. So, I’m pretty sure, that’s something you have to be aware of as a publishing SEO. Also, in Europe because it could happen that they switch it on here and then it’s instantly an SEO topic for us. Anyway, you can spend time and check out if this way of visual storytelling is something you like. I think it’s cool. Much more cooler than doing video editing or image editing to do the same. Okay.

Cool! So, last chapter- So… Last chapter is data. And… I just want to show you- This is like describing the relationship between organic traffic and direct traffic for us as publishing SEOs. And I want to show you two user flows. And the first user flow is like, someone is searching for Federer, you got these results. It’s an AMP page. You click on the result and you are on the article and you read the article and probably after that you bounce because if you’re looking for Federer you’re not going to read, I don’t know, an article about whatever. So, you’re driven by the topic. So that’s the traditional SEO traffic.

Compared to that, if you have a loyal reader who has installed the app, then the user flow is App, you go to the home page of the app and you go to the article. And what many of those users do who are super loyal to a brand is they do Home page > Article > Home page > Article > Home page > Article and at some point, they bounce. And if you have that situation combined with a strong brand, then you’ll have a lot of people entering on home. And…

If you then place something in the top position on home, you will have amazing CTRs coming from home to the article. And this changes, this is really something you need to be aware of in Google Analytics because this, you could easily end up with something like, an article has 70+% of the page views with a previous page path of home. And if you would then, just check those numbers where’s the traffic coming from and you as an SEO, eye in here then you have a really hard time to argue how important and are you and how big- How important are you to drive traffic and stuff like that? But you need that, the important thing here is you need to understand this boost of a strong brand and a home page with high CTRs to the article positioned on the top position. And we are working on that.

This is an old screen view screenshot and we are working on understanding this better for- This is an example which shows us if the positioning on the home page is underperforming for its position or if we should change something here. So, that’s something you could optimize. In the meantime, we are optimizing these things like with an algorithm. So, we started with- so every user that’s the goal Gets a home page which is optimized for the user to improve the CTRs through the article. It’s really important also for News SEOs to understand this mechanism of a strong home page as a publisher.

Okay. Now, I want to switch to tracking of rankings which is also special for us Because… If we check our short head keywords, something like, I don’t know, Yvonne, football, Donald Trump and so on- Not those actually, these are the ones who are the same here. I see. But you see here down there, there’s some Apple iPhone 11. It’s an old screenshot. This Apple iPhone 11 wasn’t there before. So… Short head keywords, they change all the time for us. So… Most of the keywords are haven’t been trending a month before. And this is really hard for us to track. If we want to track rankings with traditional tools, it’s really hard.

So, you need to watch out for useful data if you want to track rankings in publishing SEO. If you have something like, Sistrix, Searchmetrics and those tools, they have a general stable keyword set, basically. It’s really, I would say it’s really stable. It’s a big keyword set but it’s not a news keyword set. So… So, it’s really hard to track with something like that rankings. There are special tools something like, Newsdashboard, they track a special news keyword set which is changing all the time, like every 15 minutes, actually. They have really short cycles with changing the keyboard set they track. And I also like Google Search Console here because they have all the long tail and the problem here is you need a ranking but at least this is like on pretty accurate in terms of what’s currently ranking.

In addition, you need to think about the freshness and frequency of data if you’ll in News SEO because also here, if you go with Sistrix, Searchmetrics and check the visibility scores, they are updating it I think, every seven days, once a week. And… Yeah, that’s a one-time shot of where you have been and that’s not enough for News SEO because we have this high frequency. And so, a Newsdashboard helps us here with checking every 15 minutes, a Google Search Console gets more and more useful when I presented this the first time. it was I think of a free day delay and now it’s, I see sometimes five hours. So, the more Google Search Console is getting close to real time the better. But one of the best sources is something which is really real time. So, Google Analytics 360 with real time is really good Chartbeat, has special tools for publishers which help not to track rankings but they help to track the landing pages in real time. And that’s… In many cases, more valuable than checking once a week, do we rank for Donald Trump or not? So that’s really a different situation compared to an e-commerce SEO. Okay! So…

Next one is about finding topics. And I want to show you here an example where we get topic ideas from for our input I mentioned before. So, we check, for example, real-time trends in Google trends and then we see some ideas and we try to match that with the situation for us as publishers, could we cover that as it used to? Does a journalist have the room to do that? And that’s one source like we trend, Google trends. Actually, the coolest situation is your brand is being a Google trend, that’s today. That’s a real time thing here.

There’s also, this is from Newsdashboard and they help you with, they show you missing topics. So, these are topics which other publishers made news rankings with but we haven’t covered them or we don’t rank with them. So, this is a special tool for that. That’s for the news part.

Also, for seasonal topics, we try to work with Google trends and an example here is if you do like that so climate change was a topic like for years, I think. And then Fridays for Future we’re upcoming and Greta and, of course big trends. And you as a journalist think, “Hey, that’s a super cool topic. We need to write about it and of course, that’s in the news. That’s really big.” But… If you compare that to Mother’s Day like good- And so, it’s really Mother’s Day is like huge compared to whatever news topic is happening. So… So, if you’re just looking for covering the biggest trend here then it’s for sure, a Mother’s Day is a really good one. If you make it to have something useful and to get a news box for Mother’s Day, it’s a safe bet, actually. It’s happening every year. And… Yeah!

What we also did, this is a prototype we once built and this prototype is basically, taking some data from Google Trends, Google Search Console and other sources and trying to predict what’s an upcoming topic at a week. So, what I’m doing here is, I type in the week and then it tells me ticks like these little blood-sucking animals are our topic in week 20 because it was like that in the last five years and it’s probably a topic again this week 20, this year. And you can combine it with multiple other data sources. So, in this case, we try to recommend an article for recycling if no journalist is able to write something, we could go with this one and try to refresh it a little bit and because it’s not so much changing with these animals every year so it might be useful to have the old one recycled. That’s like, that’s our prototype we built once and we now have a content calendar of course, to get there a more advanced input and to also with knowing who is able to write something because you have to manage all the journalists also in the newsroom where can you get something written. It’s a big topic.

You can also try to predict when you need an article like that, not in the way like week 20 is the peak. But you could also try something like this. So, what you can see here is trends for last Christmas and Gingerbread Cookies. And you see this curve and if you check what’s below the curve, actually. You could calculate something like, how much of the trend is gone in which week? And this is based on the previous year’s data. And if I wait as a journalist, to write the article about Gingerbread Cookies until the first week of December, I have missed 42% of the possible interest based on the data from the previous year. So, it’s really interesting for me as an SEO to tell them, “Hey guys, it’s mid of October. Let’s plan to have something now about Gingerbread Cookies because we don’t want to miss the 42% of the possible interest.” Which is not because of the article is good or bad or something like that. It’s just because people are interested way before or some people are interested way before Christmas, in Christmas Cookies. So, also something like this, you can do with trends data and then you get the idea, I think, with how you can get a good content calendar and how to like improve the whole process of telling journalists when you could do what and so on.

Okay! So that’s it. So, thanks!

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Thank you, Tobias Willmann! It was great, really! I really enjoyed it so I imagine everybody enjoyed it too. There’s so many useful information. Yeah, it was excellent! I… Isaline Muelhauser? Yeah, she’s there. Okay. So… Should we start the questions because some question came in?

Tobias Willmann: Yeah, have you already checked? That, I haven’t checked. So…

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Yeah, we have checked them, in the meantime So… But I let Isaline, there were two or three questions.

Isaline Muelhauser: So, first question, if someone’s using a CDN like Cloudflare or Akamai, does PageSpeed matter?

Tobias Willmann: If you’re using a CDN, the main problem you solve is that it’s never going down, actually. So, Akamai will probably never crash even if you have high traffic. And the other thing a CDN is helping you is to spread your stuff through the world. So, it’s next to the client of the user. But this is just one part. It’s like optimizing, like having compressed images. But if you’re talking about the load order or the rendering in the browser, a CDN will not really help. You need to manage what is loaded at which point. And if you check in PageSpeed, then you see there’s something like, render-blocking resources, problems like that, never possible. It’s not possible to solve those with just having a CDN. So, like, it’s–

Isaline Muelhauser: Thanks a lot. And, can you tell us more about what you mean by recycling the articles?

Tobias Willmann: Recycle the article would be, if you have the Corona question example. So… What’s allowed at the German border related to Corona, then, you have 10 rules which are probably the rules at the German border. And then, the German government is changing three, adding three new ones. Then you don’t write a new article with having 13 rules but to take the 10 rules and adapt them to now fit the new rules. And the same you could do with something like the nicest hiking tracks in Switzerland. You can check the upcoming year. You can check, okay, all these restaurants still there near the track which will be probably the case for almost all of them. And then you have a fresh article with updated information which you can show the user again without writing a new one. So, like, this is the idea, yeah, by keeping your stuff up today, and then you get it. You know.

Isaline Muelhauser: Thank you. And, we have another question here. So, do you believe that Google is going to kill AMP next year? I mean… He wants 2020, I think you mean 2-1, 2021 Jacob, right?

Tobias Willmann: Yeah, I think it was really early mentioned that it’s happening early this change. I don’t- From my Google site actually, AMP is not anymore Google. It’s funded, I think, by Google still but it’s an open source now. And it’s owned by some foundation, I think. So, Google is not killing it, I think. But the question is how this will- Yeah, it’s hard to predict what happens but the new metric is good page experience. So, not anymore having AMP or not having AMP. And… If many people, many publishers say we will go the hand you inside, then it’s becoming hard for AMP, I guess. I don’t know, it’s the hope in it.

Isaline Muelhauser: The future will tell us. Let’s meet in six months and see what happens.

Tobias Willmann: Yeah.

Isaline Muelhauser: Any other questions here?

Sara Moccand Sayegh: So, I have a question as everybody asked a question and we were speaking about him so I will ask. So, will Blick still keep AMP because you are quite fond of AMP apparently and then you have obviously, quite a bit of advantage with AMP? So, I will try to be neutral. I like AMP obviously, as everybody doing SEO, almost everybody.

Tobias Willmann: For us, we will keep the AMP because we have developed it to a really good state. And… We don’t have so much effort to keep it but I think, what we might try is to, let’s see what happens with other publishers but maybe we’ll try to switch it off after a while or so. So that’s a strategy you could go. So, let’s say you have an evergreen article which would work all year. I don’t know how to do something with finance or so. Then you might go with AMP for the news carousel but after a while, you may switch it off. That’s what many publishers did. Then, have it done on the mobile site because the mobile site is usually better for advertising revenue.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Okay.

Tobias Willmann: Well, that- That will be kind of the discussion, I think. But there are also options, if you check what the AMP Conf and Fest it was called this year, they offer something called AMP Bento. I haven’t checked the detail but as I understood its AMP components which you embed in your mobile site.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Okay.

Tobias Willmann: So, there were- Maybe we will mix up at some point. I don’t know. There are options to mix it up and to avoid to develop stuff twice.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Okay, thank you for the answer.

Isaline Muelhauser:

And we can take one last question here. In the PageSpeed insights, is it better to focus on the largest potential saving item or the largest transfer size file?

Tobias Willmann: Aah…

Isaline Muelhauser: It depends.

Tobias Willmann: Like largest potential saving in terms of seconds is probably more interesting. But actually, if you check PageSpeed insights, I would try to go for what’s reported as a problem with field data because if you are in a market with a good network, then, the transfer size might be less important. But the important thing is actually, the field data not the lab data. The field data of real users which struggle with your site. And… Not like what you have in your lab, like in your lab test with PageSpeed insights. I would check out the Chrome user experience report for that. They get a lot of information about what’s field data problems. Yeah.

Isaline Muelhauser: All right. So, time’s up now. What I propose is, I’ll print screen the last questions and give it to Tobias Willmann who will answer you people directly. Does that sound good or do you want to answer to other questions now?

Isaline Muelhauser: So, we have one, Tobias Willmann, what do you think about Google’s News Showcase, will it change the possibility to be displayed in Discover?

Tobias Willmann: News Showcase, what’s that…?

Isaline Muelhauser: Google News Showcase.

Tobias Willmann: I’m not aware of that, actually. It’s possible for everyone to be in Discover. Also, as a blog, you can be in Discover. So…

Isaline Muelhauser: Oh, we have further info. So, it’s paid content from publishers.

Tobias Willmann: The thing in Germany, I have to read that. I’m not aware exactly what that is. I think, yeah. I’ve read something, I think, Axel Springer is doing that. And… Yeah, currently we are not working on that because Blick is at revenue based. We don’t have a prepaid version. So, I’m not so much into the pay ball and paid game.

Isaline Muelhauser: And, we have one. No, I think we’ve answered all, actually. I think we’re good now.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Last question, cookies.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Wait! There is a last question, cookie policy pop-up impacts the load of the home page, any proposal on how to solve that?

Tobias Willmann: I think Googlebots don’t need the cookie policy pop-up. And if you have an option, then I would not show it to Googlebot. I don’t think that’s cloaking or so. I think that’s fine. It’s the same with ads, Googlebot is not getting ads in the end. So, you could try to detect Googlebot or you could also do it with a language switch if you are in Switzerland. It may- I’m- No, sorry. No, I don’t give legal advice here. So, but in theory, you could do something like switch it off for the US and then Googlebot would be fine, something like that. But, yeah, you have to clarify if it’s okay, if you would work with GPDR. I’m not so sure. But Googlebot, do not show it, to Googlebot would be an option. Also, option is to go with some JavaScript. Don’t load JavaScript, if you detect it as a bot or so, I think then, you’re fine. Yeah!

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Okay. So, I think then, we don’t have any more questions. And, thank you so much Tobias Willmann for answering all the questions. Guys, if you want to follow, Tobias Willmann, you have the Twitter account here and the LinkedIn account. So, Tobias Willmann Willmann. And… And I mean, for sure you can, I guess, you’ll ask him question, if ever–

Tobias Willmann: I try to answer. yeah.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Yeah, it’s perfect. Okay. So, thank you so much Tobias Willmann for joining us. Isaline Muelhauser and I are very, very, very happy. It was fantastic. I hope then everybody has learned something about publisher especially if you don’t work very often with publisher. As for me for example, about the tools and everything. So, it was… Yeah, it was great. It’s the last second is always very difficult. Bye Tobias Willmann. Bye Isaline Muelhauser and bye to everybody. Thank you for joining us. Thank you so much. Wait, wait. There is a question in the chat but, no it’s just- Okay, thank you. Okay.

Isaline Muelhauser: Thank you.

Sara Moccand Sayegh: Okay, thank you. thank you! Bye-bye. Bye to everybody, bye-bye.

Tobias Willmann: Bye.