Google’s News Partnerships APAC head: Nobody has yet cracked challenge of getting people to read what they need to know

Google learned some valuable lessons about working with journalists recently when the government tried to require a new code for corporations that wanted to advertise in Australia. Representatives from Google worked closely on the negotiations and some of the content that was discussed will be included in Google’s article on online advertising.

“Google has always worked best with the news industry when we’re genuinely partnering on goals like truth,” says Kate Beddoe, Director of Google’s News Partnerships in APAC. According to her, “it’s harder to do that when there is a third party in the mix.”

The Australian Government implemented a code which enabled news businesses to negotiate with platforms like Google and Facebook individually or collectively over payment for inclusion on their platforms. Here, too, Google learned some valuable lessons as to why it’s important to be a good partner, listening to what the industry needs.

Google’s APAC branch head: “We’re here to respond to the needs of publishers, and when government is involved, it’s harder but will not discourage us.”

India is an amazing market for digital publishing, so the release of Google News’s product that gives publishers more control over what they want to show their readers happened faster than anticipated. Google has more than 85 participating publishers at the moment.

“Creators, publishers, and consumers have very different needs. So it is our goal to respond to the needs of Indian publishers in a way that works to meet their every need.”

The North Star goal for Google is to find this balance in the relationship between users, technology and news organisations. Google’s journalists must always be asking how they can ensure quality content reaches audiences in a meaningful way. Suzanne Beddoe said that the North Star for them is finding a workable equilibrium of these three factors.

Big changes in the way people consume media has led Google to tweak its algorithms. These tweaks require balancing the needs of users and the things that they are searching for. In special cases, such as during a pandemic outbreak, it is important for what people are looking for to be local-based news. This changes have been made more prevalent in recent years.

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