SEO and Digital News Media: Visibility of Cultural Information in Spain’s Leading Newspapers

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Abstract

This paper undertakes a comparative analysis of the visibility, and of other SEO indicators, of the culture sections of Spain’s leading digital newspapers —specifically, elmundo.es, elpais.com, lavanguardia.com, abc.es, elconfidencial.com and 20minutos.es— based on data collected by the media analytics company, comScore, and the web traffic metric, Alexa Rank.

The analysis employs a set of positioning indicators: namely, a visibility index, keywords, social signals, keyword profiles, URLs, SERP-Snippets, reference domains and best anchor texts, as made available by SISTRIX, an SEO analytics audit toolbox. Thus, we were able to determine which of the digital newspapers’ culture sections has the best visibility.

Likewise, we were able to identify which of these media are best positioned on Google, presumably as a result of more effective positioning strategies. We conclude with a discussion  of our results and, on the basis of these findings, recommend ways in which the visibility of journalistic information can be optimised in search engines.

Keywords

digital news media, SEO, cultural journalism, analytics tools, Google.


Most of the world today explores the web using a search engine and, more particularly, the vast majority employ Google. This behaviour represents a significant challenge for the digital news media as they seek to position their news stories at the top of the search rankings in an attempt to win greater web visibility. To achieve this goal, one of the main strategies being adopted in the world’s newsrooms is the application of search engine optimization

The main objective of this study is to determine the visibility of the cultural journalism being undertaken by Spain’s leading digital daily newspapers. Here, we focus our study on elmundo.es, elpais.com, lavanguardia.com, abc.es, elconfidencial.com, and 20minutos.es, the six papers with the greatest dissemination according to comScore (March 2018) and the Amazon Alexa Rank (May 2018).

More specifically, we seek to analyse the positioning, together with other visibility indicators, of the cultural journalism of the aforementioned digital newspapers so as to identify which media firm is obtaining the best results in this field.

At the same time, as part of an ongoing line of research, we aim to further our attempts at developing protocols for the analysis of the visibility of digital news, using SEO analytics audit tools, in this case applied to the digital journalism sector.

However, this study represents our first attempt at examining the daily press, a choice motivated by the fact that, despite the transformation experienced by the mass media in general, the daily papers selected here in representation of Spain’s digital media continue to have a massive influence on public thinking and are  typically considered as playing a fundamental role in the formation of opinion.

As such, the objectives of this study can be individually identified as follows:

  1. To examine the feasibility of applying one of the main SEO audit tools to a study of the digital news media.
  2. To determine which of the digital news media analysed have the best search engine positioning and to identify which indicators are best suited to analysing the visibility of these digital newspapers.
  3. To undertake a comparative analysis of the main digital news media in the sector, with a specific focus on their respective culture sections.
  4. To generate SEO recommendations for the digital news media.

These objectives give rise to the following research questions:

  1. Can an SEO analytics tool be used to carry out a comparative analysis of the positioning of six leading digital newspapers and, more specifically, of their respective culture sections?
  2. If the above research question is shown to be possible, which indicators are best suited for undertaking a comparative analysis of the search engine visibility of these digital newspapers?
  3. Based on the visibility patterns that emerge when applying the indicators identified in the above research question, what recommendations can be made to improve the search engine ranking of the different sections of the online media?

The following methodology has been employed in carrying out this study. First, an analytical review was undertaken of the academic literature on SEO and the digital news media (see articles included in the bibliography at the end of this paper). 

Second, we identified and selected a set of indicators of visibility and positioning as employed by the SISTRIX analytics toolbox. An initial version was applied in the study protocol and the results derived from this application were analysed. On the basis of these outcomes, a second, more precise, version was developed for the final analysis. Third, and finally, we applied this refined set of indicators to the digital newspapers previously selected, gathered the corresponding data, and analysed this information for further study and discussion.

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Full article
http://www.tripodos.com/index.php/Facultat_Comunicacio_Blanquerna/article/download/618/699

Reference
Lopezosa, Carlos: Codina, Lluís; Pérez-Montoro, Mario. “SEO and Digital News Media: Visibility of Cultural Information in Spain’s Leading Newspapers”. Trípodos, n, 44, 2019, p. 41-61. Access: http://www.tripodos.com/index.php/Facultat_Comunicacio_Blanquerna/article/view/618/699


Cited references