By Beatrice Gamba

1 year ago

SEO for News Publishers: Learn how you can optimize content for the new search leveraging the power of the knowledge graph.

With the rapid rise of generative AI, the landscape for digital publishers and SEO professionals has undergone a profound transformation. Our work, goals, and objectives have evolved in response to these changes. 

Search engines have become stricter in defining quality criteria as online content grows. Therefore, it is crucial for digital publishers, now more than ever, to establish authority and maintain a consistent level of quality.

Look at Beatrice Gamba‘s presentation at the Knowledge Graph Conference 2023 – The Power of Knowledge Graphs in Modern SEO 

Facing the Content Tsunami of AI-Written Content

The role of SEO experts has adapted to state-of-the-art technologies to help clients achieve online visibility. 

Until now, my job as an SEO expert has been to enable digital businesses to achieve good visibility and build an excellent online reputation for their websites.

Research by Ahrefs on 920 mln websites states that 91% of online content has no traffic on Google. We expect this number to grow with the rise of generative AI tools, especially for low-quality content that human editors haven’t reviewed.

But what about optimization for AI…

To answer this, I asked for guidance directly from Bing Chat.

I attended SMX Munich in March, and Fabrice Canel, during his keynote, gave some advice to SEOs about optimization for the new search experience

The essential advice was to focus on quality content and semantic markup.

I went on asking what semantic markup is: 

And it was no surprise to find a mention of WordLift since we have embraced this approach since forever: delivering high-quality content enriched with semantic markup to meet user needs.

Securing the Value of Digital Content in the Era of AI

One of the critical challenges for content producers in today’s fast-paced industry is to demonstrate expertise and credibility. In this context, Knowledge graphs play a vital role in securing and validating the authenticity of online content. 

With the abundance of online information, users (and search engines) have become more cautious about the credibility and accuracy of the content they consume and propose.  Structured data can help build trust within the target audience by demonstrating expertise in a particular field. 

While AI-generated content can be valuable and efficient, it needs the human touch and contextual understanding that come with genuine expertise. The information in a knowledge graph can help showcase experiences and in-depth knowledge that differentiate humanly-crafted content from AI-generated content. 

Demonstrating expertise and credibility is crucial for building trust, standing out, establishing authority, engaging an audience, and improving visibility. By addressing the authenticity of content with structured data, it’s possible to provide un-replicable value while strengthening your online presence.

The role of WordLift in this picture is to leverage knowledge graphs to generate and validate content at scale; in this way, we have helped clients like Ippen Digital, one of Germany’s largest online publishers, to enhance their content with 9,000 enriched tags and 29,000 semantic connections (triples) published to the web.

With this process, millions of articles have been marked up and connected to the knowledge graph, generating linked mini-graphs with intelligent features. 

The test has worked exceptionally well because it provided context to what previously hadn’t. And we did so by providing additional information to each piece of content, delivering users a more meaningful and engaging experience.

Providing More Information With Structured Data

Let’s dive into the main Schema.org properties and markups that can help assess authority and build trust online for digital publishers.

Targeting Local Queries with Structured Data

Structured data plays a crucial role in targeting local queries and meeting the informational needs of specific regions. For example, adding Place markup to news articles about a particular location ensures comprehensive coverage and relevancy for local searches. 

Citing beloved SEO expert Bill Slawski:

“If you use structured data, you’re presenting more precise information to search engines, using data in formats that they expect people to use the search for.”

The Era of Person Schema and Demonstrating Expertise

The emergence of the Person Schema Type aligns with Google’s framework for assessing the quality of content on websites, known as E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness). 

To prove E-E-A-T, we can rely on Schema markup for authors, incorporating properties such as sameAs, citations, awards, and credentials. 

Embedding all the information about our experience in a specific field will help search engines, and AI ecosystems recognize and credit our hands-on expertise in the industry.

An example of the markup of my Author page.

The more Google recognizes the Author name as an Expert on the topic, the better the authority of their content online.

Other Schema.org properties that nurture the E-E-A-T context are:

Exceeding Search Engines’ Expectations

The NewsMediaOrganization markup is an industry-specific type that provides supplementary background information about a news publisher; in this case, the most important properties to compile thoroughly are the founder and address.

The founder proves that there is a physical person behind the business. At the same time, the address demonstrates that the organization exists physically, adding up to its authority.

Is this work of data sourcing for Google only?

The answer is NO.

It’s for everyone.
It’s for us as a digital community of publishers and users, and it aims at:

  • A better and safer AI to which everyone can contribute
  • Spreading good information and avoiding fake news
  • Providing more value to editorial teams

Structuring Hands-On Experience Semantically

Incorporating structured data in the form of metadata has several benefits in terms of SEO for news publishers:

  • Traffic boost
  • Comprehensive coverage of topics
  • Content recognizable as a reliable source for AI ecosystems. 

At WordLift, our strategy includes search demand analysis, planning, validation, and publishing content enriched with structured data. By monitoring the performance, we continuously optimize and improve the content, proving to our customers that a published knowledge graph drives the ROI of their digital marketing campaigns.

When updating existing articles to assess E-E-A-T, we focus mainly on the following schema Properties within the Article markup:

  • Author – with information about the person who wrote the article; this is a Person type markup
  • datePublished – Article property, to assess when the article was published and how old it is
  • dateModified – Article property that proves content is fresh and updated periodically
  • inLanguage – Article property that gives information about the language of the content
  • Publisher – Organization markup leads to the information about the business that is making available the content online
  • About & mentions – Article properties that provide contextual information about the topics touched inside the article
  • Questions & Answers – FAQPage markup nested inside the Article markup

Conclusion

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, optimizing content for AI and differentiating it from AI-generated content is vital to improve SEO for news publishers

Knowledge Graphs are beneficial because they can communicate to search engines and AI ecosystems in the same language: every piece of information in the form of metadata that we include in our content demonstrates expertise, helps in achieving better rankings, improves ROI, and establishes digital publishers as reliable sources of information. 

Structuring data benefits organizations and contributes to a better and safer AI ecosystem where good information is valued and utilized effectively.

Look at Beatrice Gamba’s presentation at the Knowledge Graph Conference 2023 – The Power of Knowledge Graphs in Modern SEO 

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