Digital Publishers Battle a Changing Environment

Three changes the digital publishing industry must recognize

We’ve seen a lot of changes from being in the online business and digital publishing markets since the early 2000s. When we first began teaching publishers about developing audiences online, social networks like Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist. At that time, blogs were the main source of social activity.

Computing devices were also quite different then. Laptop and desktop computers were the options. Today, there are additional mobile devices; tablets and smart phones are expected to surpass desktop computing in usage.

While following these changes, we’ve made a point to provide the most relevant information in the Mequoda Daily. Our Digital Magazine Publishing category combines tips on strategy with examples of what other digital publishers are doing to properly transition from print to digital.

Recently, we’ve come across news digital publishers can benefit from while creating and marketing their digital products.

Three changes the digital publishing industry must recognize

By now, we are all familiar with Google’s Panda updates. In March, Google quietly announced a new rollout, saying that “over-optimized” sites would be impacted. According to SEOmoz, some websites are seeing the results of the rollout because of low-quality backlinks that they carry. Here’s a snippet from Google Search Quality Team, which was sent out to webmasters:

We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

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Link building is certainly changing in the eyes of Google. More scrutiny will fall onto sites with low-quality links. This article from SEOmoz gives some suggestions on assessing the backlinks on your site.

Next, digital publishers have to consider how their audience members are actually consuming digital content. IBM has created the ‘Beyond Digital’ report, which classifies Internet users as four specific digital personalities: efficiency experts, content kings, social butterflies, and connected maestros.

Getting to understand which personality is prevalent in your audience provides a strategy for breaking through all the noise that exists online, and makes it more possible to communicate with the right people.

Lastly, there is the evolution of the app. For publishers, the app is the modern newsstand or bookstore. For content consumers with tablets and smart phones, the app contains their ticket to digital exploration.

Today, apps are starting to change industries. As pointed out in this article from Gigaom, the music industry, which has seen a downward trend for years, is seeing annual growth rates because of apps. Movies and television are benefitting from services offered by Netflix and Hulu. Even brands have the ability to engage audiences with apps, by offering product displays, news stories, and promotional discounts.

For digital magazine publishing, and digital book publishing, advancements have been static until the evolution of the app. Now it’s time to create digital subscriptions and one-off products that showcase your best content, engage your audience, and provide yourself a new digital revenue stream.


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