Google (NSDQ: GOOG) VP of Search Products and User Experience Marissa Mayer appeared in front of congress Wednesday, but she wasn’t summoned by the Senate subcommittee to talk about making search data anonymous or her company’s policies in China. The topic was the future of journalism. Mayer spoke about how Google News and Google Search can help online newspapers generate additional revenue, but what caught our attention was a side tangent where she offered tips for publishers. (Read her full testimony here):
Her main pointers, after the jump.
– Stories should have context: Mayer: “To make an article effective in a standalone setting requires providing sufficient context for first-time readers, while clearly calling out the latest information for those following a story over time.” Highlight: Mayer used the phrase “atomic units of consumption.”
– Stories should be “living”: Rather than post multiple articles on the same topic under separate URLs (which Mayer explained to the senators stands for “uniform resource locators”), publishers should update existing pages.
– Stories should be engaging: When a “reader finishes an article online, it is the publication’s responsibility to answer the reader who asks, ‘What should I do next?’ Click on a related article or advertisement? Post a comment? Read earlier stories on the topic?”
We hope you’re taking notes.