NESS 2022: How SEO News Conferences Build Community

This post was sponsored by NESS. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

“This has been a dream of mine for so many years, to do an SEO conference focused only on publishers.”

– NESS & founder John Shehata, Global VP of Audience Development at Condé Nast

Working in SEO is a constant learning experience – there’s always something new to discover, and when Shehata and Barry Adams founded the News and Editorial SEO Summit (NESS), they did so with that principle in mind.

“People who say they’ve really mastered SEO are probably lying, or massively overestimating how good they really are.”

– Barry Adams, NESS Co-Founder & SEO Consultant, Polemic Digital

“No matter how long you’ve been doing it and how experienced you think you might be, you’re always going to have those moments where you’re completely and utterly stuck, and just have no idea what’s going on.

“We’re always learning. There’s never a dull moment in SEO. It’s a very fast-moving industry with search engines constantly evolving, user behavior constantly evolving, websites constantly evolving – so nobody knows everything.”

With NESS, Shehata and Adams are carving out a special community in the world of SEO for continued growth and discovery.

NESS Is A First-Of-Its-Kind SEO Conference

NESS is exclusively for news publishers dedicated to connecting and sharing SEO knowledge.

Participants of this online conference have the opportunity to learn from top experts in the news industry.

Whether you are a journalist or editor dealing with the daily publication of news, or an SEO professional looking to upgrade your knowledge in the field, NESS is a valuable online conference that you simply cannot miss!

NESS Is Creating A Community

When NESS was officially launched in 2021, it was a long-time dream come true.

Seeing how underserved the news SEO community was, Shehata jumped into action.

“I went to many event organizers and asked them to do this conference, but I was refused… And about two years ago I decided that I will do it, and I will finance it myself, and I I just go with it. And if it’s a win, it’s a win – if it’s a loss, it’s a loss. But I thought there was a good community out there that would attend this conference.

The goal for the expansion was to sell 100 tickets; they ended up with over 600 participants from around the world – more than 50% of whom were outside the US.

People from massive global publishing organizations to micro news websites focus on small regional areas logged in from different time zones to share their experiences, leave comments, give feedback and exchange information.

“I think that’s something that sets our conference apart,” Adams said. “It’s a niche within a niche conference.”

Shehata and Adams quickly realized that news SEO was a niche worth serving and specializing in.

“What struck me the most,” Adams continued, “is the generosity of the speakers and participants to share their knowledge and share their learnings with other people who are likely to be their direct competitors. It seems a real To have a sense of community that ‘we’re all in this together, we’re all doing the same things, we’re not each other’s enemies, we’re each other’s allies, we’re trying to do the same thing, which generates great journalism and ensures that the greatest possible audience gets the chance to read it.’ And I hope that we can continue this in the coming years and serve that community as best as possible.

NESS Is Serving The Community

NESS is specifically presented as a virtual conference, so there may be a small fee to attend. Shehata’s top priorities in creating NESS were knowledge sharing and giving back.

“A publisher can send 30 people to attend, this would never happen with a traditional conference where they pay $2,000 [per ticket] … The other thing is, I really believe in going back. Last year was the pandemic and it was a tough time for a lot of people, so we said, ‘How can we help?’ And last year, we gave out about 30 free tickets to every SEO who was fired or made redundant, Shehata said.

“We also give free tickets to SEOs from developing countries who can’t afford the conference. So we try to do well every year, and I think that’s the ultimate goal. Whether you’re an SEO or not, you have to give back to the community give back and do good.

This year, NESS also led a fundraiser for Red Cross Ukraine relief efforts, encouraging participants to donate and match their donations up to $5,000.

NESS Pioneers Online Conference Community Engagement

Instead of a one-way stream with speakers simply talking to the audience, NESS promotes two-way engagement, allowing attendees to participate in the conversation.

The live chat feed allows guests to comment, ask questions and vote during a presentation.

NESS also allows for engagement through virtual tables of around eight people who talk to the speaker, ask questions, network and more.

NESS 2022 News SEO Conference Highlights

“John and I, when we started planning this, wanted talks that we ourselves would like to see delivered by experts in the field. So we selected topics and speakers based on, ‘What would we like to see? What can we learn , in terms of SEO specifically for news publishers?'”

Here are some highlights from the NESS 2022 lineup, along with key takeaways from each segment.

How To Successfully Implement Paywalls Without Affecting SEO

Leonie Roderick, The Times, and Ben Dilks, Sunday Times, tackled the dilemma in which readers expect to read news for free, but publishers still need to make money.

Top tips for implementing a successful paywall strategy include:

Get all the tips in the recorded session.

Using Automated Articles Successfully: Is It Possible?

This segment of the conference was presented by Carolyn Shelby, VP of Growth at Dawn Patrol LLC.

Matt Southern, senior news writer at Search Engine Journal and NESS 2022 participant, noted his key takeaways from this conversation:

“As much as SEO can help with the distribution and visibility of news, it should not guide the direction of news coverage. Shelby spoke at length about using SEO to help machines better understand your stories. She told the participants warned not to allow SEO to change their journalistic standards. Covering a story because it offers an opportunity to rank for a popular keyword versus covering a story because it is the most newsworthy is an example of writing news for SEO. As a reporter is Your top priority is to cover the most relevant stories for your audience, while SEO is a tool to help your audience find those stories.

Top Stories: State Of The Union

This detailed presentation by Shehata features data from NewzDash, a Google News monitoring system and rank tracker specifically for news publishers.

“With all the tools that John has innovated,” Adams said, “he has this wealth of data about what’s working in top stories, what’s showing in top stories at any given time and how things have changed.”

Career Growth Panel: What Is Your Next Move?

One of the highest rated sessions in the conference, this panel included different types of SEO professionals who talked about their experiences in the industry, how they got to their positions, skills that are needed, etc.

“The importance of committing to a particular practice within SEO was a key takeaway,” Southern said. “SEO is such a diverse field that striving to become an expert in every facet of the trade is not as realistic as it was in the early days of search marketing. Furthermore, the roles that companies are hiring for are becoming more specialized. If you have a Be an SEO who is passionate about news, becoming an expert in news SEO is a viable career option.

Get access to the full session, now!

Search Engine Journal’s NESS Experience

Our own team members attended the conference; Here’s what they had to say:

“As a reporter covering industry news in SEO and digital marketing, NESS was an intersection of my career disciplines. It opened my eyes to the fact that there is a growing segment of SEO professionals dedicated solely to optimizing news articles for search engines to focus

– Matt Southern, senior news writer at Search Engine Journal and NESS 2022 participant

“It was a blast! NESS is one of the most valuable SEO conferences, where experts share their practical experience in publishing, which can be quickly put into practice and put into practice. If you run a publication or a blog, it is a must- visited.

– Vahan Petrosyan, Director of IT and Infrastructure at Search Engine Journal and NESS 2022 participant

Missing this year’s NESS event? You can access video recordings and presentations on their website.

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Is there a better news app than Apple News?

There are more than 100 alternatives to Apple News for various platforms, including online/web-based, Android, iPhone, iPad and Mac. The best alternative is Feedly, which is free. Other great apps like Apple News are Inoreader, QuiteRSS, Tiny Tiny RSS and Flipboard.

Is Google News better than Apple News? Both Apple News and Google News let you customize which news you want to follow. While Apple News has a way for you to search for channels, topics and stories to follow, Google News does you one better because it’s just easier to use.

Is there an app that only has good news?

The Good News Network app delivers daily positive news from around the world directly to your phone. Trusted by millions of readers for 22 years, is #1 on Google for ‘good news’.

Where can I read good news only?

The Good News Network Founded in 1997, the Good News Network (GNN) is home to 21,000 good news stories and counting. There is also a GNN app, book, podcast, and newsletter.

Is there a news channel with only good news?

The Good News Network Founded in 1997, GNN is an authority on positive journalism. The site posts several daily feel-good articles and has an archive of 21,000 positive news stories.

How do I contact Google News?

You can call Google customer support at 650-253-0000.

How do I contact Google customer service? If you do not find guidance on your concerns through these resources, you can reach out through the Grievance Redressal Mechanism by sending an email to

Is Google support 24 hours?

Support for Chrome Browser: 24/7 (including holidays). P1 and P2: 24/7 (including public holidays). P3 and P4: During operating hours. Support for Chrome Browser: 24/7 (including holidays).

Does Google have a 24 hour customer service number?

Google Customer Service phone number works 24 hours: Google Customer Service phone number 1-866-2-Google (1-866-246-6453) or 1-888-570-1575 is available for user assistance 24 hours. So, you can connect with Google support representatives at any time and solve the various problems you face.

How do I contact a live person at Google?

You can call Google customer support at 650-253-0000. The number leads to an operator service called “the Googleplex” which is based at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Can I chat with Google Support?

Via Google Live Chat: You can chat with a live representative about your Google issues and get an immediate response to your queries. You can chat with a Google Live representative through the following steps: Go to the official Google Support page through your browser at 1-650-206-5555 or 1-650-955-6653.

How do I know if my site is Google News approved?

When I check to see if a site is approved as a Google News source, I usually do a “site:” search for them on, then click on the “News” tab. If their articles are listed under the news tab, they are an “approved” site.

Is News a Google Filter? Because Google News is mostly based on your browsing history, you can’t filter the news that appears in your feed without manually removing or querying more specific topics or sources. However, you can follow interests and topics, which can help more relevant articles appear in your news feed.

How do I verify my website with Google News?

Verify your site in the Search Console Under âGeneral Settings, find “Website property URLs.” Important: The “Verify” button will only appear after you have added your site’s URL. After clicking, verify your domain through the search console and your content is discovered on Google News.

How do I know if my site is on Google News?

If their articles are listed under the news tab, they are an “approved” site.