Google News SEO - Everything Publishers Should Know

Google uses over 200 factors in their algorithm for ranking websites. Image Source: Search Engine Journal
Google uses over 200 factors in their algorithm for ranking websites. Image Source: Search Engine Journal

Presently, Google News does not receive nearly enough credit. It may be due to introducing new, fancier means of publishing. It could also be because things became a little more complicated after the introduction in 2002. We believe Google News is worthy of your attention, whatever the case may be.

According to Statista, “Google currently has 86.86% of the search engine market1.”

If you work in the publishing industry, there are even more reasons to be intrigued by this guide. Why wouldn’t you wish for more ad money and traffic? Immersing oneself in a new media, like anything else, can be intimidating, so let us assist you in finding, or reliving, Google News for search engine optimization (SEO).

The Fundamentals of Google News

Google News is designed to keep consumers up to date on any news that is relevant to them.
Google News is designed to keep consumers up to date on any news that is relevant to them.

Google News is designed to keep consumers up to date on any news that is relevant to them. It might be through tailored material in the ‘For you’ area or broader world news and events from various providers’ feeds. Users can also save and upload content and utilize the service both offline and online.

If you’ve been away from Google News for a while, you might have overlooked some of the areas it has evolved as a service. The secret to improving your news material for exposure and traffic is sorting out what has developed and what hasn’t.

You might be curious where news stories go once they’ve been published. Stories can appear on various surfaces, including Top stories (where appropriate, this displays in Google Search) and the News search box or app. The Publisher Center is among the most significant areas of Google News for SEO to become familiar with.

a. Publisher Center for Google News

Google Publisher Center
As the Publisher Center is not a content management system, your content must be stored somewhere. Image Source

You will indeed be able to upload content about your business, including contact details and office address, to the Publisher Center. You can customize the look of your posts, add branding, and rig up AdSense. And what about the big one? It is where you’ll put your stuff, such as feeds, site URLs, and videos.

As the Publisher Center is not a content management system, your content must be stored somewhere before being imported into the Publisher Center for post-production and dissemination.

b. Google News Algorithm

Google News Algorithm depends upon several variables
Google News Algorithm depends upon several variables. (Image Source)

So far, it’s been pretty straightforward. From here, things begin to become a little more involved, as we’ll talk about how to appear in Google News, as well as some of the regulations you’ll have to know.

According to Backlinko, “Google uses over 200 factors in their algorithm for ranking websites2.”

The Google News algorithm comprises several ranking variables in the most basic sense. Quality of content, range of content, dense textual information, uniqueness of content, and user behavior for subjects or publishers are all variables that determine Google News ranking.

Let’s look at some of the different areas you’ll need to understand to get through the algorithm.

Mobile Considerations

Mobile interface itself is constrained by space and shape. Image credit: Tran Mau Tri Tam, Souce: Unsplash
Mobile interface itself is constrained by space and shape. Image credit: Tran Mau Tri Tam, Souce: Unsplash

a. AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP is the structure that articles must follow for the ‘Top stories’ slider area on mobile. Google Search Console has an AMP Status Report that could be very useful to you as a publisher, indicating AMP trouble content.

As per the SEOClarity report, “The first organic listing on mobile receives 27.7% of clicks, versus 19.3% of clicks on desktop3.”

b. Content Policies

Next, let’s look at some of Google News’ content guidelines. These guidelines are in place to ensure that users and publishers have a “good experience” with Google News. To be qualified to feature on news interfaces, sites must first follow Google’s webmaster rules, but there are further rules particular to news surfaces.

How SEO Helps

AMP and Structured Data is Not Just Enough. Headline, Keyword Research and Supplementary Media shall help.
AMP and Structured Data is Not Just Enough. Headline, Keyword Research and Supplementary Media shall help. (Image Source)

Aside from implementing AMP and data structures and ensuring that material does not violate any Google News regulations, there are a few more things to keep in mind.

a. Keyword Research

It is essential for publishers as well as eCommerce and commercial companies. Google Search is an exciting tool that allows you to check trend data for a given search term, such as ‘News.’ Toggle between choices by clicking the drop-down menu, which is generally set to a web search.

According to Ahrefs, “Most website owners make that mistake, and it’s likely a big part of the reason why 90.63% of pages get no traffic from Google, according to our study4.”

b. Headlines

News stories feature humorous wordplay, but this does not translate well online. In the end, you prefer your material to be recognized, and a pun might easily fool media search engine algorithms.

c. Make Use of Supplementary Media

Since Google News shows photos related to stories, you can strive to boost the chances of seeing your photographs. Use visual content with open graph (og:image) tags, standard filename formats, and a 60 x 90 pixels minimum image size. Avoid logos in it. Likewise, use image descriptions and aim to arrange photos near the title of your content.

Four Tips for Getting Your Website Crawled by Google

Web crawlers play a crucial role in rounding up online content. Credit: wiredsmartio, Source: Pixabay
Web crawlers play a crucial role in rounding up online content. Credit: wiredsmartio, Source: Pixabay

1. Ensure Your Site Can Be Crawled by Bots

To analyze sites, Google News employs an algorithm. You’ll need unique, persistent URLs to assist the algorithm in figuring out which pages on your website are articles. If Google’s crawler searches a page, it checks for HTML. Thus all information and links should be in an Html file.

As per Trevin Shirey blog, “Search engines are the gateway of easy-access information, but web crawlers, their little-known sidekicks, play a crucial role in rounding up online content5.”

2. Boost Your Chances of Being Included by Optimizing Further

You would like to make it simple for bots, like all SEO. For every article, employ structured text (NewsArticle) markup, containing details like a headline, timelines, tags, and publication date.

3. Exemplify That Your Website Is a Reliable Source of Information

Google News must be honest and transparent if it wants people to appreciate the news sources it provides. News outlets must include contact details and background about the newspaper, the author, and the firm or group behind the newspaper.

4. Publish New Information Regularly

The majority of data on your website should be original. Although newswires including the Reuters, Associated Press, and United Press International can provide replicated content for your site, please don’t rely on them too much. Every day, you should add many new articles to your news website.

Take Away

After you’ve begun posting to Google News, you’ll want to spend some time monitoring and evaluating your results. You might want to experiment with the content quantity and link building to see how it affects views and engagement.

You may track qualified traffic from ‘news.google.com’ or ‘news.url.google.com’ using Google Analytics. Separate it from other origins so you can investigate what’s been going on.

If more extensive tracking is required, including for media releases that might be broadcast over multiple domains, it can be established. To monitor custom campaigns in Google Analytics, you may always utilize the Campaign URL Builder function to apply advertising variables to URLs.

At this time, we’re confident you’ll recognize that Google News has a world of possibilities for you. All you can do now is begin driving targeted traffic to your site.

References

  1. Joseph Johnson, Statista (online), “Global Market Share of Search Engines 2010-2021”, Published 2021 October 08, Link accessed on 2021-12-30. https://www.statista.com/statistics/216573/worldwide-market-share-of-search-engines/
  2. Brian Dean, Backlinko (online) “Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List 2022” Updated 2021 October 10, Link accessed on 2021-12-30. https://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors
  3. Mitul Gandhi, SEO Clarity (online), “2021 CTR Research Study” Published 2021 November, Link accessed on 2021-12-30. https://www.seoclarity.net/mobile-desktop-ctr-study-11302/
  4. Tim Soulo, Ahrefs Blog (online), “90.63% of Content Gets No Traffic From Google. And How to Be in the Other 9.37% [New Research for 2020]” Published 2020 January 31, Link accessed on 2021-12-30. https://ahrefs.com/blog/search-traffic-study/
  5. Trevin Shirey, WebFX (online), “Web Crawler 101: What Is a Web Crawler and How Do Crawlers Work?” Published 2019 July 11, Link accessed on 2021-12-30. https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/what-is-a-web-crawler/
  6. Matt Southern, Search Engine Journal (online), “Google on SEO Best Practices for News Sites & Short Articles,” Published 2021 February 21, Link accessed on 2021-12-30. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-on-seo-best-practices-for-news-sites-short-articles/396645/
  7. Greg Jarboe, Search Engine Journal (online), “Google News Optimization: How to Boost Your Site’s Visibility & Traffic,” Published 2021 December 07, Link accessed on 2021-12-30. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-news-optimization/317701/#close