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Increase Your SEO By Appearing on Google News

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This is a guest contribution from business/tech writer Nick Chowdrey.

Getting on Google News

Everybody knows that the world of SEO is changing. As Google’s algorithms get ever more efficient at filtering out good content from bad, more and more companies are turning to content marketing and guest posting to increase their Google page rank and appear higher up searches.

In the world of content marketing, creating high quality posts is just part of the story. You could write the most fascinating and informative article, but with so many other companies now employing writers to do the same, it’s still hard to to get the attention you need.

The goal is to become a trusted and respected commentator in your niche, but this can often take a huge investment in both time and resources. As such, one content marketing strategy that has surfaced recently is to try and get ones site featured on Google News.

What is Google News and why is it important?

Google launched its full news service, Google News, in January 2006. Aggregating content from over 25,000 publishers worldwide, the service uses Google’s algorithms to search for and promote the top news stories of the moment. Users can customise what topics and publications they’d prefer to see and can order stories using various filters.

Getting listed on Google News is not easy. They have extremely strict standards and a publication can only register for consideration once every six weeks. Google then uses its web crawlers to scan your site and determine the journalistic integrity, authority, accountability and readability of your content.

The rewards for getting listed, though, are substantial. Not only will a listed site benefit from the huge amount of traffic that goes through Google News, the added authority that a site gets from being listed means that more sites will start linking to your articles, which bumps you up the Google search rankings.

Being featured on Google News will not only boost the domain authority of your page but, as other businesses and professionals begin to rely on your site for news that’s relevant to them, your actual authority as a commentator in your niche will also increase. This should increase the amount of shares and trackbacks to your articles and, ultimately, your visibility on Google.

So, how can you get featured on Google News?

Quality of content

Google states in its Google News guidelines that its main aim for the project is “to organise all the world’s news and make it accessible to its users, while providing the best possible experience for those seeking useful and timely news information.” In order to achieve this, they maintain strict quality controls, which were briefly mentioned above.

Google are very strict on what constitutes news and what doesn’t. Google state that they don’t include how-to articles, advice columns, job postings or strictly informational content such as weather forecasts and stock data.

They also only accept genuine, original news stories with high journalistic values. The best way to make sure that you fulfil these criteria is to write about what you know. Find stories that are relevant to your industry and, specifically, your niche in that industry. Not only will this improve the originality of your content, it will also mean your news stories are more relevant to your target audience.

Accountability is also a must. Google wants to know that you’re a reputable site, so they require a degree of transparency on your part. Your office address should be easily viewable and all of your editorial team should have profile pages with images and email addresses included.

Finally, the quality of the writing itself matters greatly. Here are some tips on how to write news content to an excellent standard.

Quality of writing

You’ll need to make sure that you and your team, if you have one, have excellent news writing skills. News writing may seem straightforward – especially if you’re already writing a blog – but it’s actually hard to do it right. the quality of your news writing is one aspect that Google will assess when considering you for Google News, so it’s important to learn to do it properly. Just republishing press releases isn’t going to get you anywhere.

A few quick tips on how to write a decent news piece: First, in terms of structure, you should always write your news with the most important facts at the top and the least important at the bottom. This is called the “inverted pyramid of news” and is designed for the way news is read, making it easy to skim lots of pieces and get a general jist of a story as efficiently as possible.

Deciding on what’s important is very much a judgement call on your part, but you should choose the content that’s most likely to get readers interested in the rest of the piece at the top. This will usually be some kind of statistic or statement, such as “X% of young people suffer from headaches, according to X professional body.”

Headlines are very important because they not only influence the searchability of your articles, but also the readership. The BBC are strongly credited with writing the most searchable headlines in the business. Here are some tips from their SEO guru, Martin Asser:

  • Use words that people would use in search in order to find the information being provided
  • Avoid words that people would never use in search to find that content
  • Put the most searchable elements at the front
  • Proper names are often used in search, so – following rules 1 and 3 – names should be included in the headline and if appropriate at the front

Finally, it’s also important to include first-hand information, correctly sourced and referenced, in the form of quotations. One of the best places to obtain these is from press releases, which you can find in the press sections of most big organisations. If you lift a quote from another news site, be sure to reference them, otherwise you’re just stealing other people’s work, which Google definitely won’t like.

Technical requirements

Your articles will need to meet certain technical requirements in order for Google’s web crawlers to be able to tell which of your site’s pages are news articles. If these requirements aren’t met, Google will not be able to automatically aggregate your stories, which is a requirement of being accepted onto the News site.

Technical requirements are as follows: Article URLs must be unique, permanent and contain at least three digits. This is so that Google can tell when an article is new. Links to the articles on your site must be in HTML with anchor texts that include at least a few words. Google is unable to crawl JavaScript, graphic links or links found in frames.Articles themselves must also be formatted in HTML, because Google is unable to crawl articles in other formats, such as PDF.

It’s generally accepted that articles made using popular content management systems like WordPress will be crawlable by Google without you having to make any manual changes.

A full list of technical requirements can be found in Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Other considerations

You then need to make sure that you’re covering as many news pieces from your niche a day as possible. Perhaps dedicate the first hour of every day to source, write and publish relevant news pieces that you think your audience would be interested in. Google don’t only assess quality of news, but quantity also.

You need to start building your position as a news provider. Make sure you diligently share all your news stories across all social media platforms. The amount of views your news site is getting will also influence Google in their decision on whether or not you’ll be featured.

Once you think you’re ready, go ahead and apply! But make sure you really have done as much as you can, otherwise there’s a six week wait to apply again.

Improving your rankings

Although the mere fact that you’ve been accepted onto Google News will most likely do wonders for your organic traffic, you can still take positive steps to climb up the rankings.

Firstly, it stands to reason that the more stories you write, the better chance you’ll have to get them read. At least three articles a day is recommended. Google also look to filter out duplicate content, so making the titles of your news articles unique will help to get it ranked. A unique title is also more likely to be clicked on by readers.

Finally, be diligent and get your news published quickly. As was mentioned above, if you make a routine of writing news pieces in the mornings, this will improve your chances of being the first. Start making a habit of keeping up with all relevant current affairs in your niche. Keep checking influential commentators and trade bodies regularly for press releases. You might also want to watch live broadcasts of political debates, such as Prime Minister’s Questions in the UK.

Nick Chowdrey is a staff and freelance writer specialising in business and technology. He is currently Technical Writer at Crunch Accounting. Follow Nick on Twitter @nickchef88.

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Comments

  1. DNN says:

    Most people always wondered how to appear on Google News with their blog or website. Showing up on Google News is like being discussed on Bloomberg television. You’re everywhere like ads in Times Square!

    Blogs and websites who make it to Google News most likely experience a positive increase in online ad revenue also. Don’t you agree?

  2. Hi Nick,

    Smart tips here. I’d say, unless you have a large staff you’re better off publishing one kick butt post every 1 to 3 days, instead of pushing out 3, because the quality of your work will likely suffer. Not because of your writing skills degrading, but because you only have 24 hours each day and can’t churn out three, 2000 word or longer articles. The type Google likes these days.

    I sometimes find Google News linking in to my blog yet can’t find the article article. It’s a generic link. Strange. Maybe I was picked up here and there but I’m still trying to figure out how I can better position myself on Google. As for News, you have that covered with these tips.

    More than anything, detaching from outcomes by creating well-researched, stunningly helpful content will help you rank on News, or on Google for that matter. Many bloggers devote their energy to an outcome, like ranking on Page 1, when the energy should be devoted to the process of creating an epic post, and engaging in an aggressive outreach campaign.

    The difference seems subtle at first, but when you assess your energy, you’ll feel the difference between trying to rank for some phrase versus trying to creating super content, that solves problems, and complementing with thorough outreach.

    I like focusing on the processes to make the outcome easier to attain.

    Smart share Nick.

    Thanks much.

    Tweeting in a bit.

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for reading, and for your comments.

      I’m not sure if you’re right about going for a few, longer pieces over lots of small ones. Google News is meant to be a place to collate genuine news, not just helpful articles. A news story, unless very in-depth, is therefore not likely to be more than 300 words.

      This is our strategy at Crunch, and it is working. Our last application was rejected on a back end technicality – our content was judged as spot on.

      Just don’t confuse news with information!

  3. Rajesh says:

    Sandeep, thanks for the details and stats about the social media. yes it affects the ranking on search engines but Backlinks from highly relevant and authority websites is really important.

    I’ve tried it and alone Social media is not enough to bring the website on top regardless of thousands of shares and likes.

    Anyway, good insights and stats.

  4. Great article. My travel website only got accepted into Google News when I lied about the size of my team. Instead of saying it was just me, I invented a team of 5. It’s a pity that Google News would judge sites based on this, because there are great one-man websites (and doubtful team efforts) to be found out there.

  5. That’s Great Nick,

    I know Google News is a great aggregator of blogs. But still don’t know how to get approved for it.
    Your This blog post gives me some idea to get approved by google news.
    Thank you for this help buddy… :)

  6. Very good topic I read all and now I`m happy because I have the answer for a lot of my questions

  7. Olayinka says:

    Recently my friend share with how much he organic traffic google news to his site. Thanks for the full details.

  8. My friend have a blog, where he post all type of articles. But he is not able to get approval from Google News due to bad quality of content.
    You have shared all required things related to news content, and now i will try to submit my blog to Google news. Thanks for Sharing.

  9. Sanjib says:

    This seems to me one of the fastest way to get tonnes of traffic within a very short time. I had a blog which was approved by Google News but I had to sell the blog as I was not getting any time to maintain it. I used to post articles on all niche.

  10. For getting approved in Google news the above points of quality content & writing should be there with good exposure to the blog. But I think if you have some 3-4 writers at least with proper social connection of there account, can help you get your blog approved with Google news.

  11. Ovais Mirza says:

    Thats true Google news is a great source of getting instant traffic but it is hard to approve. Generate something that is new for users with proper grammer and it is always better to use some press releases sites that distribute news to Google. This increase the chances of getting your news approved.

    • kapil heera says:

      Hello ovais,

      one thing i would like to ask that is how a PR can increase the traffic of our website if that press release start appearing on Google News then user will go to PR not on our website, kindly explain me in brief actually i am new in this field.

      Regards
      Kapil

  12. Rahul says:

    I have an android news blog and I want it to appear in google news. For this, this post is very helpful. Thanks

  13. Tani says:

    That’s true Google news is a great source of getting instant traffic but how can i appear in google news ? Thanks For this post

  14. Really a great article Nick. I was pondering over to get apporved to appear on Google news. I have a blog on news. I think your article gave me great insights on how to get approved in Google news.Actually the emphasis you had on quality of content and quality of writing are really good. Thanks for your article.

  15. Michael says:

    Nice and timely article here, have had a range of clients enquire about Google News lately. It’s not an area I’ve looked into too much, will be putting some of these recommendations to action soon.

  16. Ruban Kt says:

    Hey Nick,

    100% agree with you, If you want a place in Google News, think about it from the reader’s point of view.

  17. Another great post from guest side of Problogger. But Google news is only useful for site which is in niche of news and what about other niche websites

  18. Dave says:

    I didn’t know so much about Google news before and how important it is to increase our seo,da and other such major factors you mentioned here.well from now I’ll try my best to get my blogs on Google news.

  19. Hey Nick,

    Great stuff. I often publish some latest technology news on my blog, so I was wondering how to make them appear in Google News results. Now I know how. Thanks for sharing such an informative article.

  20. Elina Jones says:

    I totally agree with your point, appearing Google news surely helps to increase our website traffic. You shared an really impressive information about latest seo strategy and it will surely great resource for small business owners like me.

  21. Ammar Elahi says:

    Never really thought about Google News as a source of traffic on my blog. I will try to implement these tips in the future.

  22. Hunny Yadav says:

    SEO has been the most concerning part of my Blog. Though I’m able to get some tips from this post.
    Will try out this method !

    P.S – Good Post ! Thanks for Sharing :)

  23. Jeff Korhan says:

    What I would like to know is how Forbes online gets regularly listed on Google News.

    Their content can best be described as great headlines that seldom deliver. Is that news?

    My guess is Google News includes them on the strength of the Forbes name alone.

    • According to my experience, it does not need any news content to drive traffic from google news! It depends on Title keywords and Article Structure! Yes Structure Matters!

  24. I like that you had mentioned that it’s not enough to have content. Getting attention is the hard part. I am going to try it. My blog has a lot of unique content. I hope Google agrees.

  25. I like we can do much seo to rank in news section, but google will not publish our posts in news section. I want to ask one question that Does our blog post can show in news section in google??

  26. Everyone wants to increase the traffic of their websites. This is a very good article for all the new admins of the websites and blogs, they can easily understand it, Thank you for such a great information…

  27. Anuj Sharma says:

    One of my friend told me that news sites that uses some news plug-in get a better chance of being listed on Google News. How true is that?

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