How to use Google News to boost your website
Did you know that you can associate the content of your website with Google News, the news service of the largest internet search engine? By doing so, you have an advantage over the competition: a certificate of credibility for your information.
In this article, you will see how to program the web so that the Google search engine (PageRank) identifies it as a news portal and displays the results of your page in Google News.
How Google News works
The traditional way of the user looking for news is to visit the portals first and then click on the articles that interested him. Google News reverses that logic. “Our approach is different: we want to offer more personalized options and a greater variety of perspectives. Google News first offers links to various articles on a certain topic”, reports the official blog of the service.
Thus, the search engine filters the headlines from more than 100,000 sources around the world and organizes them by subject , according to the interest expressed by each reader. It is a new information consumption experience, in which the topics are more relevant than the portals.
Some of the resources offered by the platform are personalized news (which allows you to configure an interesting page), the alert system (which sends daily emails with the desired content) and the feeds tab (which allows you to view the news selected by Google on your favorite audiences.
Google News is not a marketing service
Now that you know how Google News works, we are going to explain what to do so that the content of your website appears on the portal. First of all, a warning: Google will not place your page in the news tab if you intend to promote products .
This is because the service gives priority to journalistic content and not to advertising. The idea is to inform the reader. “Google News is not a marketing service. We do not want to present users with websites created to promote products or organizations or websites that are dedicated to commercial journalism ”, clarifies the official blog.
Now, if your website combines news with other types of content, the way out is to separate those contents through your own domains and directories. Another option is to differentiate the news on the sitemap (we’ll talk next) and configure a robots.txt file to prevent the algorithm from entering a non-news page. The search engine itself offers information in this regard.
Schedule your website to appear in Google News
For your website to appear in Google News, it must meet three main requirements , in addition to the basic quality guidelines typical of good journalism:
The first step is to create a specific sitemap for Google News. The sitemap is a file in .xml format that informs Google of all the directories on your website, with hierarchical relationships so that the algorithm identifies precisely where each information is located. If you work with WordPress, you can use specific plugins. Otherwise, the ideal is to follow Google’s own guidelines.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Then you must register the sitemap in the Google Webmaster Tools so that Google identifies your portal and takes the information into account when scanning for news.
3. Google News
The last step is the effective registration in Google News. At this stage, you must provide information on the origin of the content, the contact details and those of the editor. Finally, you just have to wait for the registry evaluation to get approval.
If you have any questions, suggestions or advice on this topic, comment below . Take the opportunity to share this content with your friends, colleagues and collaborators, through social networks.
What is Google News?
Google News , or Google News , is a Google platform whose purpose is to track the main updated and relevant news for the audience, based on multiple factors of their profile, and provide them from the Google web search engine.
Google News is a powerful tool to increase organic visits to your website.
Unlike traditional search engines, Google News presents headlines from different portals and also organic search results. In addition, it filters through an algorithm the “qualified” pages according to the search made by the reader. This information is displayed according to the preferences and interests of the user, or through a search filter.
What is the main advantage of Google News?
Due to its effectiveness, Google News has become an alternative channel to generate traffic, that is, direct people to your website and this is its main advantage. But it will also give your content much more visibility, both in the results list and in the specific category where your article appears. Nor should we forget other important advantages: the benefits that they bring at the level of branding and the increase in the authority of your content, website or blog.
But, if Google News is a news portal, why would you want to have a presence in this medium?
Why do web pages do SEO and want to appear in Google News?
As I told you before, traffic is the main benefit that Google News offers, and one of the reasons why web pages want to appear on this news platform. The more people come to your website, the more conversion and sales opportunities you will have .
“Appearing in Google News is a great opportunity to bring more visits to your website and increase your sales”.
But that’s not all, it is estimated that more than 60% of people trust Google News . Therefore, if your content appears on this platform, it will give your readers more confidence. This trust makes the difference between brands and web pages, which affects user behavior in the pre-click (ad) and post-click (web page experience) stages.
For us at Xplora, the best part of all this is that Google News headlines appear integrated with the other results of a given search, which can increase organic traffic to your website in a short period of time.
How much does Google News affect organic traffic and SEO?
Compared to regular organic traffic, the news attracts 100 times more traffic. This means that Google News can generate tons of traffic and increase the authority of your page’s web domain. As a result, the shared resources and inbound links, Linkbuilding and, therefore and as a result, your organic visibility in web search engines will also increase .
If you want to obtain these benefits, you must know how to appear in Google News and first of all, you must meet certain requirements that I show you below.
What are the SEO requirements to appear in Google News?
Your website must be exclusively for news
The first requirement, demanded by Google News, is that the web page, which you want to index, is exclusively dedicated to publishing news. If your website is for sales or marketing, for example, it will not take it into account.
Google News only displays web pages that write and publish relevant news or content on specific topics and niches. To ensure that this is the case, there is a team that is in charge of manually reviewing the website to decide whether or not to include it in the News index.
This is the first barrier that you must pass, and the most important requirement to appear in Google News, so if you do not comply with it, it is best not to bother to request that Google News add you to its listings.
SEO technical requirements in Google News
If you cleared the first hurdle, bravo! However, you still have a long way to go, it is not so easy to get into Google News! You have a good number of obstacles to overcome, so let’s continue.
Use static and unique web addresses (URLs)
It is essential that your articles and news have static URLs (web addresses) so that Google News can easily track it.
Make sure your URLs are not dynamically generated, otherwise it won’t work very well with Google News.
Plain HTML content only
For Google News the loading speed is essential since it allows to index and position the web content quickly.
Have clean code
This means that the article must have a continuous block of HTML code.
Avoid placing videos, photo galleries, etc., in the middle of the article code, as this can affect the indexing process of Google News.
Other SEO considerations Google News takes into account
In addition to the technical requirements, which I already mentioned, there are others that Google News does not consider mandatory, but that can help you appear faster on the platform.
Also, they will help you get the best position on the story carousel, which is where you will get most of your news traffic. Let’s see what they are:
Create a news specific XML Sitemap
It is necessary, if not mandatory, that you have a news specific XML sitemap. This sitemap must contain the articles you have published in the last 48 hours, up to a maximum of a thousand.
This is the main mechanism that Google News uses to crawl your website and find the new articles and news that you have published.
Brand your articles with structured data
Google can only enter structured data for more specific articles or data segments. However, marking up articles or news on your web pages is practically mandatory, as it will increase your chances of entering the Google News Top Stories carousel.
Extra! Additional SEO Tips for Google News
There are other obstacles that, as I told you, there are many, that you have to overcome before appearing in Google News.
It has multiple authors
It is important that several authors, with authority, contribute to the content of your website. This will put you above all the other blogs and small sites out there, and increase your chances of getting your website approved by Google on the platform quickly.
Update your content daily
Try to write and post content every day. You can use information from others, but most of it must be your own.
There is no rule that says how much you should write, as long as the content is unique.
Remember, if you copy content from another site, Google will notice and penalize you .
In general terms, I recommend that you publish at least 70% of content that is your own and unique, and only 30% that comes from external sources. This is great for SEO on Google News.
Write for a specialized niche
It is essential that you focus on a niche or a specialized topic. There are already many news sites that publish general news and try to talk about everything. This is why Google News pays more interest to websites that specialize in specific topics or areas.
So if you have a very specific topic or a specialized industry covering your news, you are on the right track. This will increase your chances of getting into the Google News index and getting more organic traffic.
You already know how to appear in Google News, meet all these requirements and I assure you that you will get a lot of traffic, from the best stories, all are advantages!
But, (yes, there is a but) we only looked at the technical requirements, what about the content?
SEO content requirements to appear in Google News
- You need a legal notice with all possible contact information.
- You must mention all authors and editors on the editorial page or within the news.
- Your entire website must be written and maintained by an organization with multiple authors and publishers.
- The content of your articles must go through editorial supervision. Forums, individual blog articles, and other similar sources are not included in Google News.
- Don’t overload your website or your articles with ads.
- Write regularly, articles must be new and current.
- The contents should be written for your own website, ideally subject to editorial control
- Create articles and other content sections that have a high level of relevance to a specific topic
- Avoid posting content that has nothing to do with the topics you usually deal with
- Your articles cannot consist solely of promotional content related to your business.
- Before signing up for Google News, make sure you have a good number of articles.
Remember, during the acceptance process, a Google employee will examine your website in detail to validate that it meets all the requirements.
So far, we have talked about how to appear in Google News, but once you do it you must stick with it, so it is important that you use SEO strategies in Google News.
How to optimize your website and news for Google News SEO?
Doing SEO on Google News is similar to doing SEO for search engines. Some of the best strategies to achieve maximum visibility on Google News are:
The design of your individual articles is just as important as the rest of your website; the fewer elements there are between one news article and another, the better.
The structure of the HTML source code of a news article must not be interrupted and must follow this order:
- Body of the notice
Optimize content based on current events
When it comes to SEO on Google News, having current articles becomes crucial.
If you publish an article before your competitors, the greater your chances of improving your ranking in the news index.
Create a Sitemap with your news
Simply creating a general XML sitemap won’t get you very far, on Google News. You should create a special sitemap for the news, based on the XML protocol and containing the publication date of each individual article.
The XML map of your website for Google News should be updated automatically and without delay, every time you publish a new news on the web.
Another thing you should consider for SEO in Google News, is that you should only include the articles that you have published in the last 48 hours . Why? Google News only considers the last two days for the news release.
You can use the subscription service Unlimited Sitemap Generator , for example, to automatically create your XML news sitemap for Google. This generator can be integrated into almost any system and web platform.
Along with an XML sitemap, dedicated to news, you can also create XML sitemaps for videos and images.
Another important element for Google News is SEO for images. The image you will use for the news article is largely responsible for the click-through rate, also called CTR (Click-through Rate); one of the metrics to measure SEO.
The image is displayed as a preview of the news article within organic search results. Therefore, you must upload it to the same web server as all the other files on your web page.
The title below the image is another very important factor for the news article, be sure to use an appropriate ALT attribute for the image.
The image must be in JPG format, with a reduced file size and must not be part of a link.
The news, the relevance , the interdependence with the subject and the speed of presentation of a specific topic are factors of SEO in Google News.
Technically, your text must be only 80 words long to be considered a news article. However, I recommend that you use a minimum of 125 words for cover articles and a minimum of 250 for all other types of news. In addition to this, it is important that the words are not subject to internal or external links.
Optimize the title and H1 header
Be concise and get to the point. Use short titles that motivate the reader to click or expand the information. If possible, put the main keyword at the beginning of the title.
All this will increase the CTR (click-through rate), a key SEO positioning factor for Google News and which influences the way organic search results are displayed.
Reduce loading time
In addition to publishing current content, try to arrive first! The loading speed of a page and news is also a factor that impacts SEO in Google News.
SEO in Google News, complex but worth it!
Appearing in Google News is not so easy, but it is not impossible either. If you meet the requirements, which I showed you in this article, you will have many chances that Google News will accept you.
The first point to remember: it is not a tool for all web pages. Nor is it enough that you are a blogger or that you publish content daily, to obtain the privileges of this section, your website must be exclusively for news and information.
If this is your case, take advantage of the great opportunity that Google News offers you to publicize the quality of your content, increase the visibility of your articles and, consequently, increase traffic to your website.
If you appear in the top list of Google News, you will also have the first positions in the search engine results.
Sure, SEO is important, but an essential element for the success of your web project is the subscription to Google News. I am sure that this alternative will increase the visibility of your website and make your business grow!
Did you like this post? I invite you to share it on your social networks, since it is likely that many do not know the importance of Google News for their online marketing strategy.