Getting your website added to Google News is a great way to generate targeted traffic and improve search engine visibility. However, with so many content marketers, bloggers, and publishers wanting a piece of the pie, it can be hard to tap into this huge resource. Google’s web crawlers span over thousands of websites and only select those sources that publish quality and relevant content over time. By sticking to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, Search Engine Watch managed to increase its average monthly visits by 329%!
In this blog, we give an in-depth guide on how to get your website added to Google News.
What is Google News?
Google News is a highly advanced, computer generated search engine that collects headlines and news stories from thousands of online news websites spanning the globe. The results are then ranked and displayed on the basis of interests and user preferences. Most of the top ranking results have common features such as search bar functionality, weather apps, top national and international stories, editors’ picks, site navigation, support filtering, industry, and more.
According to a study, over 60% of users trust Google News more than conventional news outlets. This trust coupled with increased visibility and traffic opens up broader business value. For most businesses, Google News is the best way of getting the highest ROI from their content.
Getting Into Google News
Due to the lack of an actual team that website owners can get in touch with, sticking closely to the best practices and guidelines is the most effective way of ranking highly on the list. Some fundamental principles include publishing relevant and timely content that should not revolve around job adverts, information-only content or tips, and advice.
The content must also be unique, self-generated, and accurate. It must be ‘newsworthy’ in the sense that there shouldn’t be excessive videos, adverts or other sources of distraction. Additionally, it must be based on expertise, unbiased opinions, industry thought, and include necessary information such as physical addresses, telephone numbers, and authorship. With that being said, the two most important considerations for websites are Quality and Technical Guidelines.
Fulfilling necessary technical requirements is a must otherwise businesses risk being completely ignored by Google’s web crawlers. The first of these requirements is having static and unique URLs that help Google to keep track of a websites’ content without having to deal with any redirects. Having dynamic URLs for your content won’t really help your cause.
Thirdly, the content coding should be a continuous block beginning from the headline to the end. Websites that place video carousels or related article codes in between make it harder for Google news to index the content. Creating an uninterrupted chain of HTML code is the best way to go. For more details, you can visit Google’s own technical guidelines.
After getting through the technical part, the next step is to produce quality content similar to top ranking sites in terms of depth, expertise, research, trust, variation, and opinion. Once again, Google News will only accept news-related content and businesses trying to cram in other pages will end up being sidelined.
Getting your website listed starts off by nailing the basics. All news content must be clearly labeled, have unique subfolders, and each story should have a unique and descriptive URL suited to the topic. The content itself must be accessible, filled with relevant information, and load quickly. It should be topical, have value, and should be published consistently. Also, the material should be easy to read and must not resemble a sales pitch.
News sitemaps that are created exclusively for, and submitted to Google News allow websites increased control over their content. It also enables them to view which content is in line with Google’s guidelines. Using sitemaps increases the probability of Google deeming the content as news-worthy.
Websites are also expected to have Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). This refers to a mobile version of the website that is free from all non-text content which can decrease load times. Since the content is related to news, users accessing it from their smartphones want to consume information quickly. It also takes into account different types of devices and internet connection speeds.
A Few Considerations
Before you’re finally ready to submit your website, it’s important to verify whether your content has already been indexed or not – a process many website owners forget. Doing so will provide valuable feedback and increase your chances of being picked up by the web crawlers. Additionally, there’s an option to list up to five news content items you feel should be in the limelight. Whether you feel these are well-written or especially relevant to current affairs, doing so gives you an extra advantage.
Dealing with specialized or niche topics is similar to gaining a ‘competitive edge’. There are endless websites out there publishing general news and Google News doesn’t need more of those. Instead, it’s on the lookout for news providers that publish articles related to specific industries and provides in-depth reporting.
Although there’s a lot of competition to get listing on Google News, it’s simply a matter of jumping through a few hoops and sticking to Google’s guidelines. All it requires is time and effort. If you own a website and are looking to generate traffic and sales but lack the time, expertise or resources, then let qualified marketers do the job for you.
Devebyte is a digital marketing agency in Edmonton, Alberta that provides a range of services including Google AdWords, Facebook Advertisement, SEO, and Social Media Marketing. Contact them today for more information.