Google News is an often overlooked but incredibly powerful means of generating real-time traffic to your website. And the good news is you don’t have to be a journalist to be featured on it! Many bloggers and digital content producers are benefitting from the improved visibility that Google News provides.
That being said, Google News is news-focused, which means your article is unlikely to be included if it’s a piece of evergreen content or a listicle. It’s crucial that you are posting timely, original and topical content that will be considered as ‘news’.
Let’s explore what you need to consider when trying to get published on Google News.
Google News’ ranking factors
The ranking factors taken into consideration by Google News are similar, but slightly different, to Google’s regular search engine. Some of the main ranking factors used by Google News are:
- Freshness (posted in the last 24 hours)
- Rich textual content
- Meeting its quality content guidelines
- Fast, mobile-friendly website
- Links to reputable sites; and
- Inbound links
Complying with journalistic principles
Regardless of the type of article you are writing, it’s important that you practice the principles of good journalism in order to bolster your chances of being featured on Google News. Honesty and objectivity are paramount.
Ensure that the story you are writing is balanced, meaning that it takes into perspective all sides involved and avoids making any opinionated statements. Be accurate, citing reputable sources in any claims you make. Write clearly and succinctly, avoiding lengthy and descriptive sentences and sticking to the 5Ws + H formula journalists use (who, what, where, when, why, and how).
Write original content
Avoid copying existing articles at all costs – Google News will notice when an article’s content has been copied from another article. Make sure your content is original and that it uses correct data from reliable sources.
Improve your author rank
Google News knows when an article has been written by a reputable author, and it values this. Those with a high author rank are more likely to write original (and thus more valuable) content. To boost your author rank, try to write guest posts for existing, high-authority news sites like the New York Times and BBC, and post valuable, link-worthy content on your website.
Use the right headlines
Having a good headline is a great way to get noticed by Google News. Keep your headline simple and to the point, using an active rather than a passive voice. Avoid click-bait and listicle titles, repeating words and using the past tense. Write in the present tense and ensure that you are capitalising the correct words.
Most websites which are featured on Google News are multi-authored and are frequently updated. It’s a good idea to try to get a team of writers on your side to help you publish quality content regularly – doing it solo may be difficult.
Improve your site authority
Content that has been published on a high-authority is more likely to be noticed. There are many things you can do to boost your website authority, including increasing the amount of quality inbound links you have, creating linkable content and optimising your text.
How to submit your content
To send in your articles for inclusion, you will have to either sign up and give Google News licencing permissions using the Producer Tool, or submit your website via the Publisher Center. There is a chance that they will find your article if you don’t do this through a web crawl, but submitting it straight to them is arguably more effective.
Charlotte is a digital marketing and communications practitioner at SEO Shark. She takes on a range of roles relating to SEO and has a keen interest in studying the SEO industry and its future direction, particularly in relation to content marketing. Charlotte takes her writing very seriously and always seeks ensure the content she produces is of a high standard of quality.