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by James Perrin on 6th May 2011
Google have started to integrate news headlines into their search results. When users search for newspapers or mainstream news providers, a selection of the latest stores will now appear instead of site descriptions.
At present it appears the update is purely for when you search for news providers and not for news stories themselves. However, the ‘News Results’ will also still appear in Google’s SERPs as normal.
As you can see, underneath the Title Tag, the news headlines appear where the Meta description would normally be. This is the same case when you search for all major news providers, not just broadcasters. For example, with national newspapers as well, as you can see with the example below:
When you click on the headline, this takes you directly to the news story from that news provider. It is unclear whether this has been fully implemented or if this is a trial period, but for the time being at least it is starting to have an effect on Google’s SERPs. For users this appears to be a shrewd move as it helps with usability and ease of search.
According to Search Engine Watch, the changes will eventually be implemented when users search for news stories as well; however this has yet to be confirmed as we have yet to come across an example. When searching for new stories per se, we are presented with the existing SERPs.
In the UK, not all news organisations have the new feature; as it appears the BBC are the one of the only broadcasters using it. In terms of newspapers, headlines can be found on the Daily Mail, Guardian, Telegraph and Financial Times.
Some news providers may be slightly irritated by this update though, particularly as it could further help searchers bypass their homepage (and valuable advert impressions). While most visitors will generally navigate through the site after reading a particular story, it puts a greater emphasis on news operators to provide clear links to other stories within each page. So good for searchers, but maybe less so for the already embattled publications and agencies.