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SEO for Google News

SEO, Videos | 12th Oct 2011

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Video Transcript

Having the content you write appear on Google News is an excellent way of appearing prominently for popular search terms and also keywords that you wouldn’t normally rank for, that are just too competitive. In this video guide, I’m going to show you how to do that, how to improve your chance of being included in Google News, and also some SEO tips that help as well.

The first thing we need to consider is the actual content as well. So those are these tips here. The more original the content that you produce, the more chance it’s got of appearing. If you’re just taking a press release and shoving right up on your website, with no amends, no extra information, and no opinion, that’s not going to rank on Google News at all, because they probably indexed it somewhere else, and they can see that it’s a duplicate piece of information. So you need to say something new.

The things that you say also need to be fresh. They need to appear as the topic emerges. So they also need to be fast as well. You need to offer unique opinions on these topics and push them out quickly onto Google News.

Next, the style is important as well. If you always write in a blogger style, in a first-person type of style, that’s not what Google News are looking for. They try very hard to identify things that are blogs and to remove them. So you need to appear like an informative news site. So that’s third-person content, with just the facts really. No strong opinion.

Next, the authority of the author is important. You’ll see sometimes, if you search for news, that a person’s picture will appear next to the article. That means Google has identified the author and there’s an element of trust there. If you’re the kind of author who writes a lot of content and it gets linked to regularly, you’ll become this type of author.

Spelling is important as well. With the Panda update we’ve seen a lot of these factors impact websites, and spelling is one of the simple basics that we should all be doing, but which is often ignored. If your news piece is full of spelling errors, has the grammar of a 12-year-old, and doesn’t read very well, it’s not going to appear on Google News.

The content itself also needs to be relevant to what people are searching for. If you’re writing great news stories about content that no one searches for, it’s not going to make a difference if you appear on Google News or not. So take a look at tools like Google Trends and Google News Suggest to see what people are searching for now, and also what they searched for maybe this time last year. So if you’re looking at a new movie, have a look at what people searched for on the previous incarnation.

The content as well needs to be citated. It’s another good reason to create a really small version of the news story initially, get loads of links to that, and then expand it throughout the day. You’ll have fresh content, you’ll have fast content, and it’ll be citated.

Popularity is important too. This concerns the click-through rate when your article appears on Google News. Now having a catchy headline is a great way to do this. If you write a boring headline that no one clicks on, your CTR is going to be low, you won’t be seen to be popular, and you’ll get less citations as well. Have a link baited headline, and you get all of this, and it improves your chance of appearing on Google News.

Last of all, we’ve got the technical elements. Having a new site map is how content is given to Google News, gets indexed, and appears. That needs to update the second you write the news. You need your CMS to update your Google News site map instantly. The faster the content is, the quicker it’ll get on Google News, and the quicker it’ll get clicked on.

The standout tag is a new feature that has been added this month, and that allows you to highlight your most important pieces of content, the news stories that you know are really breaking news stories, or well researched, or just things that you want to be there. You can only use that a few times just to highlight the best things.

Last of all, images help your actual piece to get clicked on, and it looks better in the search results as well. So always have an image, make it relevant to the piece, and make it something that catches the eye.

If you do all of these things, you will win at Google News. Thank you.

Mike Essex About the author

Mike Essex

Mike Essex specialises in digital marketing and everything search. A recent project of Mike’s was featured on BBC News, Radio 5Live and the Times here in the UK, whilst also featuring on USA Today and ABC News in the US. He will be writing throughout the month about digital marketing and much more...

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