Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ten Top Tips For Google News

Google News is a tricky thing to approach. Getting an article or your business mentioned there means exposure to millions of internet users. Getting through the selection process is more difficult than just about any other site.

Like everything else to do with Google, much of the information the SEO community has been able to glean has come from examples of what not to do, as well as a few hints that the company has let drop here and there. These hints and tips all add up:

• Quality. Google often places an emphasis on quality when discussing how it assesses sites, and things are no different for Google News. Quality in this case is in some ways pre-assessed through the selection of quality news sources, so choosing the right news site to host your article can make a big difference

• Timeliness. Google’s main search engine is still struggling to incorporate real-time results, but the more straightforward nature of Google News has made it easier on the algorithm. Your piece needs to be recent to be included on the site

• People, places and things. Google let slip in an early patent for Google News that articles and news sources would be assessed by the number of ‘original named entities’ mentioned. This was originally applied to assess a news source’s credibility, but it may count for the attractiveness of an individual article

• Unique URLs with numbers. One of the few solid tips Google has given about Google News is that the URL of the article needs to be absolutely fresh, and it must contain at least three digits. The numbers should not resemble a year, either

• Check the list. This is vital if you’re trying to get on Google News through an approved news site. Not just any will do!

• Sitemaps. Get on the sitemap, if you can. Google looks at the site maps of news sites to determine what’s new. If you’re submitting to a news site, enquire about their site map

• Don’t be a blog. Google doesn’t accept personal websites or blogs on its approved news sites list. If you’re trying to develop a site for the list, avoid the appearance of a blog

• Breaking news. This element is checked by the Google News algorithm by comparing how many other sites are talking about that subject. In this one instance, it’s better to have your content duplicated all over the net, or at least have your article topic picked up by a range of sources

• Newsworthiness. If your article isn’t interesting to humans, the object of the exercise has been missed

• Don’t throw your regular SEO methods away. All of your usual tactics should be applied to content that is aimed at Google News, if for no other reason than it might do your site some good. If your content is being promoted from a recognized news source, your SEO will bring traffic and link juice back to your site. Talk to us at SEO Consult about different aspects of search engine optimization

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