If you are looking to get your site indexed on Google news then you are thinking it right. Google news drives 6 billion+ clicks to the publishers in a month and that’s a huge traffic which can help you to monetize your blog. The best thing with Google news is that you need not to be a registered media house our licensed journalist.
Publishers, magazines, digital content marketers and bloggers are already tapping into this huge resource for targeted traffic and better search engine visibility. In a case study, published by Search Engine Watch illustrated how they grew their website traffic by 329%.
What is Google News?
Google News is a news aggregator and app developed by Google Inc. It brings latest news from various sources at one place. You can read news headlines and navigate to the news source website for further reading. Google News is available on Android, iOS, and the web. Google brings news from thousands of publishers and magazines in 35 languages. A beta version was launched in September 2002, and released officially in January 2006. The initial idea was developed by Krishna Bharat.
Here is our content guideline to get your site indexed on Google news.
Technical Indexing Guidelines
Here are some common technical indexing guidelines from Google:
Article URLs: Ensure your articles are permanent and unique before submitting for GN.
Article format: Only format your article in HTML as Google crawlers won’t index PDF and media news.
Robots.txt or Meta Tags: Allow Google News user-agents Googlebot and Googlebot-news to crawl and index your site.
<meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow”>
<meta name=”Googlebot-News” content=”index, follow”>
Multimedia content: Google News can’t include audio files or multimedia content. Sometime youtube videos may be indexed.
Google News Sitemap: Many website does this mistake of not creating sitemap for Google news. We recommend you to create a separate sitemap for Google News. Define content type, language, date of publishing, title, author and keywords.
Meta News Keywods: We recommend you to include news keyword meta. Use following format to add meta in your news article. This will help crawlers to indentify the content and nature of content.
<meta name=”news_keywords” content=”World Cup, Brazil 2014, Spain vs Netherlands”>
Requirements for site structure
Permanent section pages: Google recommends having a permanent news section page where you update recent news. It could be a category page that doesn’t change. See an example here.
Accessible content: If you want to get your articles indexed on Google news then ensure first thing that you have not blocked Google Bots. Make sure that the directories that host your articles are not blocked by a robots.txt file and that meta tags or header specifications do not block access to your article links. Google News crawls with the same robot as Google Web Search, the user-agent Googlebot.
Languages: Don’t write dual language articles. Google News doesn’t include the article with more than one article within article section.
Encoding: Google suggests encoding your site in UTF-8. https://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-choosing-encodings
Different domains: Google doesn’t index embedded news articles from other domain. Like www.ex.com fetches article from www.exx.com then Google won’t include the articles in news search. Google only include subdomain and sub directories like www.news.ex.com and www.ex.com/news
Requirements for individual article pages
Article URLs: Remember your article URLs should be unique and permanent. Google only index one URL once in a lifetime in Google News. Don’t alter content on the same URL.
Page layout guidelines: Ensure your articles URLs are unique and permanent. Put proper headlines and date of publication if not auto-generated. If Google is not able to find out the date out publishing, it won’t entertain your content. Structure page content in HTML and should be readable and crawlable to bots. Avoid content in Java Script.
Adhere to the Good Journalism: This is not the time when you only optimize for the search engines. Google cares about good journalism and only indexes news from authorized and established media houses. Google has opened its door to the content creators and bloggers but they have to prove themselves as a reliable source as Google doesn’t want to show false news to its readers.
To be included in Google News, your reporting must be original, honest and well structured with quality anchor texts, meta tags and authoritative voice. Standard journalism is all about investigation and not just about search engine optimization. So, you should be able and ready to investigate a story and authenticate it, before reporting it.
Avoid Duplicity: Google hates duplicate content. If you want Google to love your content then be original and don’t copy from other sites.
Build Author Rank: Google want to index news from reputed authors as they know reputable authors and columnist don’t copy content. There’s no better way to become a reputable author than to write for other news and magazine sites. If you’ve never written for trusted news web sites, such as Forbes, Inc. or Business Insider, you need to begin.
Write Keyword Rich Titles and Headlines: Google bots are simply an algorithm and can only understand what it has been instructed. Google can only indentify your content on the basis of keywords you use.
Write in Active Voice: Many journalist and digital marketer suggest writing in active voice as we experienced Google only indexing articles in active voice.
Write in Present Tense: News is written in present tense what a journalist is taught in journalism. Google news strongly follows the same and only index articles written in active voice. We have strong evidences what we say.
Mind Literature and Grammar: Google hates bad grammar and literature. User proper formatting of text and avoid grammatical mistakes.
Focus News Only: Google news was invented to bring latest news at one place. If you understand the concept well I don’t need to tell you why you should focus on news articles for being indexed in GN.
Maintain Consistency in Writing: New means daily journalism, if Google finds you not updating on regular basis it won’t visit you your site frequently and Google may start hating you. Write at least 2-3 articles in day.
What Google News doesn’t index?
Listicles: Google will never index a listicle article if it’s not formatted in news.
Will be indexed: Forbes Releases top 10 Firewall Vendors List
Will not be indexed: List of top 10 firewall vendors
How to articles: News simply stands for latest today. How to article will not be indexed
Definitive articles: If you are in definitive articles and blogging then forget about getting indexed. Articles like how to prepare pie?, will not be indexed.
Media: If you are publishing video or inforgraphics then chances are less being indexed.
Evergreen Content: Bloggers usually focuses on evergreen content which drives traffic on their site for lifetime. If you are in evergreen content then forget about Google News.