Google News is an aggregator of content that collects news from various sources and offers them as a separate issue. For the reader, this is a convenient way to consume information, and for the website owner, it is an endless stream of traffic.
The goal of each aggregator is to systematize the content, to make its search convenient and fast. For this, each of them has strict requirements. If you want your website to be listed in Google News, you need to make an effort and follow all the requirements. You can either do it yourself or hire SEO specialists to save your precious time and efforts.
Website optimization for Google News requirements
Google stresses that a website must meet certain technical requirements for being listed on Google News. In particular, your website should have permanent URLs of main sections and unique URLs for each article, contain texts only in one language, place articles on one domain, etc. You can find a full list of recommendations in the official certificate.
Technically, adding a website to an aggregator is easy. It is more difficult to optimize it for the stringent requirements, which can be divided into four categories:
- structured data markup;
- quality indicators of the website as a whole.
The quality of content and its relevance is one of the most important conditions. Aggregators accept the news with a volume of at least 2 thousand characters and a uniqueness of at least 90%. In the article, you should disclose all known facts. Google News rates highly names, positions, and names of cities. Post this information in the first paragraph, and also use it in H1. The search engine especially appreciates the uniqueness of the text.
Yesterday news will not work: only fresh materials fall into the news feed.
If you have received additional information on one topic, it is better to add it to the already existing news. Do not update the URL. Update the text and change the title. So the Google News robot will understand that you have edited the information.
It is important to structure clearly the information on the website. Place each news in a category that corresponds to its main theme, and apply tags. Use georeferencing, as regional information is ranked above nationwide. Make sure that you specify the date of posting in the snippet of each news. This is a mandatory requirement of Google News.
In order to maximize the traffic from search engine results in both search and news systems, you must use images that meet the technical requirements of Google News. In addition, although not required, you can use video materials, which can also increase the number of clicks and significantly increase traffic.
Articles with pictures are better than articles without pictures. To optimize the illustrations of articles you need:
- Save images in .jpg, .gif, .png formats.
- Use images with good resolution.
- Use the alt attribute containing the article keywords to describe the image.
- Position the image at the top next to the article title to help associate the image with the article content.
- Make pictures non-clickable and streamlined with the text of the article.
YouTube is considered a highly trusted video hosting website for Google News. So for best results, create your YouTube channel and submit it to Google News. Do this to help search engine robots, you must use text descriptions for video content.
The aggregator also prohibits the dissemination of personal and confidential information, posting sexual content, justification of violence, inciting of hatred, call for illegal actions, etc.
- URL. Create a permanent unique URL that contains at least 3 numbers. The reason is that publishers traditionally used the link “id ~ article number” in URL. This helps Google News to understand that the article is really news and not just a static HTML page. If your content management system does not support adding 3 numbers, you can add the news sitemap and specify which addresses you want to include as news.
- The title of the article. The ideal title of the page should contain the main keywords, very briefly reflect the topic of the article and be attractive from the point of view of clickability.
- Date of publication. Entering the publication date between the headline and the body helps Google News determine the correct publication date and include it in the snippet. In addition, you need to make sure that there is no additional text between the title of the article and the article itself. Otherwise, it will make it difficult for the Google News robot to determine the correct snippet.
- The article. There are a number of recommendations on this issue, but the most important is that you should not break the article with user comments, advertising, links to similar articles.
Website structured data markup
You need a structured data markup to indicate search and social networks robots what to look for. It helps to understand the meaning of the content on the pages of the website. Quality structured data markup ensures the correct search engine results at the request of users.
To use structured data markup you need to:
- Prepare the html-code using one of the services: Search Console from Google or the Structured Data Testing Tool.
- Add code to the template that is responsible for the structured data markup on the website.
- Verify correct operation using validation services.
Google welcomes linking the content to a specific author. To create the perfect news website for Google, make the Our Team page. Indicate the names and positions on it and tell briefly about each employee. Create several accounts on the website and publish news under different names.
The state of the website as a whole directly influences the ranking of the news in Google News: the age of the domain, its history, the level of trust of the users. Be sure to have a sitemap and robots.txt. A clear editorial policy and pages about the project are welcome.
Work with social networks. Likes and comments — this is a confirmation that the content is exciting and relevant. Comments are especially appreciated, as they are generated by the most interested users.
Do this job and start adding your website to Google News.
Adding the website to Google News
To add the website, you need a Google Account. Go to the News-Tools section, login or sign in. If you use Google for Webmasters, a list of your websites will appear on the main page. To add one of them to Google News, click on the button next to the website name: “Send a request to add to the Google News index.”
If your website is not on the list, find the phrase below: “Do you want to include the website in Google News?” And click the link next to it.
Fill out the form and send a request to add the website to the service. After sending, you will see a confirmation on the screen.
The term of an application consideration is three weeks. To learn about the status of the application, check notifications in the Google News service. The reason for rejection is not explained, and you can resubmit the application after 60 days.
Placing articles in Google News will help your website be on the front pages of Google if it is not in the web search results for one reason or another. Thus, the website can be promoted to the first page of Google by high-frequency queries, competing with Internet monsters for grateful visitors and potential users of your website.