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Google News has changed the way we keep up with the world around us. Before there were Google News or any other news sites, we had to purchase newspapers and then sort through their pages, hoping to get across a headline that will capture our attention most.
But, today visiting Google News already introduces us to an aggregated page of the latest news, each grouped according to its topic and displayed according to our specific interests.
On a journalist’s point of view, and of content creators alike, Google News allows us to get our content online. The only downside is that like all things Google, its News category also relies on algorithms and formulas to provide readers exactly what they want.
In a recent Google Webmaster post where Danny Sullivan, public liaison for Google News Search, shared the guidelines on how to succeed in Google News, it showed that the site selects and ranks articles based on a set of factors that include originality, freshness, relevance and location.
It indicates that in order to rank on Google News, you need to pay attention to the fine line between what works and what doesn’t in proper SEO for news articles. But, before we proceed to detail the tips on how to optimise for Google News, allow us to share with you some of the benefits on ranking on the news site.
Before committing to a Google News SEO strategy, you need to clearly understand first what it has in store for you. Here’s what the statistics tell about the benefits of appearing on Google News.
Present clear headlines – Google News looks into an assortment of signals to determine the headline of an article. Among the most effective practices in writing a headline is to include it within your HTML tag and make it the most prominent text on the page.
Provide accurate times and dates – Likewise, Google News determines the time and date to display for an article in many ways. As a writer, one way to make sure you’re getting it right is by providing a clear, visible date and time between the headline and the body.
Avoid artificially refreshening stories – In the event that a story is significantly modified, it can make sense to give it a new date and time. However, do not falsely renew a story without adding significant data or a compelling reason for the update.
In addition to this, Google looks to reward independent and original articles by giving credit to the originating publisher. It’s a great move towards preventing duplicate content, which includes re-published, rewritten or scraped material to rank better than the original content. In line with this, here are the guidelines to follow.
Block scraped content – Scraping refers to the act of taking material from another site, typically on an automated basis. If your site scrapes content, you should block the scraped content for being included on Google News. Here’s how.
Block rewritten content – In the same manner, you should block Google’s access to your rewritten articles. These can include, but not limited to, rewritten articles with only minimal changes but still retain the meaning of the original articles.
Block republished content – On the other hand, if you’ve allowed others to re-publish your material, you can be sure that your version is performing better in Google News by requiring the re-publisher to block the content on that section and avoid the use of canonical.
Avoid duplicate content – Finally, if you’re operating on multiple news sites that publish content, the tips mentioned above are also applicable to your network. Your best move would be to select what is the original article and block duplicates from appearing on Google News or use canonical to direct readers to the original.
Be transparent – Include clear bylines, information about the author as well as contact information for the publication in your article.
Don’t be deceptive – Do not impersonate any person or organisation as well as misrepresent or conceal ownership on purpose. Otherwise, you risk violating Google’s content policies.
Avoid participating in link schemes – Similarly, don’t take part in link schemes that are intended to manipulate your ranking in Google search results. It’s considered a major violation of the Webmaster Guidelines.
Google follows a meticulous algorithm in terms of ranking websites into their Google News listing. Although this guideline remains vague, there’s one thing we now know for sure: Having new and quality content will help increase your chances of penetrating the Google News.
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