Having your posts included in Google News can increase traffic to your website and boost your rankings exponentially. With the never ending flow of news stories, the search for popular topics has become a major force behind internet traffic. Any blogger or webmaster wants to have his site visited by thousands of people daily and build loyal readership, so being known on the Web is crucial for traffic expansion.
Optimizing your content for Google News is different than traditional SEO. Unlike search results, which use the number of backlinks (among other factors) to determine the value of a website, news stories are more recent and haven’t had the same amount of time to generate links. The content is ranked based on relevance, freshness, location, and diversity. Here are some practical tips to rank your content in Google News:
Submit Your Story to Google News
Start by submitting your site to Google News. Read the guidelines and fill out the submission form. This website uses a computer algorithm to automatically crawl news sites. If you want your application to be approved, you need to write unique posts and show a reliable track record of producing news related content.
Publish Original Content on Your Site
If your posts have been copied from other sources, your site will not be added to Google News. Honest attribution and original reporting are longstanding journalistic values. Articles that are just images or video won’t be included.
Add Relevant Keywords
Use Google Insights to find relevant keywords and compare search volume patterns across specific regions and categories. Include your keywords in page titles, headlines, and meta descriptions. Keywords help categorize your posts and enable them to show up in the different news search results.
Display a Tree Digit Number in Your URLs
Make sure the URL for each post contains a unique number with at least three digits. This number can be located anywhere in the URL. Some experts claim that you don’t need this number in your URL if you submit content to Google News in the sitemap format.
Create a News Sitemap
News sitemaps are similar to regular sitemaps, but have specific news parameters. Add a news sitemap that includes all your news pages. This file allows you to control which articles you submit to Google News. It also helps crawlers find each news article URL, ensuring full coverage of your content. Update your sitemap continually with fresh posts as they are published. After you create the sitemap, upload it to the highest-level directory containing your news articles.
Image credit: Stuart Miles