Whatever your industry, there is always an opportunity to be in the Google News section of Google SERPs. This might not be quite as likely if your competition is CNN or Forbes, but for many small businesses being featured in the news section is a great way to earn extra visibility for your website. Although the Google News section isn’t always at the top of a SERP, the format is slightly different so it pops off the page. Consider the screenshot below:
As you can see, some of the top SEO blogs are ranking in the Google News section. There is a photo snippet next to one of the results and the rest offer detailed information such as when the article was posted. If you cover a lot of news stories on your blog, optimizing for these search results is crucial. Fortunately, Google has made it easy through the Google News Publishing Center along with a few other tips gathered over the last year since News was introduced.
How the Google News Publisher Center Works
According to a Search Engine Land article, after a site is accepted to Google News he has seen that site’s monthly CTR in Google improve with as much as 35% of all attributable clicks coming from Google News. In other words, it can be a great option to help your company grow online.
The Google News Publisher Center was first announced back in August 2014, and you have to verify your site in Webmaster Tools before using the tool. Below is a screenshot of what you will see when you visit the Center:
Once your site is verified, you can then make three major changes:
- Update your news site details. This includes labeling your publication with relevant source labels such as Blog or Opinion.
- Update your section URLs, which you should do when you change your site structure. For example, when you add a new section to your website.
- Label your sections. You should label your sections with a specific topic.
Before you immediately go get started, however, it’s important to really consider whether or not your site is going to be eligible in the first place, which brings us to the next section.
How to Know if Your Site Is Fit For Inclusion
You have to make sure that your website is technically sound before Google will consider including it in News. This means you should only be including URLs to news articles and your layout has to be crawlable. You site also has to have authority, meaning a strong following with social shares and readership as well as a good frequency of publishing articles, so keep in mind that it may take a while before you’re included. It’s an ongoing process!
There is a Google News Publisher Center help page that I highly recommend checking out if you’re unsure if your website qualifies. This resource will help you learn how to optimize, get started and submit your content, removing content, some of the added benefits, and more.
A Few Tips to Keep In Mind
- It’s important to note that not every topic and not every SERP is going to have a News section. You have to consider your niche and whether or not there is a lot of breaking news. If not, then this may not be something that benefits your company all too well.
- Google News doesn’t always have to be a traditional-form article. If you have a video or infographic reporting on something newsworthy, that can also be included in News.
- It can take a few weeks before you see any results.
Once again, you can visit this link to get started with the News Publisher Center. Give it a try and let us know if you have any questions or any thoughts in the comments below.