Twenty years have passed since the launch of Google News.
Additionally, more individuals are turning to the internet as their primary method of obtaining news than ever before.
The days of picking up a newspaper at your neighbourhood store to read about what happened that day are long gone. At this time, we have access to a variety of different news sources.
presenting a variety of points of view on contemporary issues.
There has never been a period in the past that was better than the present for publishers to feature on a news aggregator.
According to Parse.ly’s list of the top 10 external publisher referrers, Google News is still the most popular online news aggregator. This is the case even though there are alternative online news aggregators, such as flipboard.com, upday.com, and even Apple News.
Numerous publishers are aware of this, and as a result, they are working to optimise their news material for Google News.
And because any website can be considered for inclusion in Google News, there is a possibility that Google will index your website and give it a rating there.
However, before you get too excited about the possibility for Google News to act as a traffic honeypot, there are a few dangers that you need to steer clear of if you actually want to optimise your website for the aggregator.
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We’ll take a look at some common blunders, as well as offer some pointers on how to get the most out of Google News.
But before we go too far ahead of ourselves, let’s cover the fundamentals.
Fundamentals of Google News Optimization
What exactly is Google News, then?
A news aggregator that was built by Google is called Google News.
It was first introduced in 2002 with the intention of assisting users in discovering the news of the day from numerous news providers located in their region and beyond.
The news is compiled by the aggregator from a wide variety of online sources, and it is made available in desktop and mobile search results.
The importance of Google News to publishers is explained.
A significant portion of the traffic that is received by digital publishers originates from other sources.
Some examples of this include search platforms, links from other websites, social media, social sharing, and so on.
And due to the fact that Google News is one of the most significant news aggregators, it is a significant potential source of traffic for many different publications.
Presently, Google News is responsible for around 4% of the traffic sources utilised by publications.
Imagine it as a gigantic referral with an enormous sphere of influence.
It makes it easier for publishers to connect with new audiences and bring additional readers to their news websites.
Therefore, providers who are attempting to gain the most potential traffic want their articles to be displayed as snippets in Google News.
How does Google News actually function?
Articles are gathered for Google News from over 20,000 different sources all around the world.
On the user’s end, the objective is to give material that is as varied and pertinent to their needs as is humanly possible.
The content that appears in a user’s feed is determined by an algorithm developed by Google.
And then it customises it based on the user’s previous Google activity and the Google News preferences that they have.
The Google News teams only selected the stories to publish in a select few very specialised instances.
When it comes to the publishers, the traffic is the most important thing.
The aggregator provides users with a variety of options that allow them to learn more about a news source and interact with it.
Through Google’s Publisher Center, for instance, a publisher can submit a URL or feed.
However, doing so does not in and of itself guarantee that the news website would surface or rank in Google News.
Additionally, the aggregator will showcase publishers that it discovers through Google’s regular web scan.
Because of this, optimising news sites for Google News is absolutely necessary for a lot of different people.
Avoid Making These Mistakes When Optimizing for Google News
1. Believing That You Require AMP For Google News
Accelerate Mobile Pages, more commonly referred to as AMP, is a project that was initiated by Google in the open-source community in 2015.
In an effort to improve the sluggish performance of publishers on mobile devices, Google came up with this idea.
At the time, conventional news publishers were having a difficult time meeting the re-development needs of the mobile web, thus the idea of this originally seemed appealing to publishers. Mobile traffic was also well on its way to increasing significantly.
However, Google did not exactly choose the route of diplomacy when it came to the framework.
To be included in Google’s mobile Top Stories, publishers were required to implement AMP between the years of 2015 and 2021.
Those individuals who did not comply just missed out on the benefits.
Those that did were rewarded with increased traffic. On the other hand, they had to contend with the limitations that came with implementing legitimate AMP.
Fortunately, an update in July 2021 got rid of the condition that mobile Top Stories have to use AMP. It has been demonstrated that you do not require AMP in order to get included in Google News.
Because Google News now sends readers straight to the websites of publishers, it is time to do rid of the framework and concentrate your time and resources on improving other parts of your SEO.
Believing That Google News Is Exclusively Intended For News Publishers
Before the end of the year 2019, a publisher had to make adjustments to their website to ensure it complied with certain standards and complete out the appropriate online forms before Google would examine it.
After that, if all went according to plan and Google felt that they were a legitimate publisher, the application that they submitted would be accepted, and the website would be included in Google News and Top Stories.
Things went in a different direction once the brand-new Publisher Center was implemented.
Google did away with the manual clearance forms and replaced them with a whole new inclusion procedure for Google News.
At this time, Google uses an algorithm to choose the websites that will be shown in Google News.
The “official” word is that Google only takes into consideration websites that conform with the content restrictions of Google News and have high-quality material.
Due to the nature of this inclusion procedure, a website does not necessarily have to be a news publisher in order to be added to Google News.
They are eligible to be included in Google News and Top Stories as long as they fulfil all of the requirements.
However, getting into Google News is a great deal more difficult than the explanation in the official rules suggests it should be.
Equating Top Stories and Google News as Being the Same Thing
When you conduct a search on Google for a topic that is currently trending, the “Top Stories” box that is included in the organic search results will prominently feature the most relevant news results.
The majority of people are under the impression that this box is equivalent to Google News.
It is not that.
Instead, Top Stories is a function of Google Search, the search engine, and not Google News, the aggregator of news stories.
Failing to comply with the content policies of Google News
Google News maintains policies to which it holds its publishing partners accountable and expects them to be followed. For instance, the content must not breach Google’s criteria about content that is harmful, misleading, hateful, harassing, medical, terroristic, or sexually explicit. These guidelines cover a wide range of topics.
In addition, there are laws about the manipulation of the media, violence and gore, obscene language, and the use of profanity.
Additionally, there are standards that are feature-specific regarding advertisements, sponsored content, and transparency.
For instance, advertisements and other forms of paid promotion on publishers’ pagers shouldn’t take up more space than the actual content.
In addition, in the interest of complete openness, news websites should offer accurate dates and bylines, as well as contact information and details about the publication, the writers, and the publisher.
These are only a few of the things that Google News anticipates you will submit.
Ensure that you have read and comprehended the aggregator’s policies before proceeding with the optimization of your page. If you do not comply, the algorithm will remove you from the competition.
Ignoring the resources provided by Google’s Publisher Center
Google eliminated the need for human involvement in the inclusion process by switching to an automated system.
Along with this upgrade, they also introduced a brand-new Publisher Center.
Even while it is possible for your site to appear on Google News even if it is not a Publisher Center-approved site, you shouldn’t disregard it.
The Publisher Center provides a wide variety of useful tools and perks that can significantly improve your position in search engine results.
The capacity to handle several news publications under the umbrella of a single company is one of these features.
Increasing the visibility of your material on Google News is also possible with the help of Google Publisher Center.
Implementing Real-Time Updates to the Google News Publisher Center
The user experience may be negatively affected if you make significant modifications to your publication, such as implementing advertisements, overriding CSS, adding manager-only areas, or publishing content that has not yet been made public.
As a result, you should avoid implementing these kinds of modifications in the live environment before first evaluating them.
To keep this from happening, make sure to test any changes you make to your publication using Google’s Designer Mode.
Advice on How to Optimize Your Use of Google News to Get the Most Out of It
Send Your Website’s News Feed To Google. Google has the ability to automatically add publishers to Google News if they use their Publisher Center. These publishers must meet Google’s content criteria.
However, even if you have fulfilled all of the requirements, there is no guarantee that you will be chosen.
Because of this, manually submitting content to Google News can still be useful; doing so raises the likelihood that your content will be displayed in Google News.
In order to establish your organisation:
Sign in to your Google account, and then go to the homepage of the Publisher Center.
To add a new publication, select the “+ Add publication” option from the menu on the left.