With well over 1 billion weekly viewers and the reputation as the most trusted news source, Google News is still going strong. Google News offers brands the opportunity to raise their online visibility, traffic, and eventually their sales. Getting listed on Google News doesn’t just mean dollar signs though. When you’re shown in Google News search results users almost always place more trust in your brand; which impacts many other interactions that same traffic will have with you.
But getting your website indexed comes with a set of somewhat strict stipulations that Google demands before adding you to their list of indexed websites.
What it takes to get listed on Google News
As with anything Google, there is a set of best practices they want you to follow.
What type of content: First of all, Google won’t include the following:
- How-to articles
- Classified Ads
- Job postings
- Promotional “salesy” content
- Strictly informational articles like weather forecasts or stock data
And to be more specific, they say your articles must be “timely reporting on matters that are important or interesting” so some potential news might look like this:
Establishing a baseline: If you have not yet created an article folder called “news” yet you should do that before attempting anything else. Following that, make sure each URL reflects that content accurately. Make sure the “news” folder has a consistent upkeep on a predictable schedule – once a week should work fine. Articles should be free of bloat, should have lots of value, and should be easy to find and share.
Readability & Unique score: Of course, the content you create must be completely original and produced by your brand. Google tells us that it has to be clear of excessive advertisements and has to be well written. If you happen to have aggregated content on your website, it needs to be clear to Google otherwise it will be thrown out.
Authoritativeness and Trust level: Always writing as an industry leader based on expertise has a much higher chance of being picked up by Google. The more signals Google can pick up on your website that this article is legit, the better.
Look into a Google News sitemap: Google allows us to create a sitemap just for Google News, thereby bettering our chances to get indexed. Here you can specifically tell Google what you want and help Google to find your newsworthy content quicker.
Make sure to use the Meta news keywords tag: This is not to be confused with the classic meta keywords tag. This tag helps Google digest what your article is about and thereby increases your chances of being indexed. Find out how to create one with instruction from Google here.
Technical SEO Tips for getting articles picked up by Google News
Because Google employs an algorithm for choosing which articles are worthy of indexing in their News outlet, some technical backend work should be done before publishing articles.
- Before publishing, go through and make sure your URL and anchor links reflect the content topic.
- It should be a no-brainer, but only publish articles in HTML. Google cannot crawl a pdf or other non-native languages.
- Make sure you have allowed Google to crawl and index the site on which you’re trying to get picked up by Google News.
How to apply to be indexed in Google News
If you feel comfortable with the idea that you’re meeting the above activities and requirements, go ahead and submit your site to Google to be indexed.
Just a quick warning – we do know that most sites get denied on their first go and the waiting period to re-apply is 60 days. So instead of simply crossing your fingers and praying, we recommend putting some time into this beforehand.
Just fill out this form from Google to apply. The required information is minimal and doesn’t take the much technical experience to fill out. After it’s filled out make sure you monitor the status of the application. If you’re rejected what you need to make sure is that you know exactly why you weren’t accepted.