One great way to gain additional traffic from Google is to start writing news related items. Google’s news feed shows up at the top of many search results, and is widely used by millions to find news about just about every topic imaginable. Getting included in the news feed isn’t always as difficult as many would expect (though it isn’t a sure thing either). If you are able to get posts you make to show up as news, however, it can not only bring in a significant amount of traffic, but it can also give your site additional authority in the eyes of the visitors.
With that in mind, here is some strategies used to get yourself into Google’s News results.
Google has strict guidelines around the types of sites it allows into their feed. They need your site to comply with these requirements in order to ensure the news items are found, and that they meet the quality that the Google users have come to expect. These requirements really aren’t too difficult to meet, and most sites will already be acceptable. You can view the full list of Google requirements HERE, but the following will provide a high level overview.
- Site Structure – Google requires that your site has an acceptable look and feel, including permanent section pages, accessible content, available with the right languages and encoding, and everything must be on your domain (meaning you can’t have yoursite.com be the main page and yoursitenews.com be your news page).
- Individual Article Requirements – Each article that is published must meet the page guidelines as well as have a unique, permanent URL. The URL must also have a unique number that is three or more numbers long.
- Subscription sites – These sites tend to have additional requirements, including the fact that the first article viewed should not require a subscription.
While some of the technical guidelines may seem odd at first, they are all fairly easy to meet without any significant changes to your site in most cases.
The guidelines Google has for the actual content on the page are a little more difficult to meet. This is to be expected given the nature of news content, and many of the requirements could be figured out with just common sense. The main guidelines are:
- News Related – All the posts in this section should be timely to the event being covered. They should also be only on topics that are actually important to people.
- Standards – All posts should meet the journalistic standards of reporting
- Original – You can’t just copy news stories from other sources if you want to be in the Google News feed
- Accountable – While not strictly required, Google prefers it if the author of the news piece has a picture of themselves listed, and a way to get in contact with them (email)
- Quality – The posts should be of good quality with few, if any, grammatical or spelling errors.
Another factor to consider is your Author Rank from Google+. This is a fairly new system from Google that provides a ranking (out of 100) on the individual author of different content, using their Authorship program. The higher the ranking of the author who writes your content, the more likely it will be that Google will display you on their news feed. This is just one more reason why using the Authorship program is so important. If, for example, you can get a well known author who has a 100 author rank, the news on your site will benefit. Even a new author can quickly gain some author rank, however, so don’t let this discourage you. (there are many guides published on how to improve author rank).
If you want Google to see your site as a news source, make sure you are publishing news on a regular basis. This will mean something different for every niche, but try to have at least 5+ news posts per week, ideally at least one per day. This will not only help Google to see you as a news source, but it will also help keep your site at the top of the Google News feed.
Request to be Included
If you believe you meet all the requirements, you need to submit an official request to Google to be included. This can be done HERE. This is a fairly simple process where you answer a few questions and fill out information about your site. It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to apply. If you are rejected, however, you can’t reapply for 60 days, so make sure your site is ready before filling out the form.
If you are approved, Google will begin crawling your site with a news spider to find new content. This will occur much more frequently than normal spiders. You may then find your site showing up in the news feed of Google for search terms related to the news articles you publish. Remember, always keep your site up to the Google standards or you’ll be dropped from their program.