Google News is an AI-based news aggregator app that provides readers with a steady and evolving stream of news stories. You can browse the Google News feed on desktop or mobile whether you have the app or not. To be featured in Google News, you have to carefully follow Google’s publishing guidelines and write about newsworthy topics.
Any type of high quality content has a chance to be viewed by thousands when it appears at the top of the Google News feed. Visibility in the Google News feed can help take your company blog’s content promotion efforts to the next level. Your blog doesn’t have to be a publication like Forbes or Business Insider to appear in Google News.
Keep reading if you want to know more about Google News and learn exactly how to increase your blog’s chances of being featured.
About the New Google News App
The Google News mobile app (available for both Android and iOS) has a similar look and feel to the iPhone’s native news app, Apple News. However, Google that one of its competitive advantages is the sophistication of its AI technology and its personalization capabilities.
Also, Google News app users can benefit from a personalized experience or choose to view an untailored, trending news feed under the “Headlines” tab.
The app is divided into four tabs: “For You”, “Headlines”, “Favorites”, and “Newsstand”:
1) “For You” is a personalized daily briefing , highly customized based on the data Google’s powerful machine learning AI technology can gather.
2) “Headlines” is the tab you click when you don’t want personalized content. The news found in this section offers all the top stories of the day of all topics and sources. The Headlines tab allows users to have a more well-rounded news reading experience. Google realizes that as wonderful (and powerful) as personalization is, it’s also important to diversify your news consumption.
3) “Favorites” is exactly what is sounds like. This feature allows readers to mark and save their favorite articles/publishers to revisit later.
4) “Newsstand” allows readers to subscribe to their favorite news magazines/publications and download them directly onto their devices. The majority of these subscriptions cost a monthly fee.
How to Get Your Content Considered for Google News
Google News Producer
Google News Producer is a news production tool that allows you to create Google News “editions” and monetize content that you already published on your website/blog.
It’s not mandatory to use, but it provides publishers with some great advantages. For example, you have the editorial control to decide how your content appears in Google, such as your logo, design, colors and placement of important contact information.
Also, it’s in your best interest to use Producer because it provides a better framework for optimizing your content for mobile devices. When you first click on Google News Producer, you’ll see the options for creating a “new edition”. After you click “create”, you’ll be able to see your customization options.
Google is clear about the fact that Producer is not its own content management system (CMS). Therefore, any type of content (text, image, video, etc.) has to be linked from Producer.
Nevertheless, you still have editorial control over the user experience of your content using Google News Producer in the same way as you would using a CMS. You can also manage on-site ads within Producer as well.
Google News Publisher
If you don’t want to use Producer, you can submit your website to be considered for Google News through the Publisher Center tool instead. You can improve the classification and “discoverability” of your content by telling Google what parts of your site to crawl through the Google News Publisher Center.
Submitting your website to Google News in this way doesn’t guarantee you’ll be featured. Navigate to Google Search Console to verify ownership of your blog (your news source) so that it appears under Google News Publisher Center.
Verifying ownership of your site(s) is the very first step to getting started with Publisher Center. Then, the Publisher Center will display a list of all the websites/blogs you own and you can update information accordingly in case anything is incorrect.
After you’ve verified ownership of your news site, these are some important prerequisites according to the
Google News Publisher Center’s guidelines:
Update your news source/blog’s details:
1) Specify its name and relevant labels (i.e. “Satire” or “User Generated Content”)
2) Make sure that Google knows your website’s most up-to-date section URLs. You’ll probably have to update some URLs to match changes you made to your website structure over time. If you’ve ever added any new sections to your blog, you need to make sure Google is accounting for them.
Note: Google defines a “section” as any subdirectory of your blog where you’re consistently posting newsworthy articles of the same category/topic. To learn how, Google explains how to add and edit section URLs here.
1) Label your section URLs appropriately by topic.
2) Ensure that the information about your blog is correct (your website name, domain URL, language, country, etc.)
3) Make sure your labels are accurate. Be sure to review the source labels applied to your website.
How to Improve Your Chances of
Getting Featured in Google News
1) Make Sure You Carefully Follow Google’s Content Policies
In terms of Google’s content policies for Google News, most of their rules are common sense. Prohibited content includes anything that qualifies as plagiarism, explicit, hateful, etc.
Google is also strict about prohibiting content that “…conceals or misrepresents sponsored content as independent, editorial content”. If you want to be favored by Google News, it’s wise to limit the advertising/paid promotional material in general.
2) Cater to the Google News Web Crawlers
One detrimental mistake would be accidentally blocking Google’s search bots from crawling any non-news content on your website (which would be devastating for SEO) when you meant to block Google News’ bots from crawling non-news content.
Also, note that Google pays attention to site speed as a major factor in ranking (both generally speaking and for Google News). If you are updating your website and trying to choose a WordPress theme, we would recommend choosing one that loads as fast as possible.
How to Measure Your Success with Google News
Google News prioritizes publishers and their needs. There are two main ways for publishers to measure and track how their content is performing based on the type of content:
1) Web-crawled content
When we say “web-crawled content”, we mean Google News bots are crawling your blog content directly on your website. How can you tell exactly where your traffic is coming from?
- You can look for HTTP referrer values to separate web traffic from Google News from the rest of your traffic.
- You can tell that incoming readers with the referrers “news.google.com” or “news.url.google.com” are from Google News.
- Also, you can use your own on-page analytics. This allows for more in-depth analysis of both your standard HTML and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) articles.
2) Feed-based content
When you set up Google News using Google News Producer, you can provide licensed content via RSS feeds or AMP, and then track direct traffic to your site via the news.google.com and news.url.google.com referrers.
There are also other options for setting up tracking in Google News Producer. Producer-based analytics measure the same underlying behavior as referrers.
Make sure you carefully set up Google Producer-based analytics because you don’t want to accidentally double-count metrics. Additionally, you can set up tracking in Google News Producer that provides more detail. and track content that is rendered natively within the Google News Android and iOS apps.
Remember that Producer-based analytics measure the same underlying behavior as referrers, so do not add these numbers together or you’ll double-count activity. Read more about Producer-based analytics.
Wrapping It Up…
It’s important to remember that Google News doesn’t have an editorial team. The traditional human touch of news curation is missing, and yet Google News manages to consistently provide the most relevant content to its readers.
Generally speaking, could a news algorithm like that of Google News have its own benefits in the blogging and journalism space? Could it be more fair and help get the right news to the right people in a less biased way? These kinds of questions are sparking insightful conversations about the future of online news and digital journalism as a whole.
At Chainlink, we can help you make sure you’re implementing strategies that produce tangible results and the highest ROI possible when it comes to your news content marketing strategy.
Reach out to us below to learn more about how we can help your business grow online. We’d love to give you a free consultation. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more tips that are both effective and easy to follow.
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