Each week 1 billion unique viewers are shown articles from nearly 50,000 news sources, according to the Atlantic. Now every site would love to have a slice of this excellent traffic, however, not everyone can get a piece. Getting traffic through Google News isn’t the same as getting rankings for organic search. Sites must jump through some hoops to get on Google News, and many sites are rejected during the process.
What Does Your Site Need to Get on Google News?
Google has a list of guidelines that must be met to get listed on their News source. So what are some of these guidelines?
- News Content – The content that you create must be related to the news, I know who would have guessed. This means articles that are ‘how to’ or ‘opinion articles’ are not going to be approved by Google.
- No Aggregated Content – Are you publishing aggregated content? If so, make sure to separate it from your original content. You can restrict Google from seeing this content by utilizing your robots.txt file.
- Be an Expert – Write about what you know. Also get multiple contributors if possible.
- Extra Information – Sites that have a well developed About Us page and biographies on the writer’s are desired by users.
- User Experience – Sites that load fast, have no grammatical errors, or no ads are more likely to be accepted to the news section. Remove items that will distract users from the article.
- URL Structure – When building your URLs make them unique to the article and permanent on the site.
- HTML Only – Only HTML pages can be crawled, don’t post PDFs.
- No Multimedia Content – Right now Google will not crawl multimedia files, this doesn’t mean you have to remove it completely, just make sure you have written content to go with it.
- Sitemap, Robots.txt, and meta tags – Create a Google News specific sitemap, these often include only pages that are articles. Make sure your articles are properly optimized with meta tags such as meta desc, title tag, h1, etc.
The Process of Getting Listed
So your site is setup, sitemaps created, and the content is killer, now get it on Google News.
- First, you will need to have your site verified in Webmaster Tools search console.
- Head to https://partnerdash.google.com/partnerdash/d/news and here you will see a list of your search console sites.
- Select the “Request Inclusion in Google News’ button for the site you wish to submit.
- Here you will fill out some information about your site. A description, title, contact information, and most importantly categories. Make sure to be accurate here.
- Now you wait. Usually within a few days you will receive an email (to the email address added in the contact section), or you can check back at the Google Publisher dashboard.
Don’t get discouraged if your site is rejected. Review the guidelines and make sure your site is up to par. Unfortunately, Google won’t tell you exactly what issues your site has. You can always ask questions at Google’s News Help Forum.
Once your site is on Google News, it’s time to continue posting high quality, newsworthy content. Make sure to check your site’s content to see if it’s being posted, also measure your progress. Review your analytics to see how Google News has changed your organic traffic.