Published on July 23, 2021

How to Rank on Google News – Complete Technical Requirements

The internet has upended the way we read the news. It’s mostly only older generations who still read the news from more traditional sources like newspapers. Today, many readers get their information from search engines, like Google News. 

Google News has changed the way we receive information. The site holds articles from multiple sources, grouping them by topic and relevance. Google News provides easy ways for readers to indicate their interests and provides tools for daily news updates. 

Google News is not just beneficial for readers. It can benefit your own website too. 

Since Google is one of the most credible sources of information, getting your article on its news section is a great way to generate organic traffic for your website. It will earn the trust of your readers, and make first-time visitors more likely to become regular visitors of your site. Tapping into the potential of Google News essentially enhances your visibility across the Google ecosystem

We’ll provide tips on how to get traffic from Google News, and include the steps you can take to rank your website on Google.  

What Is Google News?

Google News is a tool that allows websites to gain greater visibility in the information they provide. Although your website can produce engaging content, your audience will be limited if you can’t generate headlines on Google News, which includes content from more than 50,000 sources around the world. 

Google News offers various types of news to readers, with content sorted according to relevance. Any user can access the Google News website from a smartphone or web browser. The platform also returns news results according to an individual’s taste and preferences. 

All the information presented by Google News is verified. The platform checks all registered websites and accepts or rejects each Google News submission within 60 days. 

SEO Benefits Of Google News

If the headline of an article is featured in Google News, more people are likely to trust the same article from the original source. Google’s approval is a signal of authoritativeness on the internet. Just being featured on Google News can lend trustworthiness to your content and effectively position your website as a reliable source of information. 

Since the news published on Google News is pre-approved, featured websites get indexed faster and gain traffic. News articles on Google News are ranked by the quality and brand value of your website. 

Only authentic websites appear on Google News. If you want to use this platform optimally, you should strive for high-quality content and follow the required Google News SEO best practices. 

Google has more influence than most forms of media and is trusted by over 60% of readers. Landing a link in Google News is considered by many to be the gold standard in information credibility.

Google News Guidelines & Content Requirements

To rank on Google News your content must fulfill all of Google’s requirements and guidelines. 

Adhere to the Principles of Good Journalism

Although Google News seems like a news-related platform, it is not 100% focused on news or current events content. Google News has evolved over the years and it has a massive impact on information brokering, by leveling the playfield for content experts, publishing companies and bloggers. 

Google hasn’t specifically declared the principles of good journalism, but it still cares about the substance and style of articles published on its platform, especially as a part of its Extensible Markup Language (XML). 

The primary indicators of good journalism are objectivity and honesty. Google crawls, indexes, and publishes reliable and authoritative third-party content from sources like CNN, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, and BBC because they are true news publishers. Sites like these adhere to standard practices of journalism, with professional curation and public commitments to transparency and ethics. 

Readable, Original Content

Google is one of the world’s most widely-used search engines, so avoiding duplicate content is critical. Publishing original content and including accurate data points from credible sources helps those aspiring to placement on Google News land a top headline. 

Choose your sources carefully. Wherever you get your information, make sure all the sources are credible and trustworthy before referencing it on your site. 

If you want to become a reputable author and publish informative work on Google, consider writing for news and magazines sites as a contributor. Publications like Business Insider and Forbes accept contributor articles, which can be a great way to establish credibility as an author. 

Reputable authors are more likely to be included in an XML sitemap, with famous authors seeing top spots on Google News, regardless of the publication they write for. 

Another way to get your story added on Google News is to work with a co-author whose content is consistently high-ranking in search results. This brings expanded authority to your website, creating a positive feedback loop whereby Google begins to index your work with more regularity, bringing more readers to your work and higher search rankings. 

Authoritative and Timely Content

Not every article published on Google News is news-related. Even so, the standards of news articles on Google are fairly strict. Stories must have a unique angle or be timely and up-to-date. To rank your content on the platform, you will have to prove that you adhere to Google News content policies. 

Establishing authority with an existing blog can be one way to move upwards in Google News rankings. Pay attention to how user-friendly websites and web pages link back to your own page. Use a webmaster’s tool to check your performance. 

Stay consistent with your articles. Draft at least two articles every day and use a diverse team of writers with unique writing styles. Your reporters should be transparent and accurate. 

Ask your team to source current stories. Employ journalistic techniques that resonate with Google. Make sure they are writing and reporting in a manner that resonates with high-ranking stories on Google News. 

Google News Technical Guidelines

Adding your story on Google News is not always easy, but keeping these technical guidelines in mind will help move you up in the rankings. Here are the Google News requirements every publisher should follow:

Permanent Section Pages

Google News will not be able to understand your website if URLs in your main news section change frequently. Non-permanent URLs prevent Google from crawling new content, because its software is unable to detect the latest URL. 

Google works with an automated crawler, Googlebot-News, and it works most effectively when the URLs of the main news sections are not changed. 

Googlebot-News crawls HTML links the best. This bot is unable to crawl image links or links that are embedded in JavaScript. To make the most out of Google News, you should ensure that your articles have HTML links. 

While working on the URL, check that the anchor text pointing to an article in the section page matches the title of your article as well as the page title. If you have an issue with these technical requirements, then a sitemaps-only crawl can be a solution. You should have a permanent URL for every article before you submit it to Google News.

Accessible Content

Google needs to access your site to include it on Google News.  Ensure all the directories hosting your articles are not blocked by the robots.txt file and metatags. Also, make sure that header specifications do not block access to any of your article links. Google News uses the same robot crawler as Google Web Search. 

Article URLs

Sites that want to be included on Google News must have unique and permanent URLs. Each page displaying the full text of content needs to have a unique URL. Google cannot include sites in Google News if multiple articles are displayed under the same URL. 

Google News Ranking Factors

Just like in Google Search, Google News results are determined algorithmically. Here are some of the top factors that go into higher rankings on Google News:

  • Keywords: This is the first and primary factor when it comes to ranking. Including the most-used keyword phrases or answers to common reader queries in your articles will help you rank higher. So, make sure you do your keyword research.
  • Entities: Google knows that searches revolve around entities, making them critical for Google Search and Google News. Keywords related to trending topics or points of interest for specific new stories can be determined by these factors:
    • People/Person or Person of Interest: When all the keywords of interest refer to the name of a person, it can be a ranking factor. This factor is influenced by how well the person is known and how many searches or queries surround that name. Trends usually consider nicknames, last names or full names. The best use is the full name—and the popularity of the person can be of influence. 
    • Event: A specific event referenced by readers or your audience can affect the ranking of your content. 
    • Organization: The name of popular organizations like the CIA, New York Yankees or the Federal Reserve Bank can influence search results and rankings. 
    • Places: This mostly refers to the geographical location of the news. These locations can be cities or famous places like New York, Seattle or the Pentagon.
    • Things/Concepts: This factor uses a similar approach to entities. This factor can range from iPhones to concept cars. 
  • Develop Topic Authority: Developing topic authority can be a ranking factor and help you influence your visibility in search results. Over time, when you publish content about the same topic you will get recognized by Google and develop topic authority. In the long run, your content will receive recognition from Google and it will be ranked higher on Google News. 
  • Trust: Google often gives preference to writing with trustworthy content and regularly updated sources. If a piece of content is sought after by readers or a particular audience, it will be ranked higher on Google news. 
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Google determines article ranking by the number of people clicking on the post. This is the click-through rate and if several people are clicking on an article it is ranked higher. 
  • Headlines: You should optimize your headline fields for Google News. Having keyword relevancy in headings like title, headline, h1, or even subheadings can help Google rank your content. 
  • Citation & Buzz: If your article is referenced by other sites and your URL is trending, you are more likely to be picked up by Google News. 
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): AMP articles are highlighted by Google Top Stories across thousands of other posts. AMP pages can be featured on mobile news boxes and provide a better web experience for users.  

How You Can Rank On Google News

Making your site easier for Google to crawl is the first step to improving your ranking on Google News, but there are several other practices for ranking higher, including:

1. Optimizing Your Site for Google News

  • Tags

You should include two types of tags in your article: the standout tag and the news keyword tag. These will help categorize your article and indicate that the piece of content is worthy of being featured on Google. 

  • Submit a Sitemap

Submitting a sitemap of your news website is recommended by Google. This can improve your ranking and the chances of your article being picked up. You will also be able to see crawl errors that are affecting your article’s ranking. Having an updated sitemap will enable Google to crawl your website efficiently and quickly. 

  • Submit Articles for the Editor’s Pick

All publishers can submit up to five articles. These articles represent their top journalism. By putting this into practice your article may get featured on Google News pages, providing more exposure for your site and the information it includes. 

2. Improve the Reading Experience for Your Audience

Although these factors are vital to rank better, they shouldn’t compromise the quality of your content. You must prioritize the reader, making your articles easy to read and navigate. 

One way to do this is by using AMPs. Using AMPs will enhance the mobile reading experience and make your webpage load faster, both of which are important for Google’s ranking system.

3. Get Listed on Google News With Original Content

Technical tips can help you get picked up and featured by Google, but the most important factor still remains the originality of content. This will allow you to get your content in front of the right audience. Even Google notes how important authenticity is to its rankings and content guidelines. 

Google News Tips And Advice

Ranking your website higher in Google News is not impossible. Adhering to standards and following technical guidelines will help. Here are a few final tips that you can use to rank higher on Google News.  

  • Present Clear Headlines: Clear headlines allow Google to categorize your content easily. Google News looks at a variety of signals to determine the headline of an article, including your HTML title tag. 
  • Provide Accurate Times and Dates: Google News tries to determine the date and time of an article to display the post correctly. Precise dates and times will increase your chances of getting ranked. 
  • Be Transparent: Visitors like to know about the publishers, authors and sources of content. You should post articles with clear bylines and correct information about authors and publishers. 
  • Protect Your Users and Their Data: Secure every page of your website with HTTPS. Google is very strict about the security of users and readers and HTTPS will protect the confidentiality and integrity of data exchanged by users on the website. All your web pages should be secured and safe for users. 

Final Words

Ultimately, the best way you can optimize for Google news is to position your website as a resource for your readers and provide them with a good user experience. Sign up for a Prerender demo, and get your website in front of your readers as soon as you can. 

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