Very often, we are asked in our Digital Marketing Fundamentals course forum about Google News and its impact on SEO rankings. The first most frequently asked question: does being featured on Google News help my site reach page one of SERPs? The second most frequently asked question: If being featured on Google News helps, how do you apply to have your site and its blog show up on it?
In this featured article, we go into depth in answering these two pressing questions that all online marketers want to know:
Does Being Featured on Google News Affect SEO Rankings?
Seroundtable recently answer this pressing SEO question that crossed almost every webmaster’s mind: offers
“… sites in the Google News index do not get any special ranking boost in the organic Google results. Google’s John Mueller said they are not seen as any more authoritative just because they are included in Google News. John said the organic search results do not use that as a signal.”
Despite Google News having no impact on a website’s SEO rankings, it does provide one useful purpose – it drives considerable traffic to your website. The great thing about it is that you do not have to pay for it. The only difference is that it comes from Google News and not the regular Google search index.
You see… Google Search and Google News are two separate entities. Although you can see a few Google News results at the top of the Google search page, once you click on Google News you will see more results.
How do you apply to be featured on Google News?
It used to be very difficult for webmasters to be featured on Google News because you required a 3 digit code. Modifying a site to include 3 digits in the URL was expensive, especially for smaller businesses that did not have the resources or the budget for it.
Fortunately that requirement was dropped. In its place, Google launched a News Publisher Center. This is a dashboard to manage your Google News presence. The Publisher Center simplified the process of applying for Google News inclusion. All you now have to do is as follows:
- Go to thePublisher Center. You’ll find a dashboard.
- Follow instructions to verify that you own your site.
- Then click the button labeled “Request Inclusion in Google News.”
- After your site is accepted, you need to learn how to present your content to Google News. A special XML News sitemap should be generated. You will want to use meta keywords. Also, you should generate an “Editor’s Picks” feed and use the “Standout tag” to highlight your best content.
- Check Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) on a regular basis to see if any error messages are cropping up that would prevent Google News from crawling their website.
Alternatively, if your website is being managed on WordPress, there are several plugins that will help you notify Google News upon release. The most popular one is The Yoast News, a premium WordPress Plugin. It saves considerable time and money for small publishers that lack a full time tech team and helps them manage how their content is presented to Google Spiders.
Not all sites are eligible for inclusion. It’s important to read Google News Guidelines carefully. For example, Google News has strict rules against including articles that have been written with the purpose of marketing products and services.
If you want to know more about the impact that social media has on your day to day lives, please visit yourdmac.com. DMAC is an online academy offering online courses and customized corporate training sessions to businesses and individuals seeking to develop or upgrade their social media marketing skills. To learn more about our social media marketing course click here. To book a free corporate training consultation click here.