Why should you care about Google News? How to get yourself in to Google News What to do to increase your visibility in Google News Questions at the end
Why care about Google News?
Google News vertical Latest news stories as identified by the GN algo Laid out in news clusters As you can see, big news sites dominate
Belfast Telegraph traffic sources (according to Google Analytics): 20% direct, 30% Referrals, 50% Search How many of you recognise this traffic division?
Google News (news.google.xxx) is a referring site in Google Analytics Good for only about 6%-7% of the site’s traffic
But Universal Search results from Google News are seen as Search Engine traffic – and it takes up a large chunk of that traffic Exact figures are hard to come by, but by stripping out branded searches and looking at which keywords bring in the traffic, I suspect that Uni traffic from News is between 30% and 40% of total site traffic.
You’ll see Google News results on SERPs for many high volume keywords, such as “uk seo”
Also a huge keyword is “compare insurance” – again, a news result
And what about “web design”? Several news results on the SERPs there.
See here where one news article shows up on three different high volume keywords: “web design” / “seo agency” / “internet marketing miami” So the big traffic potential for Google News is not in its own vertical, but as Universal Search results on the regular web search SERPs. From what we’ve gathered CTR on Uni SERPs are quite good – people like to read relevant news on topics they’re searching for. Neil Walker, who will be speaking later here, has done research on CTR – he may be able to explain more.
Google News is also very important for total SERP domination. Search for Coca Cola and you’ll get News results first. If you want to totally own a query space, you need to invest in news.
First, you can start your own news site There are some requirements to follow – to be explained later in the presentation
Belfast Telegraph is a generic news site – but is also a niche site for local Northern Ireland news Google News works with so-called ‘editions’: Country- or regional news editions Topical editions based on the topic of the news – i.e. business, sport, mobile phones, whatever -combined editions – i.e. rugby in Northern Ireland, manchester business news, etc. A site can be part of multiple editions: NI sports and UK political news for example Some sites are – I suspect – marked as ‘generic news sites’ which means their content will show up everywhere. The Belfast Telegraph is one such site.
SearchEngineLand is a niche news site (search and online marketing news) included in Google News
SearchNewsCentral wants to be a niche news site in Google News. Starting a news site is generally not worth your while Investment in staff (journalists & editors), infrastructure, design, and unique content Probably not appropriate for many niches But might be worthwhile if you’re trying to establish yourself as a leading brand in a niche. Note that a news site needs to be separate from a commercial site - but of course you may cross-link as much as you want.
Second, you can create and distribute Press Releases
PRWeb / Mynewsdesk / Business Wire / PR Newswire Press releases work! Also very useful for linkbuilding as many press releases will include a link If you’re not doing PR, why? Nichola Stott is the person to talk to
Repeated slide: Here is the same Press Release on 3 different high volume search queries
Two examples I came across recently: Kansas City Star & San Francisco Chronicle both republish press releases with little scrutiny Probably not the only sites that do this.
Advertorials (also known as ‘paid content’) [boo hiss]
Manchester Evening News advertorials
Belfast Telegraph commercial content (with followed link!) Newspapers are struggling to make money Paid content is an extra revenue generator for them More and more are going down this route So definitely worth exploring. Some companies specialise in paid content distribution - QUAD London is the chosen agency for the Belfast Telegraph
5th Solvay conference in 1927 in Brussels, 17 Nobel Prize winners in this picture Google’s web search ranking algo is smart – very smart – but still fallible. Not quite Nobel Prize level, but getting close – especially on the Computer Science / Information Retrieval front
Laurel & Hardy – simple but happy. Google News universal is simplistic, but happy: It’s not spam proof by any means and tends to get things wrong regularly (wrong articles in news clusters, badly formatted headlines, the wrong headline for an article, etc) But when you abuse it too much, GN will just kick sites from its index – happy!
For reference, the Google News vertical algo is more like a tight social clique / in-crowd It’s hard to break in to, and usually reserved for big generic news sites. Exception is when there is big news in a specific niche – niche sites can get in to the vertical then – such as local stories, industry news, etc.
TIPS FOR NEWS SITES Make sure your content is mostly original – don’t just duplicate from AP/Reuters news feeds Multiple authors give your site more authority and will help with generating content Post new stuff regularly, and don’t be afraid to update existing articles – as long as it’s done when the story is fresh. Updating old articles (>3 days) doesn’t help much, it’s better to write an entirely new article then. Develop an editorial specialty, like local stories, or news on a specific niche/industry Make sure the images that accompany your stories are non-clickable – so they can function as a thumbnail. Google doesn’t like linked images as it wants you to show the most relevant image directly with the story itself in a proper viewable size. Google News xml sitemap is a must-have – you’ll see that GN will index the sitemap more often than your actual site, which is interesting: Google will pick up new stories from your News Sitemap and add them to Google News straight away. Then later Google will do a manual index of your site and might amend its listing of your story – or create an entirely new entry for your story in GN if it cannot find a match.
TIPS FOR BREAKING IN TO THE UNIVERSAL SERPS 1. The Uni SERPs are simplistic keyword matching 2. Content published on generic news sites gets in to Uni SERPs very easily 3. Generic news sites publish paid content and republish PR with little scrutiny This is a win scenario, as it means you can get your articles in to uni SERPs quite easily for big keywords
TIPS FOR BREAKING IN TO THE UNIVERSAL SERPS Write unique content and invest in a good copywriter – if the article is good news sites will be more willing to publish it Don’t be afraid to go for the big keywords! A good accompanying image will serve as a thumbnail image in the Uni SERPs (as long as it’s not linked) Spread your articles wide – a Press Release can be republished on many different sites, but a paid article should be unique to one site With good content on topical articles you can become an online editor’s BFF Which will enable you to submit news regularly and get published frequently
Barry Adams - Manchester SEO Mini Conference
Optimising for Google News
Manchester SEO Mini-Conference
29 October 2010
About Barry Adams
• Dutchman (yes, really.)
• Online industry since 1999
• SEO since 2004
• Belfast Telegraph (via Visual Script)
since January 2010
• Transition period from Visual Script to
Pierce Communications – Dec 1st
• SEO blogger on State of Search &
Search News Central
Why Google News?
How to get in to Google News
Google News Ranking
What I’ll be talking about
Tips for News Sites
• Original content
• Multiple authors
• Regular updates
– publish new stories and update existing stories
• Develop an editorial speciality
– unless you want to be a generic news site
• Non-clickable images
• Google News XML Sitemap
Breaking in to Uni SERPs with
1. Universal SERPs = keyword matching
2. Content on generic news sites gets in to Uni
3. Some generic news sites republish PRs
1 + 2 + 3 = WIN!
• Write a good article / press release
• Integrate high volume keywords
• Pick a good accompanying image
• Spread your articles far & wide
– Press release distribution channels
– Submit to news sites that accept PR
– Paid content (advertorials)
• Build relationships with [online] editors
• Generate news regularly (but don’t spam)
Tips for Google News Uni SERPs