RSS LinkedIn Google Plus

Call us: 0800 014 9884

Google News and SEO practices

Conflicting priorities

Many people regularly use Google News to access information about current affairs from a myriad of different angles. Meanwhile, many publications and businesses ask that their news stories are included – but a large proportion of these submissions end in rejection.

Like Google’s mainstream search, Google News has evolved to stay one step ahead of the so-called ‘black hat’ purveyors of search engine optimisation (SEO) – avoiding tricks such as keyword-heavy content that has little or no value to readers, despite being styled as news. However, in its stringency, Google News has become notoriously difficult for genuine news providers and well-behaved SEO practitioners to penetrate.

This is frustrating for those working hard to meet the Google News quality guidelines without success, especially as the platform features websites of poorer quality which were accepted before the tightening of its criteria.

What do readers like about Google News, anyway?

Google News turns traditional media consumption on its head by being topic-led rather than publication-led, which is useful when seeking a balanced perspective of the day’s top stories. It was devised by Dr Krishna Bharat following extensive news coverage of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, to view headlines from numerous sources simultaneously and thereby make common points easily discernable.

People still turn to particular publications for specific features or writers, but Google News gives a quick overview of everything else – and sometimes alerts people to the kind of article they wouldn’t usually go looking for. It is disheartening, however, to search for a news topic and be served with contrived, shallow content ruled by self-promoting organisations. This is exactly what Google News’s application process seeks to shun.

And from an SEO perspective?

It’s no secret that Google is the world’s most popular website, with 153.4m monthly visitors and a 91.28% search engine market share in the UK (Nielsen, December 2011; Experian Hitwise, January 2012). Visibility in its search results is indisputably vital to the success of websites and therefore the fortunes of many organisations.

Okay, so that’s Google as a whole, not the News element. But any regular visitor will know that results for its subsections – which also include Images, Videos and Maps – often appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Each subsection also has a large and dedicated number of direct users. Finally, the technical SEO benefits of links from Google News are significant and can boost a website’s rankings.

Being rejected by Google News

Google is open about what it wants to see when assessing Google News submissions, but less so when it comes to reasons for rejecting them. Several businesses have taken to forums to express their dismay at having carefully considered these requirements, only to be refused with a vague answer.

In October 2011, the staff of US horror film news website Terrorflicks posted on Google’s help pages: “We are very frustrated as to what we’re doing that would get us denied. We work very hard to produce high quality news and we limit our ads. We do not copy content and we make sure we edit every article. We have around 10-15 writers, a developer and two editors. Our success depends on getting into Google News. If we can’t get in then we might as well shut down the site.”

How DO you get into Google News?

As evidenced by the former point, Google’s guidelines do not provide a perfect formula. Interpretations of ‘quality’ and ‘unique content’ differ wildly; and some businesses simply may not realise how obvious their promotional content is.

Search guru website SEOMoz offers some additional Google News submission tips, which go into detail about topical content and commentary on stories. You can’t guarantee inclusion, but you can give yourself the best chance by behaving like a quality news source – making your content current, frequent, relevant, dynamic and truly appealing.

So, there you have it: If you want a spot in Google News, think about it from the reader’s point of view – and don’t take shortcuts. If you fear your output has the distinct air of Google ‘bait’ about it, instead of featuring real stories, Google’s selecting editors will probably think so too.

Liane Baddeley


Written by Liane Baddeley

Google to devalue doorway pages Tuesday 17th of March, 2015by Andy Williams Google is taking aim at websites using large, well-established doorway campaigns to rank highly in search results by altering its search engine algorithm.

More on this story »

Google: mobile algorithm bigger than Panda and Penguin Wednesday 18th of March, 2015by Dan Moores At SMX Munich, a Google representative said that the upcoming "mobile-friendliness" algorithm will have a bigger impact on search results than the Panda or Penguin updates.

More on this story »

Yahoo urges Firefox users to switch from Google Wednesday 25th of March, 2015by Dan Moores Firefox users who have manually set Google as their default search engine are now confronted with the following message: "Yahoo is the preferred search engine for Firefox. Switch now."

More on this story »
theEword - 1 hour ago

Go on an adventure with #content and the customer > http://t.co/JwrdAaWgYB http://t.co/C4qjZtERCT

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 18 hours ago

Google's next algorithm update is a big deal. Is your website optimised for mobile? Test it > http://t.co/eGRPq4CHmv http://t.co/ADAsutclbY

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 23 hours ago

Can you see yourself working here? http://t.co/pRR14vIXB1 If so, good news. We're #hiring http://t.co/evXMB6q2LT #Manchester #jobs

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 2 days ago

Good with a wand? We're looking for a Client Strategy Director to help us work our magic http://t.co/cgnGTglHBl #jobs http://t.co/Giw0RzK42P

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 2 days ago

Hello. Is it a #PPC Exec role you're looking for? http://t.co/a1KqQmF0Cy #Manchester #digitaljobs http://t.co/GtnOrhSzxP

Reply Retweet Favourite

5 common digital marketing myths dismissed Friday 6th of March, 2015by Andy Williams Find out the real purpose behind onsite content and why link building is still vital. Here we explain the five biggest myths that surround digital marketing.

More on this story »

Content and the Customer: the journey Friday 6th of March, 2015by Sian English From acquisition to conversion, content plays a vital role. But have you given much thought to how that role evolves during the customer's journey? Here are the different stages your customers go through with your content.

More on this story »

Light a Fire with Hems de Winter Thursday 19th of March, 2015by Andy Williams Hems de Winter, CEO of de Winter PR, joined Light a Fire for an in-depth chat at BoConcept’s showroom on Great Ancoats Street, discussing his life and career.

More on this story »

Who loves theEword

Who loves theEword Who loves theEword