A Guide To Google News Inclusion
Google News offers a lot of potential to the website owner that publishes regular, high quality, journalistic quality news articles. It has become one of the biggest sources of this type of content in the world, although it does have strict requirements that must be met if you want your site to be included as a trusted source.
If you want to know more about the benefits of being in Google News, you can read our post on LinkedIn Pulse on this very topic.
Your site needs to be set up so that Google can effectively crawl your news articles, and there are a few requirements regarding this and other technical elements that you will need to meet.
The URL of your news articles must be permanent, and each one must be unique. If you don’t use a Google News XML Sitemap (you should – it makes things a lot easier and smoother) then the URL also needs to include a unique number that is at least three digits long.
The title of the page should be clickable (we can’t really think of any reason why it wouldn’t be) when the Google bots come searching too.
The news that you post needs to be timely, and it should be as unique as possible, which means that you should put some unique slant on the stories that you publish to have the greatest chance of acceptance.
Only news articles should be included, and Google will reject applications if you do not separate marketing and news copy, or blog and news copy, or anything other than news and news copy.
Google also recommends that articles be published with an author’s name and that there is a bio section. We have found, in the past, that an about page or team page should be included on the site, with author names leading to this page. A team of three or more writers should typically be included, to show that you will still be publishing news even when you are on holiday or if you get sick. You also need to have a contact page that includes a physical address, phone number, and email address – a contact form is not enough.
Google also advises you use as few ads and as little distracting on-page nonsense as possible, but they say that they will accept blogs, satire sites, and even press release sites.
- You should ensure that posts are a minimum of 200 words, although we prefer to aim for 300 to 350 as a minimum with 500 to 700 for meatier topics.
- Create at least one post every day, and if you can create more than this without the quality dropping, then that is even better.
- Ensure you have been regularly publishing for a period of 3 months before you submit, and that you have a minimum of 100 posts on site when you do so.
- Check, double check, and then check everything again before you submit your site, because if Google rejects your application, then you will have to wait 60 days before you can apply again.
Google News Sitemaps
You don’t have to create or use a Google News XML sitemap, but there is no good reason not to, and plenty of good reasons to do so. You don’t have to include a unique three digit identifier, and you can submit the sitemap as part of the submission process.
You can either get your webmaster or developer to create this sitemap, or depending on the content platform that your site is based on, you can almost certainly find a plugin to do this for you.
The News SEO Plugin from YOAST is a WordPress plugin that not only creates the sitemap for you but offers a good range of features that can prove very useful on a dedicated news site or news section of an existing site. Unfortunately, though, while the YOAST core plugin is free, the News SEO plugin isn’t and you should expect to pay around $70, equivalent to about £45.
Alternatively, sites like www.web-site.map.com can create the Google News sitemap that you need.
Branding Media Help
Branding Media specialises in writing high quality news content, and we can help to ensure that you are publishing journalistic quality news articles on a regular basis. Contact us today to discuss our news article writing service, and we will also take a look at your site and determine whether there are any other technical or setup steps that you need to take to increase the chance of being accepted as a Google News trusted source.