Understanding The Life Cycle And Lifetime Economic Value Of Your News

The two distinct phases of News SEO are the initial 48 hours and the ongoing historical relevance. What you choose to do within the initial two days of a news event will shape how you’re remembered for the following century.

This is normally what makes the CFO and COO pay attention. Generating news is costly, and truthfully, it would be more economical for most people to burn a bonfire with their money every Sunday.

Yet for those entities that establish an ability to optimize news content for SEO, they can eventually disperse the costs and make a profit from the continual traffic. The investment as well as profits generated will prove helpful in a short time.

Google News Is Everything

It is necessary to make the most of your connection with Google News since the first 48 hours when an event has been reported are the point where most of the backlinks and social mentions are made.

Creating a connection with Google News is possible if you are a significant publisher. This differs from Web Search.

They possess their own regulations and are far more eager to troubleshoot any problems with you. By sharpening your presence on Google News, you can remain competitive.

The Social Media Lever

The Publisher's Guide To Enterprise News SEOBreaking News and Exclusive News have changed greatly due to the prevalence of social media, which can now be accessed easily by each and every individual.

Remembering that the initial two days after a Breaking News story or exclusive report is the factor that determines how successful it will be in search engines, there is not a more powerful tool than using Social Media as a resource.

Apart from the benefit of direct web traffic, mentions on Social Media are worth a great deal as a confirmation to both Google News and Google Web Search.

It is critical not only to consider the number of social mentions you get, but also the speed of these, how dependable they are, and how they have been pieced together in order to determine the correct categorization.

It is frequently observed that lesser-known publishing outlets will be the first ones to break a news story, after which more credible sources of information will cite them. Consequently, the more established sources end up receiving the majority of search engine traffic and top places in Web Search search results.

Engines have become more efficient in deciphering and classifying the origins of text, but Web Search may need several weeks in order to identify the primary source.

Many major news outlets (and outlets overall) still consider their Social Media accounts to be like one-directional newsletters. They then question why all the people in the financial world who have influence on the different subject matters their rivals write about are mentioning them.

If you don’t have an Influencer Strategy, you’ve not only blocked Social News traffic, but have also erased your chances of becoming good at News SEO.

Content Syndication And Content Aggregation

It is likely that if you are distributing news material, you are both sending your material to other news outlets and also taking in content from additional news, media, and wire resources.

This leads to a considerable amount of disorientation for the motors. Specifically, for the situation I referred to earlier, when another credible source distributes their content simultaneously as yours and has superior marketing/influence capabilities.

The present strategies are more complex, but in most circumstances, publishers can benefit from applying cross-domain rel=canonical or attribution links so that search engines get a clear signal of where the content originated.

Your Business Development group needs to be taking this into account while they negotiate, or else they could miss out on potential customers as well as increase their chances of a penalty from Google Panda.

Image Search

The Google News “One Box” is not the only way to get around using other reliable websites. It can be said that utilizing Image Search is likely the second most effortless means of increasing the amount of results.

ESPN has a page for Tim Tebow with ratings and a top Image result. And that Image result is above the fold, too.

Ensure that the capacity to optimize images is incorporated into your content management system and processes.

Take Advantage Of Schema.org And Microdata

The hits don’t stop there. The Schema.org protocol and the incorporation of Microdata (Rich Snippets) offer a way to not only improve page ranking, but also to considerably grow the clickthrough rates of the pages which make it to the top of the rankings.

The difference in attractiveness and helpfulness of the search result compared to others is due to the Schema.org markup that has been added. It is still early days for publishers to begin using Rich Snippets, so get started as soon as possible.

Rel=”Author” And The Notion Of AuthorRank

Google has invested many resources into building trust and good reputations for individual authors, similarly to how they have implemented something like PageRank for website addresses. It also helps them sort out canonicalization issues.

For our customers utilizing the Rel=”Author” markup for their authors/contributors, we have observed single-page operation increase by multiple digits because of the attractive author images that appear next to the search results.

Video Was The Net Winner Of Google Panda

Google Panda is a ruthless tracker of websites engaging in low-quality practices. Once Google Panda began, it was quickly clear that Google had substituted many video results in the top page of SERPs instead of the low quality content removed.

This is another place where reliable news providers can succeed greatly, and, credit must be given to Google, given that video is usually an indicator of excellence. The expense of creating video content that leads to numerous online references is too pricey for the majority of spammers to bear.

A helpful suggestion: Your YouTube Channel will be more successful than your website address; this is a dilemma in and of itself, but it is part of how Google organizes their search engine results.

There is a video component to Schema.org, too. Be sure to add markup to your web page’s code. Do not use the standard set-up of several popular video player tools, and anticipate that you will receive any search engine traffic. Each video needs its own page URL.

Keyword Research

Print publishing newsrooms have survived for many years by creating headlines that are attractive to readers, often without regard for how searchable they are by search engines (like the Barack Obama debate example).

We can give writers a chance to capture viewers’ attention in the first two days with their headline, but in order to draw continual search engine traffic over a longer period, the title of the page should be keyword-filled and attractive.

In order to accomplish that, journalists or editors need to be knowledgeable in keyword research.

All About Top Stories Boxes on SERPS

The Publisher's Guide To Enterprise News SEOThis is always a fun one. When a publisher says we want traffic from Google News, they don’t actually mean Google News as in the news.google.com vertical.

Because that vertical alone, that separate website, usually accounts for a low single-digit percentage of traffic to a publisher, like 4 or 5% at most.
They also don’t mean the News tab, or the regular search results, which also is about 4 or 5% of traffic to most publishers. Those Top Stories boxes on the regular search results, that’s where the magic happens.
That’s where most news publishers will get their Google organic traffic from. For a lot of publishers, this can be as high as 40-60% of the total traffic coming from those Top Stories boxes.
This is in addition to the social traffic that they get, direct traffic, bookmarks, and external links. So Google has a huge influence overall on the amount of traffic the publishers can get based on whether or not they’re visible in those Top Stories boxes.
So for publishers, it is absolutely key that they optimize their articles for visibility in those Top Stories boxes, so that they have a good chance of appearing there when someone types in a given search.
And the reason those Top Stories boxes are incredibly powerful is that about one in ten Google searches will have a Top Stories box of some description that shows some news articles which can be as little as one article or as many as 15 articles in a Top Stories box.
So one in ten Google searches will have a Top Stories Box and Google handles trillions of searches a year. So we’re talking about hundreds of billions of searches that happen on Google that have a news element to them.
And that’s why they’re such a huge source of traffic for publishers, an enormous amount of news being shared as part of Google’s regular search. results. And if you can get visibility there as a publisher, the traffic potential is enormous.

Speed Matters

This is one of the interesting areas where publishers can sort of exploit Google’s weakness in news a little bit. 24 to 36 hours is more or less the maximum you can expect for an article to show up in those Top Stories boxes.
Unless it’s a very popular news story, with a lot of publishers writing content about. Google does have a preference for newer articles in Top Stories, which is an interesting dynamic.
Where some publishers break a story and are the first one to report a story but they often very quickly lose rankings to publishers who cover the story that they broke because those publishers are later and therefore their stories are more recent.
Google has tried to mitigate this to a certain extent by trying to highlight original publishers as much as they can detect them. But it’s very hard for Google to do that.
Because the speed aspect plays such a big role in multiple facets. It’s not just you as a publisher have to publish content. It’s also Google having to very quickly index and rank news articles.
With classic SEO, Google basically can take its time when it crawls a website and indexes new content. It often renders the content in a headless browser to get a complete picture of the user experience.
It does all kinds of deduplication and canonicalization, and it tweaks its index. For news articles, Google does not have the time to do all of that. It doesn’t have the luxury of leisurely processing all those different processes of its indexing system.
So Google takes shortcuts. Google never explicitly says this. But if you read the documentation, when it comes to news publishers, there are a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle hints that Google has to take shortcuts when it comes to indexing news articles.
They specifically say article content should be in the pure HTML source and not rely on client-side rendering, which indicates Google probably doesn’t render as part of news indexing. They also say that articles should be original content.
And if it’s a syndicated article from another source, basically duplicate content from another source, you should have a canonical tag or prevent Google from indexing it.
That’s probably because Google doesn’t have the time to do its own deduplication as part of indexing because it very quickly has to rank articles in its search results.
And there are a lot of hints like this as well, that shows that Google basically indexes news articles very quickly, and doesn’t have time to do all these other extra processes that it does as part of its normal indexing of content.
That allows publishers to basically exploit Google systems because that lack of thoroughness when it comes to indexing news also means there are windows of opportunity there for publishers.

The Headline Is the Key Optimization

This is always a fun one. Again, in classic SEO, we look at title tags as a primary on-page SEO element. And in the news, the title tag is almost irrelevant. Google looks at the article headline page, specifically the headline that is part of the article structure data in the source code.

Again, this is because Google has to take shortcuts when it indexes news articles. So it just looks for the H1 tag, if it has one. And it looks for the headline attribute of the article or the news article structured data snippet that exists in the HTML source code, which is required.
You need to have an article or news article structure data in the source code, otherwise, Google will not see you as an article.
And that headline attribute is the most important ranking factor. That determines whether or not you show up in Top Stories, combined with the long-term quality and relevancy signals that your domain has built up over time, based on what you write and the kinds of links that you get, etc.
But for an individual article, it is the headline, and the headline is so valuable. You have to pay a lot of attention to how you craft it because Google is still a machine. And again, here’s where the speed aspect comes into play.
Google doesn’t have a lot of time to properly process your headline and look at all the context of the headline, it basically just looks at the keywords in your headline. It’s a fairly old-school approach to SEO.


As a branded news publisher, this is the Golden Era of SEO. Everything — and we mean ev-uh-ree-thing — is stacked in your favor in the current UI/UX of the search engines.
But it is up to you to build this into your CMS, workflow, and educate your news producers or you will be stuck in the 90’s like much of the print news/media world which are fully in their death throes. Digital is the way out, and News SEO is often the best business case.
About the Author Brian Richards

See Brian's Amazon Author Central profile at https://amazon.com/author/brianrichards

Connect With Me

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}