Introduction : Google News
If there is one thing that has come to define our age, it is the rate at which information, knowledge, and news are generated and disseminated with the help of the ubiquitous World Wide Web. We are steadily inundated with large swathes of news stories, blogs, articles, videos and other publications has become a task instead of a hobby keeping up with all the latest news that interests us because they are scattered – rather littered – all over different websites. Consequently, some news slips us- it is hard enough keeping up.
Worry does not help here. Instead there are useful online news aggregators with the most significant being Google News baby of the online giant, “Google”.
What is Google News?
Google News is an online ad-supported news aggregator developed and ran by Google. It functions to trawl and crawl through thousands of news sites and sources digging up the headlines and snippets of the news stories and presents them in a clickable format for visitors. You only need to read the headlines and with a click on the link; you will be redirected to the original publisher’s site for more details.
It is akin to a one-stop shop where all the updated news items that interest you are collated and you have the luxury of choosing which one to look up in detail. This saves you the trouble of sourcing updated news items yourself with the attendant consequence of missing a lot.
Developed by Google’s Krishna Bharat, Google News was formally launched in 2002 and by 2012 covered 28 languages spanning over 60 regions of the globe. Fast forward to 2015 and the number of languages covered had risen remarkably to 35. The English version alone sources news, blogs, etc. from over 4200 websites alone – now which is something!
Google News makes use of specially written automated algorithms to search for content from sources automatically selected or those manually imputed. Using the algorithm, it aggregates thousands of newspapers, blogs, online magazines, etc. all over the Web for content that is both interesting and trending in real time.
Designed to be user-centric, news stories happening both locally and elsewhere are presented in a customizable fashion, which tailors surfacing news items to the taste of individual users. Thus, you choose out news items that concern you from the swirling vortex of information we would otherwise be accosted with.
In summary, here is what Google News does for you
• Aggregates information, news stories, blogs, news magazines, etc. and presents them to you in the form of headlines and snippets
• Permits you to personalize the story you saw; it allows you to choose the news you want to see based on your interests and location.
• Saves you the time and hassle of checking for updates on stories from multiple websites and content providers.
• Allows you to search for news based on region, keyword, and site.
• You get the opportunity to have email alerts sent to your mail when you subscribe to Google News Alerts.
• Share news that interests you to others using RSS feeds.
• Access to news archives dating back over two centuries.
It has not however been rosy all through. Over the years, Google News has had run-ins with several publishers, news agencies and even governments over copyright issues and royalty payments. Notable among them was in 2005 when AFP (Agence France Presse) sued Google to the tune of $17.5 million with the allegation of infringement of its copyright and Google’s ignoring of a cease order. However, this has been settled October 2014 with Google shutting its services in Spain due to the new law implemented by Spanish authorities. Despite all these hitches and setbacks, the publishing community and various governments have overwhelmingly embraced Google News aggregator services.
With that being said, Google News is here to stay with a range of customization and features, which puts all the updated news headlines, that interests you in a single place where you can easily access them and keep up with the world around you.
HOW TO MAKE GOOGLE NEWS SUBMISSIONS
There are quite some media houses and news outlets jostling for the short attention of newsreaders and consumers. Online clicks are to websites what oxygen is to humans. Google News is an online news aggregating services that crawls and trawls thousands of news sites and presents results to readers in a format that is relevant, easy to read, understandable and useful. While SEO is standard practice for Google search results, Google News is the Holy Grail when it comes to news content.
How can you get your site listed on Google news and how do you optimize it?
These are the practical guide on how to get it right when it comes to getting onto Google News. This guide is based on Google’s terms and best practice requirements to ensure listing and even high rankings.
Why get onto Google News in the first place?
• It leads to increased online visibility and an expanded reach to potential clients.
• Translates to increased traffic and clicks to your website.
• You gain brand credibility, as Google News is trusted over other news aggregators by about 60% of people.
• The perception of credibility leads to increased confidence, which helps differentiate your brand.
• Getting a slice of the action: it is estimated that four billions of people each month view Google News outcomes leading to one billion clicks.
First up, check up
With the outlined benefits above, it is natural to be fired up and rush into being enlisted. However, it is advisable first to check to know whether you’re already listed. To check, click on the News tab in Google search bar and search for your site. Congratulations if you’re already listed, if not, the next sections are necessary read!
Guidelines and tips for getting onto Google News
Before going into a game, you have to know the rules and play by them. Google News is in the big leagues when it comes to online search results getting it right can be tricky at times. Google has general and technical guidelines, which sites must adhere to before submitting their proposals to be listed on Google News. Flouting these rules may lead to refusal/rejection or even removal from Google’s new index. Failure to make the cut on the first try sets you 60 days behind before you can reapply.
• Pay attention to your content: content must be current, timely and cover recent events and be compelling to your audience. How-to articles, tips, job adverts are a strict no.
• Originality: make sure your content is original, unique and appropriately attributed.
• Easy readability
• Transparency and trust: contact information, author biographies, etc. should be included as these reinforce readers’ trust.
Due to its use of algorithms, certain technical guidelines have to be adhered to. Some of these guidelines incorporate rules regarding traditional SEO ranking while others are unique to Google News.
• Make your domain accessible to search bots.
• Articles must be in HTML format as this is the only format which search bots can crawl.
• URLs should be permanent and unique.
• Article links are to be in Html and should contain anchor text that is descriptive.
How to apply to Google News
After having a pretty good grasp of the rules, the next step can be used to get included into Google News. Resist the urge to put in your application before fulfilling all guidelines as running foul could set you back by 60 days before you get another opportunity to reapply.
• Visit Google’s website
• Search for and click on the Google News submissions form
• Input the required information including your site URL, author contact, original location of news articles
• Click on the ‘submit’ button. Notification about your registration status comes within seven days.
• If your submission is accepted, congratulations. If you weren’t so lucky, don’t feel bad. Go over the guidelines preferably with your site’s Webmaster to make sure all the right boxes are ticked
Improving your visibility and ranking on Google News
Getting your site accepted onto Google News is only half the job. You have to take further steps to ensure you rank high up to increase your visibility.
1. Always update your site: sites with continually updated content enhance their chances of being displayed higher up.
2. Make your titles count: your titles should contain keywords, which readers tend to search for and which give them an impression of the content of the news article.
3. Provide interesting angles: it is important to approach a news story from a unique angle different from the crowd, which gives readers the better perspective on an evolving story.
4. Give your website a professional look as opposed to a blog layout.
5. Optimize your site to load faster on multiple devices. These are called accelerated mobile pages.
6. Use sitemaps.
Adhering to the guidelines and tips laid out above will help you to get onto Google News and optimize its benefits to expand your online presence.
BENEFITS OF GOOGLE NEWS
Google News is an aggregating news service developed, operated and run by Google. It functions to trawl and crawl thousands of news websites, blog articles, and other news sources and presents them in a single place that is easily accessible and understood by readers. As at 2015, it boasted of covering 35 languages with 72 editions and 50,000 sources. These are impressive figures by any standard. In fact, according to recent research, statistics revealed 4 billion visits with 1 billion clicks. This would make any news website owner smack their lips at the sheer potential this can translate to.
So what’s all the fuss about Google News?
What are the benefits of Google News to users and site owners alike? This article will give answers to these questions and more.
Benefits of Google News to Readers
On a daily basis, the number of news sites and information people have to keep up with is on the rise. For some, it is almost impossible to keep up with the steady deluge of information from the Web, which threatens to inundate us. Thankfully, Google News comes to the rescue superman-style.
1. Functioning as a news aggregator: all the news stories magazines and news blogs are aggregated and presented to you in one place in the form of headlines and some news snippets. You get the chance to peruse through headlines and click on the desired link of your choice.
2. Time is saved: imagine having to constantly check up on various sites in search of news that interests you and that is regularly updated. This is quite a challenging task. Google news saves you all that time and energy by linking all stories that interest you to a single site.
3. Personalization is allowed: Google News has features, which enable you to see only news stories that are useful based on your interests and where you’re located.
4. You have access to archived news, which dates back over 200 years.
5. Search feature: search for news based on sites, keywords and regions of your choice.
6. Email alerts keep you in the loop: upon subscription to Google News Alerts, you get to receive the notification sent to your mail, so you do not miss the news that concerns you.
7. Share interesting news items with others: using RSS feeds, you can share news articles and features that you find attractive to your circle of friends.
Benefits of Google News to publishers and news site owners
Scaling through all the red tape and technical hurdles involved in getting onto Google News is quite daunting and can prove very tricky. Compared with traditional SEO ranking techniques on Google search results, this almost borders on NASA stuff. So what are the benefits? Why bother being listed on Google News.
1. Traffic, traffic, and more traffic! With increased visibility, which comes with being listed on Google News, comes the potential for more traffic to your website. Google News is quite a powerful tool for funneling traffic to your site especially from targeted visitors.
2. The upsurge in backlinks: once a news story breaks, there is a scramble news blogs and Websites for Google News to have ideas for their stories. Credible ones among them reference you as their source by giving a back link to your site. If you break a story, it means you are guaranteed many back links, which undoubtedly boost traffic and increase the authority status of your site.
3. Enhances your reputation as an authority website: being featured on Google News increases your “authority status.” Most individuals trust Google results. When you feature on these results, they by extension trust you, link back to your site and visit repeatedly.
4. Better brand credibility: this is connected to the point above. When you are listed, more people trust your site and the more they trust your site, the more credible they feel you are, and the more times they visit you.
5. Quicker website indexing: Google search also indexes items published on Google News. Thus, when people search that news item, Google’s main index notices your story and ranks you higher. Now that’s a big win.
6. Google “perks”: getting featured on Google News adds some weight on Google’s ranking algorithm. This is attributable to the authority status, which comes with making the cut on Google News.
From the foregoing, it is quite obvious beyond doubt that the benefits to both users and news publishers are enormous and potential is open to be explored.
PITFALLS AND STANDARD ERRORS TO AVOID ON GOOGLE NEWS
Due to the strict guidelines both technical and general and other requirements associated with getting enlisted on and maximizing Google News, many publishers run into problems and make some errors which are altogether avoidable.
The benefits of Google News cannot be overemphasized. Thus it is important people are made aware of some standard formatting and technical issues which may set back their performance and affect the indexation of their sites.
Here is a list of common errors encountered on Google News and how to go about solving them.
• When my site is not showing on Google News: this may point to the fact that you are not an approved news source on Google News. Check to make sure you’re enlisted. There’s no use obeying all the guidelines and even going ahead to create a sitemap when you’re not listed on Google News.
• “unknown news site” error: this error shows up when your news source sitemap includes sites or domains not on the database of Google News. Make sure all sites linked on your sitemap are on Google News so that the bots can crawl through them.
• Having no sitemap: Although not compulsory, it is necessary and beneficial to have a sitemap. Sitemaps help to hasten the pace at which Google bots crawl the site. Without a sitemap, this process is usually slow. Sitemaps also enable you to extra input information such as genre tags and keywords.
• “Unknown publication name” error: this error pops up when there is a discrepancy between the release name tag used in Google News sitemap and that on Google News database. Ensure that both match.
• “Article disproportionately short”: this error is displayed when the text content is too short. Although the minimum word count for indexing is 80 words, you can push it up to over 250 words to be on the safe side.
• “Article fragmented” error: this pops up when sentences in Html are fragmented and not grouped into paragraphs, but sentences stand isolated. Ensure correct punctuation and make your items more compact to avoid this error.
• “Date too old” errors: content that is over 30 days old triggers this error. Google recommends that news articles which to be included should not be over two days old ideally.
• “Date not found” error: this shows up when Google could another place the date the article was published. Be diligent to follow Google’s recommendations concerning the date format.
• “No sentences found” error: although this is surprising, it can even be seen on sites with paragraphs. The error occurs when paragraphs are not adequately broken up into punctuated contiguous sentences. Carryout a check on the sentence structure of your content whenever thus shows up.
• “Page too large” error: this error shows up when Html source page exceeds 256kb which is the maximum length. Keep your article length or sections well below this limit.
• “Unsupported content type”: Google News only indexes Html files. If the page contains Http content type, the bots cannot crawl the site, and this error is returned. Make sure all your content meant for indexing is in the Html format.
The above are some of the common errors encountered. When any of these occur, work with your webmaster to ensure you’re not flouting any of Google’s guidelines. If this fails to resolve, contact Google News support for further help and guidance.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR BLOG FOR GOOGLE NEWS
If you dream of traffic, backlinks, brand authority and credibility, expansion of online presence and other indices of online growth, Google News immediately comes to mind. Google News, the online ad-supported news aggregator from the stables of Google, is designed to check through thousands of news sites, online news publications, and news blogs to present content to readers in a concise, organized an easy-to-use format.
The benefits of getting onto Google News are enormous but being listed can be a challenge in its right with Google’s strict guidelines and requirements, which must be adhered to.
This article seeks to help you provide tips to restructure your blog and transition it to one with the potential of being listed on Google News.
1. Focus on news content: your content must be “Newsworthy” regarding being timely, current and covering recent events. Google is strict, as it does not consider how-to, tips and advertisement copy as Newsworthy.
2. Hire writers: to keep up with churning out news content; you have to revamp your writing team. Hire writers who cover the news and continuously generate content for you.
3. Find your voice and define your brand: standing out is essential for survival. Train your writers so that you’re content, angle and take on news stories is unique and brand identity distinct.
4. Transparency is necessary: list out your authors and create an “about us” page which clearly states your author names and biographies. This adds some veneer of trust.
5. Add a contact page: this should include a phone number or physical address through which you can be contacted.
6. Read up Google’s guidelines carefully and implement them to the letter: look up Google’s general and technical requirements. Strictly adhere to the to stand any chance of getting in.
7. Make sure your site is regularly updated: publishing several times increases your chances of performing well in search
8. Stick to standards of journalism: make sure to enforce journalistic standards among your writers. To be listed on Google News, you have to start acting like a news house.
9. Set up an editorial team: A team of editor’s functions to reinforce standards of writing, deliberate over brand direction, strategy, and overall planning. Your editorial staff is expected to be listed on your site by Google’s standards.
10. Put your written content in Html format and optimize your site so that it can open fast enough irrespective of the device used in accessing it.
11. Get a sitemap: though not compulsory, it is strongly advised to get a site map as it enables after indexing of your site by bots and allows them to navigate your content quickly.
12. Time to submit to Google News: make sure you adhere to all guidelines and meet all requirements before submission.
The outlined steps help you transition smoothly from a usual blog to one that is worthy and ready to be listed on Google News to partake of its immense benefits and tap into its vast potential for your blog.