With millions of readers searching for news on everything from politics to branded content every day, Google News is arguably the leading source of information in the world.
Getting your website indexed in their platform signals that your brand is trustworthy, ensures your content is visible in a matter of minutes, and convinces users to visit your site and engage with your brand.
There’s something of a code you have to crack to achieve that indexing, though, and the competition is relentless. Here’s a basic breakdown of everything you have to do to succeed:
1. Have a dedicated news website
Despite what some misinformed blogs might claim, Google News only indexes dedicated news websites. Having a blog or news section on your brand’s website isn’t enough, and Google News’ staff makes sure of that.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t tap into Google News’ huge reader base. You could, for example, create a separate news website in your niche and link it to relevant pages on your branded website. Alternatively, you could economize and write guest blogs on popular news sites that get lots of traffic.
2. Write powerful, eye-catching headlines
Well-written titles capture the essence of an article. Regardless of length, a good title sums it up in just one or two sentences. Both readers and Google News pay great attention to headlines, and so should you.
If you have a company website listed in the Google News, your brand is viewed as the “Authority Site” of the topical niche.
To make your titles as catchy as possible, combine powerful keywords with crucial details about the story — such as names, events, companies, places, etc. Then use your favorite SEO tools to see how well your headline ranks.
3. Learn how to write a news article
Writing a news article isn’t like writing a blog post. The structure, tone, and content all differ. To capture the attention of Google News and keep your readers glued to every word you write, you need to get to the point quickly — like a journalist.
This means writing using the news inverted pyramid structure — with the crucial information at the beginning, followed by less important details. You also need to address the foundational 5Ws (who, what, where, when, and why) in your first paragraph.
4. Make your site as crawler-friendly as possible
Remember that humans aren’t the only ones reading your website. Google’s crawlers read through your pages for indexation purposes, so having a news-specific XML sitemap which includes every article you’ve published in the last 48 hours is a must.
5. Only publish fresh, unique content
You might manage to attract new readers with witty writing, but Google’s algorithm isn’t fooled by spun articles. When uploading new stories, make sure you’re only publishing unique content — resist the urge to copy how other websites are reporting the same story.
Better yet, instead of waiting in your office for the news to come to you, dig for new, fascinating stories waiting to be told. Got a fantastic scoop on a company’s merger or a new brand of products that nobody knows about? Write an article about it!
6. Get included in Google News
All the above is only helpful if you actually follow up and apply for inclusion on the Google News platform. If you’re approved, the long-term task becomes keeping all content friendly to the guidelines that Google News provides. In other words, if you veer off into self-promotional material, you’ll soon find yourself back outside the circle looking in.
Learn how to keep ahead of the news and Google will reward your efforts by giving you a higher priority than other articles.