Google News SEO Tips & Ranking Factors

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1. Submit Your News Articles As Soon As Possible
You can submit your articles as soon as you upload them on your site. The earlier you submit, the sooner Google can crawl and extract them. The result is that you’ll boost your publishing power, and Google will process your most recent articles more quickly, since they recrawl all News sitemaps frequently.

2. Submit Your News Site Map to Google
Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools. Verify your site. If your site is currently included in Google News, the presence of the News Crawl link on the left indicates that the news features are enabled. If your site isn’t included in Google News, you can request inclusion.

3. Include Only Most Recently Added URLs In News Sitemap (Less than 72 hours)
Google wants only the most recently added URLs in your News Sitemap, as it directs Googlebot to your breaking information. If you include older URLs, no worries (there’s no penalty unless you’re perceived as maliciously spamming — this case would be rare, so again, no worries); we just won’t include those URLs in our next News crawl.

4. Include Your Company Web Site When Applying to the YouTube Partner Program
To get started, apply to the YouTube Partner Program. Don’t forget to include the website of your news organization in the “Company Web Site” field on your application form — this is critical to having your application approved. If you don’t already have a YouTube account, make sure to use an email address with the same domain as your website (e.g. johndoe@newswebsite.com) when registering.

5. Keep The Article Body Clean
For various reasons, when crawling an article, Google News checks to make sure it can find the article body. If your article body is broken up by tags, ads, sidebars or other non-article content, we may not be able to detect the actual article body, and reject your article as a result. In addition, if you place the beginning of your article’s body near the title in the HTML, we’ll be more likely to extract the correct title and snippet.

6. Make Sure Article URLs Are Permanent And Unique
If you reuse article URLs, Google’s system may have difficulty crawling and categorizing your stories. In addition, make sure your article URLs have at least three digits that don’t resemble a year (for example, 5232 is ok, but 2008 is not.) You can get around this requirement by submitting your articles in News Sitemaps. Also, please note that session IDs can confuse Google’s crawler, and Google may not realize that two distinct URLs actually point to the same page. You can learn more about some of these requirements here.

7. Take Advantage Of Stock Tickers In Sitemaps

Google News Sitemaps allow publishers to specify stock ticker symbols for companies mentioned in individual articles. Using these symbols helps Google better identify the subjects of your articles. You can read more about the format Google uses for this data here.
8. Check Your Encoding
Google occasionally sees articles that declare themselves to be encoded in one format (say, UTF-8) and are actually encoded in another (say, ISO 8859-1). Don’t do this. It hurts Google.


9. Make Your Article Publication Dates Explicit
In order to help Google’s crawler determine the correct date, please make the actual publication date of your articles explicit. You can do this by placing the article date and time in the HTML, between the title and the body. Also, you can remove other dates from the HTML of the article page, and add the required tag to articles in your News Sitemap. Dates on article pages can be in most common formats, but for sitemaps, Google asks that you use the W3C format; e.g. 2008-12-29T06:30:00Z.
Note that the article times and dates displayed on Google News reflect the time at which Google originally crawled the articles, and may not be the same as the publication date.

10. Keep Original Content Separate From Press Releases
If your site produces original content and distributes press releases that you’d like Google to crawl, make sure to separate your original news content from your press releases by creating two different sections on your site. As you may know, Google News labels press releases distinctly in order to alert our users that the article they’re about to read is a press release. If your original news sections have links to press releases, adding the rel=”nofollow” attribute to all links that point to your press release articles will ensure that they’re labeled correctly. You can learn more about this attribute here.
 
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