Jan 23, 2009

Getting Listed in Google NEWS

By appearing in Google News will result serious SEO benefits. If a website is prominently listed in Google News, other websites and bloggers will link to that news article as a citation. So getting our website included in Google News must be part of your SEO strategy.

To get recognized by Google News, our site should meet some of the below criteria.

1) Original Content: Simply reproducing news from other websites will not work. We need to have original content on your website.

2) Multiple Authors: Simple blogs with good content will not get included in Google News. This is because Google News wants multiple authors to “qualify” a website as a news source.

3) Organizational Structure: Google News includes articles only from sources that could be considered organizations; generally characterized by multiple writers and editors, the availability of organizational information, and accessible contact information. Hence, reviewing a website should give evidence of an organization.

This may seem like a very difficult task but below are 10 tips that should help us before submitting our site to Google News.

1)Website Template: Website should look like a news source. Need to avoid any template that remotely resembles a blog. The design of home page is important and should clearly mention which industry your website covers.

2)Content Management System: Your website Content Management System (CMS) should be geared to handle news-type content. CMS should have a URL rewrite engine so that it generates flat-search engine friendly URLs — those with keywords, rather than something like “www.website.com/article.asp?=123.?456.” This not only will help in crawling, but also in Google News ranking. Avoid a CMS that generates more than two variables in the URL as it can create crawling problems.

3)Article URL: Each article URL should be unique and contain a unique number consisting of at least three digits. The Google News crawler cannot index an article with this URL: http://www.website.com/news01.html. It can, however, crawl an article with this URL: http://www.website.com/news001.html. Google News cannot crawl an article URL with four digits, which resembles a year (http://www.website.com/news2008.html).

4) About Us and Contact Pages: Make these pages prominent on website and one click away from the home page. A “Contact” page should have your organization’s name and contact information. We should also have a URL that is a directory of contributors and provide names of all your authors and editors, preferably with their email addresses. Try to give more information about your company and what it does in the “About Us” page.

5) Article Format: Each article format should include a title, author name, publication date and time (optional) and a minimum of 250-300 words in the article body.

6) Article Title: Set the " title " on the tag on the HTML page to the title of the article.The title should be displayed prominently above the text of the article, such as between h1 tags. Avoid hyperlinks in the title. Title length should be 2-22 words. However, try to avoid very long or very short titles. If you are covering some big publicly-listed companies, include their name in the title. This will help your article appear if anyone is tracking those companies, either in Google News or through their email alert service.
7) Number of Articles: Chances are, a website with 10 total articles applying to be included in Google News will be rejected outright — it doesn’t give the impression of authority or heavy activity. Therefore, I recommend that you have at least 100 articles before we even think of completing the application form.

Article Frequency: Try to add at least three new articles every day. The more new articles you add the better, because once an article loses its “News” value, it will stop getting visitors from Google News.

Images and Video: A picture is worth a thousand words. Having a few images will make your news site stand out. And the same goes with videos. However, articles that are solely images and/or videos will not be included in Google News.

Advertising: Avoid too little or over-the-top advertising. Too little means your website does not attract enough visitors, whereas too much advertising might make one question of our motive in getting our website listed with Google News.

Once we have covered these 10 points, we will apply for Google News inclusion. We will be asked to provide our site location information (City, State/Province, Country) and contact information URL and a URL that lists a directory of contributors. We can also select what topic(s) your site covers on this page. The Google News team will then respond to your request, generally within a few days to a week’s time.

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