In this era of information and technology, people want to constantly keep themselves abreast of the latest news and happenings around the world. News publishers, big and small, feed on the appetite of news hungry people and are vying for there attention through breaking news both online and off.
Google News is one such destination where news-makers strive to appear prominently. Being a premier news portal, a ranking on Google News can significantly enhance traffic to a website.
Discussed below are certain do’s and do not’s that will help improve your news article’s ranking on Google news.
Publishing a sitemap is an important step in getting the Google’s crawler attention. A news sitemap can point the Googlebot in the direction of news URL’s on your site. Sitemaps also capture the article titles and date of publication which is again important as Google News would rank the most recent publications higher.
The URL of your article must have a unique three digit number in it. Every article on your site should have a unique URL and it should not be recycled. This means you should not publish different content under the same URL everyday. However, the URL of your main news section should not change. If it changes on a regular basis, Google crawler will not be able to identify the most recent one.
In order to rank effectively in Google news, the article should be neither too long for a news article nor too short. It should also not be constituted of isolated sentences.
Proper paragraphing of the articles is a must. The article should be all on one page instead of following through to the next one. Use of more than one language in the article is also a no-no.
Sites with higher click-through ratings are considered to be a more authoritative source of information and hence, rank higher in Google rankings. Attractive titles and interesting story leads can result in larger click-through rate for your site.
Google crawler takes immediate notice if a story goes viral. This means your story will rank well if it is referenced or re-posted on several sites after being originally published by you. Timing is also of utmost importance when it comes to news. Google looks for the most recent articles. Therefore, in order to rank well, you should write more often.
Another crucial factor that can enhance your rating is the use of keyword content. Optimize your page/article titles and content based on popular search terms in order to be recognized when a relevant keyword based search is triggered.
Finally, the use of image and video streams can also add prominence to your article and increase the click-through rate. The images used should be inline and must preferably appear right below the title. The best format to use is JPG. Videos should ideally be hosted on YouTube with a relevant caption and link to a transcript.