Continuing our series on strategies for dominating Google’s new Universal Search platform, today’s focus is on Google News. The picture below tells the tale. Timely, relevant content can be positioned prominently above the best organic results. You don’t necessarily have to be better at SEO than Wikipedia in this case. You simply have to optimize your site and your content for the vertical Google News search engine. The same basic rules apply. It’s all about relevance and authority.
1. Check out Google News’ publisher guidelines to see if your content is newsworthy enough to be included. Other than Patents, this may one of the more exclusive clubs in the Universal Search Results. Not every RSS feed or press release page is deemed worthy of Google News. Review the guidelines carefully and don’t bother submitting if your content is not genuine news.
3. Build your authority and credibility by increasing the number of high-quality links to your content. Focus on links that point deep into the site rather than the home page.
4. Make sure to clearly describe your content using title and description tags. Provide descriptive file names, captions and tags for all multimedia content.
5. Content must be timely. Google News favors articles less than 3 days old and those with the clear date and time of publication in the pages’ HTML code. This can also be accomplished in an XML sitemap’s <lastmod> parameter.
6. If you syndicate your content to other sites, be sure your site gets the appropriate billing and a link to the original source in the byline. Avoid duplicate content filters by requiring syndication partners to attribute the content to your site with either a <blockquote> or a <q cite> tag.
7. If your content expires or you plan on replacing it with fresher content in new location, you can either redirect the old article to the new one or use Google’s new “unavailable_after” meta tag.
8. Include images in your articles. Even if the article is not picked up, the Google News engine can still use properly optimized images. Check back soon for more tips on optimizing images and other multimedia content.
In case you missed it, yesterday’s post was about Google Maps optimization and other local search marketing tactics that can increase the likelihood of your local business site appearing within organic search results. Tomorrow’s topic will be optimizing your video content to rank well in Youtube and the video portion of Google’s Universal Search results.
Updated list of categories covered:
7/31 – Google Maps
8/1 – Google News
8/2 – Youtube Video
8/3 – Google Images
8/6 – Google Blog Search
8/8 – Google Base
8/9 – Google Books
8/10 – Google Groups
8/13 – Google Code Search
Any others I’m missing? Leave a comment. Thanks!