Google News: everything you need to know about Google's news service

 Google News or Google News is a free online news service.

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You may never have heard of it, but chances are you've used it before. If you administer a site dedicated to news, the presence on the Google News platform presents you with many opportunities.

What is it really about and how to reference yourself on the platform? We take stock of this Google service.

What is Google News?

Google News is a free Google service specializing in the promotion of "hot" information.

It presents in an automated way complete and up-to-date information from different sources on the web. The articles are grouped into 8 sections on the main page of Google News:

  • Your country
  • International
  • Local news
  • Economy
  • science and technology
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Health

Since its creation, Google News has made its way and now operates in 22 countries, including France. We are talking about more than 500 French-speaking sources crawled and then analyzed to offer qualitative news to Internet users.

Google News: how does it work?

The operation of Google News can be presented in two main parts:

collecting and disseminating news;

and news research.

1 Collection and dissemination of information

Google News offers fresh and relevant information on hot topics.

How ? By collecting daily articles from selected news sites in the countries where the service is available. The algorithm then classifies these collected articles according to different criteria:

  • language (or country),
  • the relevance of the content,
  • the quality of the item,
  • the notoriety of the source,
  • the date of creation (the freshness of the content).

Google News also does organizational work by grouping articles on the same subject by folder.

He thus obtains a list of the most relevant titles each day, to which he associates a main article and other related articles. This page is updated every fifteen minutes (option to be configured).

2 Google News, a news search engine

Google News is also a search engine where users can search and find news on specific topics.

In reality, Google News works exactly like Google Search (Google's main search engine). The difference is that all the content you find there will always be related to the news.

How to reference your site on Google News?

Google News automatically takes your site into account for the dissemination of information on its platform and on search news platforms.

All you have to do is fulfill the eligibility criteria by producing relevant content. Google provides guidance on the criteria that must be met for your site to be considered, such as:

  • have a high level of authority, expertise and reliability;
  • regularly publish original news content;
  • abide by Google News policies.

Previously, webmasters had to submit a request to get a spot on Google news platforms. But this is no longer necessary since the launch of the publisher center in December 2019.

Thanks to this change, Google News is able to identify more eligible news sites on the Internet.

Google Recommendations for Webmasters

Google prescribes a list of best practices for getting your site indexed on news platforms. In particular, you must:

Be a subject matter expert

Speaking of expertise, being a specialist in a particular theme has a huge advantage for your website. This makes it easier for robots to understand the topics you are covering.

For example, a sports news site regularly updated with competition dates has a high chance of being included in Google News.

That said, it is not impossible to register a site addressing several themes.

However, you must ensure that you adopt an irreproachable structure. This involves categorizing articles and submitting a sitemap to Google so that it can easily find the information.

Create relevant content

The goal of Google News is to provide relevant news to its users.

Your content must therefore meet quality and relevance criteria to hope to be selected by its algorithm. Fortunately, Google has defined a list of general guidelines for writing interesting content for its algorithm. Concretely, you must:

  1. offer relevant, quality content, without grammatical or spelling errors
  2. publish reliable information (remember to cite your sources)
  3. offer content related to current events (job offers or advertisements are not eligible)
  4. offer content in HTML format (do not offer PDF, audio or other multimedia content)
  5. make good anchors using HTML links in content
  6. have your content written by identifiable writers (name, contact, biography, etc.)
  7. optimize the technical aspect of your site (optimal loading speed, responsive on mobile, etc.)
  8. display fewer ads than text content
  9. avoid promoting a product or activity in your content

Publish quality content regularly

Regularity is required to please Google News.

Indeed, the more content you produce, the more you strengthen your notoriety and the more Google trusts you. Remember that publishing content means updating your site, which is something that crawlers particularly appreciate.

The rules for writing content that Google News likes

The editorial rules for natural referencing in Google also apply with Google News.

To hope to get good visibility on Google News, you must write as if you want to position yourself in the SERPs.

Here are some rules to apply:

1 Optimize the H1 title tag

H1 headings are indicators for Google News about the content of the article.

You should optimize them by adopting a few best practices. Your title must be short, precise and limited to the essential [at least 10 characters and included in 2 and 22 words]. If possible, insert your main keyword at the beginning.

2 Write the meta description

The meta description is like a hook for Google crawlers.

Take care to write it clearly and concisely. Above all, try to include your main keyword in it.

3 Structure the content with H2, H3, H4 tags, etc.

Your content must be at least 80 words to be considered relevant to Google News. But when the article is long, it is important to fragment it into several parts to facilitate understanding.

Feel free to use Hn tags for this.

4 Write quality content

Content that Google News likes is content with a capo, paragraphs, short sentences, bold keywords, correct syntax, etc. On this point, it is important to use good punctuation and to avoid spelling mistakes as much as possible.

5 Be transparent

For questions of transparency, you must reveal to Internet users information about the authors of your content.

Indeed, Google News users need to know who writes and publishes your content. This not only helps build trust with your readers, but also proves your reliability.

This is why your site must include the necessary information to identify the author of each content.

6 Indicate the date and time of publication

Google News needs publication dates and times to deliver your stories correctly.

To maximize your chances, use an HTML line to display the date and time [between the title and the body of the article]. Above all, avoid including other dates and times that could lead to confusion.

For example, you can use data structured according to the “ datepublished” schema.

7 Take advantage of structured data

Google News bots like sites that make their job easier and tend to rank them among the best content.

Structured data is a great ally to do this. They help you mark up your content to make it much easier for crawlers to understand. This is a real boost to your efforts to improve your natural referencing.

Our SEO agency is at your disposal to accompany you in the adventure of structured data.

Mistakes to avoid

Certain practices can seriously harm your efforts to gain admission to Google's accepted sources. You just have to avoid them.

Avoid erroneous content

Pay attention to your sources when writing a news article for Google News.

The platform leads a fierce fight against sites that publish "fake news". Google simply prohibits trying to manipulate opinions or mislead its users.

Avoid artificial updates

Updates have a beneficial effect on your article's SEO, but only when done naturally.

Indeed, there is no point in updating your articles if you do not bring any added value to them. Also avoid deleting your article to put it back online afterwards.

Google robots detect these behaviors and are not fooled.

Avoid duplicate content

Prefer original and fresh content to duplicate content.

Indeed, Google News blocks rewritten, scraped or republished content on its platform. Anyway, these types of content are always less well referenced than the original content.

Why get listed on Google News?

Having a presence on Google News does not guarantee a place on the first page of the search engine for your articles.

However, getting a spot on Google News is not without its perks. Good students who manage to overcome the selection barrier and stand out for the quality of their articles undoubtedly benefit from high visibility.

Indeed, Google assigns an overall quality score to each website referenced on Google News.

This score depends on:

  • the quality of the content offered,
  • and the authority of the site concerned.

From what we know, the level of option and visibility of each site would vary according to the quality score obtained.

We can distinguish three different levels of visibility according to the overall quality score of each site:

  1. Increased visibility [news with a featured image]
  2. The average visibility [news with a line of boxed text]
  3. Low visibility [news present in the "News" tab but absent in the normal results].

The challenge here is to optimize your site in order to obtain better visibility on Google News and related platforms.

This inevitably comes down to:

  • apply the rules of natural referencing,
  • optimize the performance of your site,
  • and produce quality content.

If you need help managing all of this, do not hesitate to contact us for quality support.

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