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Google’s SEO Best Practices For News Websites

Google's SEO Best Practices For News Websites

Google Search Advocates Daniel Waisberg and Cherry Prommawin recently shared valuable insights in a video on best practices for news websites.

Google aims to help news organizations increase their content’s visibility and drive more traffic.

Here’s what the Search Advocate team advises to gain a more substantial presence on Search and News surfaces.

Google’s SEO Best Practices For News WebsitesScreenshot from: YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, May 2023.

Where News Appears On Google

Waisberg and Prommawin begin the video by clarifying how news content can be featured on Google.

They highlighted two key places where Google News content can appear – the Top Stories and the News tab.

The Top Stories carousel, a search feature displaying relevant and high-quality news content, varies in appearance based on the user’s query, device, and location.

The News tab focuses on news-related results, distinct from Google News itself.

They then delved into four common Search result elements that content creators can influence.

These include:

  • Text results
  • Rich results
  • Image results
  • Video results

The pair emphasized the importance of understanding one’s audience in deciding where to invest efforts, with data analysis being crucial to this process.

SEO Tips For News Websites

In providing SEO tips for news websites, the Search Advocate team highlighted the importance of generating helpful, reliable content created for people, not search engines.

Waisberg and Prommawin discussed the significance of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) factors in prioritizing content.

Prommawin states (emphasis mine):

Experience shows the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic…

Expertise shows the extent to which the content creator has the necessary knowledge or skill for the topic…

Authoritativeness shows the extent to which the content creator or the website is known as a go-to source for the topic…

Trust is the most important member of EEAT. Even if the content creator is highly experienced, expert, and authoritative, a financial scam will always be untrustworthy.”

Regarding technical optimizations, Waisberg and Prommawin advise providing publication dates using structured data to help Google better understand when the article went live or was substantially updated.

Lastly, they recommend building a website around ongoing news stories and ensuring the use of relevant images and videos.

Eligibility For Google News

Publishers must meet Google News’ eligibility criteria to appear in Top Stories or the News tab.

These criteria include high levels of E-E-A-T, a consistent history of producing news-related content, and adherence to Google News policies.

Transparency is crucial to these policies, meaning clear information about the authors, publication, and publisher should be provided.

Outbound Links, Paywalls, & More

Waisberg and Prommawin emphasize the need to keep advertising and other promotional material from exceeding news content and distinguishing paid placement.

If spammy, paid, or user-generated content links are left on a site without tagging, it could violate Google’s spam policies.

To make the content searchable, it’s crucial that Google can crawl and index content behind the paywalls.

Implementing a meter, a paywall, or a login wall using the appropriate structured data can help Google differentiate paywalled content from cloaking.

Waisberg and Prommawin concluded by encouraging publishers to visit the Google News Initiative website to learn more about how to succeed in search.


Source: YouTube

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