Featuring in the infamous “Google News” is an amazing opportunity for your brand and can be highly influential when you are looking to improve your brand’s awareness. It’s an opportunity which many businesses tend to overlook and assume the brand will speak for themselves, which in many instances is not the case.

We’re going to share with you some really important advice and explain in great detail how featuring in Google News can improve your brand awareness but also what the criteria Google expects you to meet, in order to feature within these articles.

Why do I want to be featured on Google News?

It targets the right audience & drives traffic to your business:

Featuring in Google News can not only help your business from a marketing perspective but it can also help from an SEO perspective too. When one of your potential customers is searching for specific industry terms and phrases into Google News, it will provide them with the detailed and tailored results for that particular term. They can also focus further with the “Search Tools” option within Google News, which allows you to segment the results based on:

  • Location – Results located on “The Web” or just “Current Location” page results.
  • News Type – You have the option to choose whether it is a blog, with a certain term/question in or you have the option to view all news articles.
  • Date – You can choose when the information was published, based on your Google search.
  • Relevance – Depending on how the broad the term is you can, in fact, organise the search terms by how relevant Google thinks your terms are to the published articles/news.

This can allow you to test out content with particular key terms and phrases, which you may have found during Keyword Research and you will be able to notice whether those terms are driving traffic to your business and it will also filter unwanted visitors to your site and will instead – focus on your potential customers.

Due to the popularity of the Google News section, your brand will have the opportunity to be exposed to the right target audience for your business and your site will then have the potential to drive relevant and useful traffic to your business, which ultimately can result in higher enquiries and new potential sales – to your brand.

If your content is featured within Google News it will also enable you to maximise the reach of your content or an externally sourced piece of content (i.e Newspapers, PR Agencies etc) to a not only larger audience than your site visitors but also – the right target audience also.

Creates Link Building opportunities for your business:

If you pass Google’s guidelines and end up featuring within Google News you then your business and company brand can build fantastic SEO link building methods, which will not only improve your rankings but will also increase your sites authority, within Google. For example one of the most common link building opportunities which are available for your business is Unlinked Brand Mentions.

This form of outreach is fantastic for businesses who are featured in Google News, not only does this show you are popular within your industry but if a potential customer was to search for your brand name or a related key term within Google News, it will allow them to see what your brand is all about. So, if a newspaper has written about a recent PR related scheme you have been involved in, charity work/sponsorship & involvement in industry-related topics, then your feature will appear within these results. Within these online blogs, articles & various news pieces you will notice that your brand name has been mentioned within the article.

This is a fantastic opportunity for your business to inquire about linking your brand name or even recent case study, to a relevant page on your site. If your business is featured in the media frequently and you notice that a large amount of these sites aren’t linking to your domain, then it is worth getting in touch with some Digital PR & Outreach experts, who have vast experience in the field of marketing and can help you gain these high-quality links to your site.

Emphasises your brand/website’s authority:

According to a survey was undertaken by the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, 60% of people say that they trust Google News, more than they trust the other news outlets within Google’s index. By featuring here you are not only gaining trustworthy content to your website but you are also displaying to your website’s visitors that you are a trustworthy site to visit. Also, if your content is featured here then Google is, in fact, saying that your content is a trustworthy and reliable source.

By reading the points above you can see there are real benefits for your business/brand to be featured within Google News, but you don’t have the authority to be included in these results. This is in the hands of Google, as they have extensive criteria and strict guidelines, which makes allows your brand to qualify in these results – but that doesn’t mean you can have a say in this.

Here are some of the General, Technical & Quality Guidelines your business must follow, in order to qualify for a successful Google News feature:

General & Quality Guidelines

All content featured on Google News must be:

  • Original, Readable and Accurate Content/Information – The content which you or the external source who are writing about your brand will need to be clearly accurate, well written and unique (non-duplicated) for the Google News readers.
  • High Quality & Relevant Content must be created – It’s really important to make sure all of the content you have created meets your brand’s high-quality standards. All of the content you create must include valid opinions, expert advice, statistics, variation – the list goes on.
  • Trustworthy and Expert advice & information – In order to be featured Google must believe that your content is industry-leading should offer clear and expert opinions, based on experience within the field. The content should also be supported with clear trust indications: Physical address, supporting authorship and telephone numbers.

If you website has the following, you will either not be featured in Google News or you will not appear in the top relevant search results:

  • Job adverts
  • Information-only content – example: weather reports or stock/share prices.
  • Excessive use of adverts & videos on your site.

Technical Guidelines

In order for your brand to be featured within Google News, your website will need to meet the standards of Google’s algorithm-based processing. This is where Google Bots will crawl articles for inclusion in Google News and in order to meet these requirements, here are the main technical guidelines, which must be met:

  • Content provided must be in HTML format only. For example JavaScript, PDF’s and various other content types cannot be crawled or displayed. This includes multimedia content, apart from YouTube, who are the odd exception.
  • URLs and Anchor Links, within the page, must be: unique, permanent and accurately descriptive of the content.
  • The domain on which the content is hosted must be accessible for search engine bots to crawl.

In fact, many of the points addressed in our post are crucial SEO ranking factors for business. Without having the high-quality, SEO friendly and fully optimised your content will not benefit your brand and you will not be able to have the opportunity to feature in Google News. Without having an expert SEO team and an experienced Digital PR team, you will not be able to take this fantastic opportunity for your business and your company brand. If you’re interested in knowing how Ricemedia can improve your business’s Digital PR campaign, then feel free to get in touch with us today.