Friday, April 24, 2009

5 SEO tips for Google News

There are plenty of things web developers/producers can do to ensure their news sites are indexed by Google News, but reporters often don't have much control over how their sites are structured for search-engine optimization (SEO). They do, however, control the most important variable: the article content.

Here are some simple SEO tips to help with Google News rankings:

  • First, make sure your site is being indexed by Google News in the first place. From the Google News search bar, enter "" (Here's an example using

  • If your site is not being indexed, then you'll need to submit a brief form to Google News to be considered for inclusion. You can find this form by clicking on the "Help for Publishers" link in the Google News footer.

  • Write to get ranked. Basic SEO writing strategies apply. Include the most important keywords at the very front of your headline. Use these words again in the lede of your story (and in your deck, too, if your site uses one) and once or twice more within the first few paragraphs. Reporters and editors like to argue that this detracts from their writing style. I don't agree, but I'll save that topic for another day.

  • Link to related articles and sites. Find others who are covering the same topic and don't be afraid to send traffic their way, even if it's a direct competitor with your site. It promotes the use of the web, increases SEO value and the chance that site will reciprocate in the future. If you reference a company, make sure you embed a link to its website within your copy. Companies monitor not only who is coming to its site but where they are coming from. If they notice a lot of referrals coming from your site's domain, they may be more inclined to link back to you or even, in some cases, consider becoming an advertiser.

  • Another tip I hadn't heard before reading this article is to include stock ticker symbols in your article, which can help Google News identify what your article is about. I've started doing this lately for some sites I work with and have noticed our referrals from Google Finance have also increased. I've asked editors to include a stock symbol in parenthesis on first reference and it seems to be paying off.

Please let me know if you've had success with any other SEO techniques for Google News.

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