I was on an extended trip through the USA late last year, with stops in New York, Las Vegas, and Seattle. The first two were primarily for work but the latter was mostly for relaxation.
Nonetheless, when you’re an SEO and visiting Seattle you should always make an attempt to visit the Moz offices. Moz is probably the most famous SEO-focused company in the world, and their blog has been setting the standard for excellent SEO content for years.
Every Friday, Moz publishes a short video in which a particular aspect or concept of SEO is explained. These are their so-called ‘Whiteboard Friday’ videos, because the format is a presenter in front of a whiteboard. Simple yet highly effective, and widely copied as well.
When I visited the Moz offices last year, the lovely folks there asked me if I’d like to record a Whiteboard Friday. That was a bit of a no-brainer – I jumped at the opportunity. The topic I chose is one that doesn’t get covered often in the SEO industry, and is close to my heart: how to get a news site included in Google’s separate Google News index.
The recording went smoothly and the Moz folks did their usual post-production magic before it was published on their site earlier this month.
So here then is my Moz Whiteboard Friday – How to get in to Google News:
- Have a dedicated news site
A subsection of a commercial site will not be accepted. Ensure your site is a separate entity focused entirely on providing news and background content. Having multiple authors and providing unique news-worthy content is also highly recommended.
- Static URLs for articles and sections
Google wants your articles and section pages to remain on the same URLs so that they can be recrawled regularly. A new URL means a new article for Google News, so if your article URLs change then it can cause problems for Google News.
- Plain HTML
Furthermore there are some technical aspects that are not required but strongly recommended:
- Separate news-specific XML sitemap for all your news articles published in the last 48 hours.
- (News)Article structured data to help Google index and categorise your articles quickly.
Lastly, if your news site covers a specific niche or specialised topic, that tends to help with being accepted in to Google News. There are plenty of general news sites already, and Google News doesn’t really need more of those. Specialised news sites focusing on a specific niche will help broaden Google News’s scope, so you’ll find it a bit easier to get in to Google News when your site has such a focus.
Make sure you watch the full video on the Moz blog, and give it a thumbs up there if you enjoyed it.