If you’re looking for more ways to spread content and extend it’s reach, then Google News is worth a look. How does a small business use Google News to spread its content? By becoming a Google News publisher of course.
Before we jump into that topic however, let’s take a quick look at what Google News is and why you’d want to become a Google News publisher.
What is Google News?
Google News has been around in one form or another since 2002. Its mission is simple:
“Google News is a computer-generated news service that aggregates headlines from more than 50,000 news sources worldwide, groups similar stories together, and displays them according to each reader’s interests.”
In other words, Google News wants to be your one-stop-shop for all the personalized news and information you need. There’s not much new in doing so however, two factors make this service stand apart:
- Personalization: Google News learns your preferences both explicitly (through their personalization center) and implicitly (based on topics you read most often); and
- Automation: a human does not pick the news displayed on Google News – the entire process is computer-run based on the complex algorithms that the company is known for.
Here’s a look at the front page of Google News:
Why Become a Google News Publisher?
The two factors that make Google News stand apart also make the service a handy spot to publish your content:
- Automation: once everything’s set up, Google News automatically collects and uses your published content; and
- Personalization: Google News will present your content to the folks who are most interested in reading it. You know: the people you’re trying to reach with your online content in the first place. That’s powerful stuff.
How to Become a Google News Publisher
So, how do you get your content included in Google News? Their publisher help center lays out the details fairly well, but here’s the quick and dirty:
Step 1: Make Sure Your Site Meets Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
To be included in Google News, your website needs to meet the company’s Webmaster Guidelines. These guidelines were put in place for two reasons:
- To help assure that Google Search can index your site cleanly meaning that it knows what type of content is on each page; and
- To prevent site owners from using underhanded methods to promote their site.
Aside from making your site Google News ready, there’s an additional benefit to following these guidelines: compliant sites will also rank higher in Google Search results.
Step 2: Produce the Right Type of Content
Google News focuses on, “timely reporting that’s important or interesting to our audience.” This means that how-to or advice articles will not make the cut.
If your site contains both types of articles (e.g. reporting vs. how-to), Google News provides some recommendations for differentiating them.
Step 3: Produce Quality Content
When creating content for Google News, they ask that you follow some basic guidelines including journalistic standards, accountability, authority and readability. Failure to do so may result in your content’s removal.
Step 4: Submit Your Site For Approval
Once you’ve taken care of steps 1-3, it’s time to submit your site for inclusion in Google News.
This is done through the Google News Publishing Center. As you can see below, submitting your site is as easy as clicking a button:
Getting the Most Out of Google News
Here are some ways to boost the effect of your inclusion within Google News:
Highlight your best content by submitting a special feed to Google News. Links to this content will appear on the ride side of a newsreader’s page where they can click through the different offerings:
Note that you can also submit section-specific feeds to the editors as well.
Highlight Standout Content
If you break a hot news story or produce one that’s outstanding in quality and depth, you can tag the piece with the “Standout” tag. This will highlight that piece when folks are reading their news.
Include Links to Your Site’s Mobile Apps
If your site offers mobile apps, you can submit them to Google News for approval. If accepted, they will be shown in the right context:
When you’re looking for more ways to extend the reach of your online content, then take a look at Google News.
If you do however, be prepared to meet Google’s standards, not only technically, but as a journalist as well.
Up for the challenge? The rewards will be more online attention, more site traffic and a huge boost in credibility. These are all results that will help your small business.