If you’re publishing content on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you could stand to benefit from having your posts included in Google News. It’s not terribly difficult to try to get your content included, and the rewards are well worth it if you rank.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is determine whether your site is currently eligible for inclusion. To do this head on over to Google News and do a site: search for your site. Ex: site:cnn.com.
Are there results for your site? Awesome. Skip the next step. If not, that’s cool. You’re going to request inclusion. The directions are pretty self explanatory. Give Google all the information they ask for that you have. Wait to see what they say.
The next steps are for people who are already included and those who await Google’s reply.
One thing you’ll definitely want to do is to create a Google News sitemap that’s autogenerated every night. If you’re on WordPress, there are some handy plugins that’ll do it for you. I just added the GN Sitemap Generator to my political blog, so I don’t yet know whether it works, but it’s the most recently updated of the bunch right now.
Follow the directions, and it’ll create a feed that you’ll add to your list of XML Sitemaps in your Webmaster Tools.
Alright, that covers the basics of having a chance of being included at all. Now let’s talk about how to get your articles/posts ranking in Google News!
Just like in normal SEO, Google wants to rank authoritative sources over poorer-linked sites. But with Google News SEO, there’s a theory that Google prefers to rank sites that are particularly authoritative on a particular subject. So for example if your blog covers election news exclusively or near exclusively, and has many links from sites that are authoritative on elections, if someone’s looking for election news Google will favor your site. This could be a boon for niche blogs over general, but authoritative, news sites.
Just like in normal SEO, keywords are essential. Don’t get creative with your headlines if you want Google News rankings, use the words people search with.
Get those social sharing buttons on your posts and articles, and encourage your readers to use them.
Here’s where I got a lot of my information on Google News SEO:
If you’ve done all this and want more advanced tips for rocking out your Google News opportunities, check out Andrew Shotland’s excellent Google News SEO article.