There’s no doubt that Google’s news service (appropriately named Google News) has been gaining popularity in recent years. With more and more publishers coming on board, Google have decided it’s time to release some tips and ranking advice for getting your articles to the front page.
Google has created a post on their Google news blog with a video which I’ve shared below. The video is quite long – so before you check it out I’ve written up a quick summary.
How Does Google News Find Information?
Google goes through three steps to gather new news articles; crawling, grouping and ranking. In the crawling and grouping stages, Googlebot crawls the web to discover new articles (via regular web crawls and news sitemaps), then looks at individual words from each article to determine which articles are related. This will determine which articles are grouped together as certain clusters on the Google News homepage.
How Are Different News Headlines Ranked?
There are two different steps to ranking within Google News. First is determining which news stories (or clusters as I’ve described above) are the most important, and second is determining the most important article within each cluster.
Ranking Each Story/Headline
When determining which story is the most important, Google looks at how much coverage the story has had across local/national/foreign news websites and also how many additional stories are related to this article.
By looking at which articles have the most editorial interest, Google is able to rank the importance of each unique news headline, and display this on the Google news homepage.
Ranking Articles Within Each Story
Google uses four main factors to determine which article is most important within a ‘cluster’ of stories. These include:
Type of news – Google’s looking for fresh and new articles which are original and on topic. This means that certain news types (eg: press releases, satire articles, opinion pieces) are not eligible to reach the number 1 spot.
Original sources – Google tries to uncover which news source was the first to break the news with original content. To do this, they look at the date and which articles are citing each other to determine an original source.
Local Relevancy – Google gives more weight to local sources that are likely to be more relevant to the news article.
Trusted Sources – Driven by how many people are clicking on each source, Google determines which news sources are most ‘trusted’ by users and can rank them higher for certain types of queries.
There’s also a bunch of smaller factors, but the four main elements above should give you a good insight into how Google news works.
Finally, in case you wanted to see more info, here’s the Google video including best practices for submitting your news source:
Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.