17 February 2009

How To: Improve Google News Rankings

Top tips for getting the most out of Google News crawlers could help newspapers improve their articles’ rankings.

Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, the recommendations feature in a Google News blog post in answer to some of the most frequently asked questions from publishers.

And here are some of Google’s top tips:

*Make Publication Dates Known

According to Google, newspapers need to place the date and time of the news story in the HTML in order to enable the crawlers to access the information.

*Tag Titles Correctly

“In order for Google News to crawl the correct titles for your articles, make sure the title you want appears in both the title tag and as the headline on the article page.”

Plus, Google suggests it’s good practice to use the article’s title as the anchor text in any links to it.

*Follow Photo Formatting Rules

Images that are crawler-friendly are JPEG images of reasonable size, close to the actual article and with good descriptive captions accompanying them.

*Keep Press Releases Separate

Because Google News treats press releases differently from original articles, Google recommends keeping them in a section distinct from other content.

Visit the Google News Blog for the full post.

[HT – Poynter Online]

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