Google News is a prominent platform for news delivery, appearing in various forms such as the top stories carousel, the Google News tab, and through websites and apps. If you’re aiming to consistently feature your content on these platforms, it’s crucial to optimize your approach. While there isn’t a single solution for Google News optimization, a well-optimized Google Publisher Center account is vital for maximizing your content’s potential across these surfaces.
This comprehensive guide assumes that you already possess a Publisher Center account. If not, no worries—learning how to set up your account correctly is the first step.
Let’s delve into the intricate aspects of configuring your Google Publisher Center to enhance the visibility of your articles and videos on Google News.
Navigating the Publisher Center’s user interface might not be the most intuitive task. To access the basic settings, scroll down to the bottom of your Publisher Center homepage and find the More Options section.
Click on “Manage your publication and your organization,” then select “Modify publication settings.”
Google Publisher Center requires careful configuration to ensure optimal results. When establishing your publication, it’s essential to use the official brand name rather than variations like “BrandName Blog” or “BrandName Magazine.”
During publication creation, you have the chance to validate crucial information about your brand. This verification strengthens your brand’s presence in the Knowledge Graph—an essential part of Google’s information database. Using the official brand name establishes clear connections for Google’s algorithms.
Information you can confirm includes:
- Geographic target by country.
- Primary language for your audience.
- Parent organization details. If relevant, ensure the parent company’s official brand name is used.
- Verified primary URL for the canonical domain, along with syndication partner relationships involving additional URLs.
- Visual brand identity, including logo usage. Upload official logos (light, dark, and square variants with transparent backgrounds) in line with Google’s size and format recommendations.
- Font choices, while they contribute to branding, don’t impact Knowledge Graph or content visibility on Google News.
Head back to the More Options section to find the “Add content labels” option.
Google provides five labels that can be assigned globally or to specific sections of your site.
These labels are particularly useful for opinion pieces or satirical content. They aid Google in accurately categorizing and applying E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) signals, potentially boosting visibility for properly assigned content.
However, exercise caution with these labels for press releases, blogs, and user-generated content, as they might have the opposite effect on Google News visibility. Test if you’re methodical, otherwise, consider avoiding these labels.
In addition to these foundational settings, Publisher Center offers up to three products:
- Google News publications.
- Reader revenue manager.
- News showcase.
A Google News publication is your gateway to appearing on Google News surfaces. Your choices during setup significantly influence your performance.
Choose a relevant publication category to inform the Google Knowledge Graph. While it’s possible to limit distribution to a specific country or Google property, this might not be advisable if your aim is visibility.
Your publication’s sections appear as tabs in the Google News app. At a minimum, you should have two sections:
- Videos (including a YouTube channel or playlist)
If you’re not utilizing video content, you’re missing a substantial opportunity to engage your audience. For maximum visibility:
- Set up sections matching your website’s parent categories to showcase your coverage areas.
- Have a section dedicated to local news for exclusive local placements.
- Introduce sections for trending topics with anticipated longevity.
- Include a Personalized Feed section.
Once these sections are established, arrange them optimally through drag-and-drop.
Google News – Web Location vs. Feed
For article sections, you must decide between Web location and Feed.
If development resources are available, opt for a feed. Why?
- A feed allows selective article inclusion, excluding sponsored content or specific syndication partners.
- You gain control over article order, showcasing recent, popular, or highly engaging content at the top.
- Feeds enable quicker content visibility, as Googlebot fetches feed content every 30 minutes or even instantly with Websub.
Collaborate with your developer and refer to Google’s technical documentation to validate and submit the feed.
Utilize Google News’ underused feature that enables readers to follow your publication.
While Google doesn’t currently offer a direct API for on-site following, a simple follow button linked to your publication URL can significantly increase followers. Promote it through various channels like social media, email newsletters, and push notifications.
This practice greatly enhances the chances of your content appearing in personalized placements on Google News. Higher click-through rates and improved algorithmic content display to new readers can result in stronger reader retention.
Elevate Google News Visibility with a Well-Optimized Publisher Center Account
A successful Google Publisher Center setup is pivotal for Google News visibility. Crafting the right settings and cultivating a robust following will amplify the impact of your articles and videos in the competitive content landscape.
Moreover, a well-optimized setup aids in establishing your brand’s presence within the Google Knowledge Graph.
Shadrack Biwot: Digital marketer & Founder of Sedi. Pioneering digital strategies since ’21. Passion for tech, transforming businesses. #SediFounder