July 12, 2006
If SEO is about attracting targeted visitors, then methods that can legitimately increase your site’s exposure to extra traffic work well within that remit.
One way of doing this is via syndication, and one of the big daddy’s of this is Google News. Any site that can get itself syndicated via Google News can potentially tap into extra traffic streams.
Not everyone can qualify, though, and generally you will want to ensure that any site submitted is generally family friendly, is constantly updated, and is so with articles of real informational value
Another qualifying criteria is that sites run by private individuals will not be syndicated. To be accepted into Google News, you have to ensure that the site is publishing under the auspices of a recognsed corporate body.
Something else to bear in mind - Google *do* keep a record of which sites have been submitted for Google News, so if you find yourself being rejected at first, don’t make a second request for inclusion until you’ve addressed any potential issues that caused it’s rejection in the first place.
On a more technical note, I’ve found that Google News can have problems where the article title is also the link to the title. So if you do have a site accepted for Google News, do watch out for this issue, and edit your site accordingly - ie, unlinked title at top of article, plus permalink at bottom.
Of course, it shouldn’t go without saying that images posted with your articles on your site can help clickthrough - even if your main headline gets buried in the “similar stories” link, your image can still show next to the whole entry.
On that point, it’s worth emphasising that the more original your information, the better - the same old popular news stories rewritten can simply keep you hidden in the “similar stories” list, leading to minimal traffic - while an original story is more likely to capture a swell of new visitors via Google News.
You also need to ensure that you add content regularly - Google News will publish a news item for 30 days, then it is removed from the news results. So constant new content is required to maintain any kind of presence in Google News.
Overall, being syndicated by Google News can bring in the extra traffic - but do note two key pitfalls.
The first is that the type of visitor is usually looking for information quickly, rather than a purchase. So try and find a way to encourage them to remain or revist the site - an “Add to Favourites” link could be invaluable here.
The second is that scrapers can and do republish stories from Google News, so watch out for your content being taken by other sites, not least “Spamsense” sites. Also, some scrapers post directly to spamblogs, so be aware of spam pingbacks being sent if your own site accepts them.
Here’s a summary of the above points:
1. Keep your site updated
2. Keep it clean and fresh
3. Be as original as possible
4. Use images where you can
5. Watch for technical problems
6. Ensure you submit company-administrated sites
7. Don’t resubmit your site after rejection, unless you’ve made real changes
Here’s the submit URL: Submit to Google News