Front Page Listings: Getting Your Contents Listed in Google News
Does it ever occur to you just how much of your life is reliant on Google? Using me as an example, Google knows where I went last weekend, what performance I was watching there, the exact spot I was sitting in based on the photos I took and where I went to eat afterwards. Google even has the entire chat history I have with my ex (note to self, remove that file from Drive as soon as I’m done writing this) and I’ve been increasingly reliant on Google for news updates via Google News.
Google News is good at predicting what I’m interested on reading which shouldn’t come as a surprise since at the degree to which I’m beholden to Google; it literally knows me better than anyone else at this point. Just as I’ve been using Google News more and more these past few months, I’m willing to bet that millions of other people have too. Since Google News, like the regular Google Search is a crowd-sourced platform, it presents an opportunity for SEO services and marketers to reach another level of visibility with their contents.
Google News isn’t just for news
I still consider using the word news is a bit of a misnomer since Google News, like pretty much any content aggregator platform out there, isn’t just used to deliver news. Sure, the Headlines, or Top stories on desktop, is there to provide the latest news stories but it’s the For You section here that might be of more interest to SEO services and content marketers. Just like its name suggest, the For You section displays a list of stories that are tailored to each user based on your search history among other things.
For example, I used my computer at home to read plenty of comics on Marvel Unlimited and from time to time, I look up on some of the characters’ backstory just to familiarize myself more. As a result, I’ve started seeing more and more comic-related listicles on my News feed, which isn’t news the way Brisbane bomb scare last weekend was news. It’s still important for you to be timely and topical but you don’t necessarily have to report what’s going on in the world.
Because of how Google News works, as long as you can get your content displayed on someone’s feed, you are guaranteed a reader that is actually interested in the type of content you’re creating. The problem of course is that Google News has a considerably stricter curation process than Google search and you have to seriously up your content quality just to meet their standards. It’s definitely not easy but it’s definitely worth the effort and you can start by following up on these tips.
Come up with an original point of view
Anyone can easily report that the charming Naomi Osaka beat two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova for the Australian Open women’s title last month but dig beneath the surface and you might find more narrative you can write on than what’s obvious. For example, despite the fact that Serena Williams was playing at or at least near her best, she lost in the quarterfinals against Karolina Pliskova who Osaka defeated to reach the finals. In the two years since Williams won Australian Open in 2017, women’s tennis have gotten a lot more interesting.
Originality is the name of the game and the goal is to write something that could only come from you. Use your experience or unique perspective to provide commentary on what’s happening in your field of business in a way that only you can do. This isn’t just useful for the purpose of making it in Google News, you could also consider this a process in making sure your company or brand has a voice and not just a reskin on other competitors that’s come before you.
Get ahead of the news by predicting future trends
You know what’s better than being the first to break a story? Why, being the one that predicts them of course! Stefanos Tsitsipas’ breakthrough performance at the Australian Open, reaching the semifinals by beating Roger Federer in the process, is surprising only if you haven’t been paying attention to his excellent performance at 2018’s Rogers Cup and his first ATP title in Stockholm and being named as the ATP’s Most Improved Player after winning the Next Gen ATP Finals. In short, the boy was definitely poised for a breakthrough.
Obviously, you can’t predict the future but based on what’s happening right now, you should be able to make a reasonably educated guess on what probably could happen. You could use your familiarity and expertise with your industry to provide insight on where the industry is going and that’s something anyone would be able to appreciate. Sometimes, it’s not enough to just be different; you also have to provide tangible value with what you’re offering.
Keep your headline concise and unambiguous
While it’s understandable that you might want to adorn your piece with flowery words to show how capable of a writer you are, you want to keep your headlines as unadorned as possible. Use relevant keywords and include as much essential story elements as possible in the headline to make it clear to readers just what are they going to find in the story. Individual or organization names, dates and/or relevant statistics should be included if they’re relevant to the story.