If your company publishes timely news articles or blog posts, you may have an “in” with Google News, a service that aggregates headlines and 200-character snippets from more than 50,000 news sources worldwide. Although Google News typically recruits content from major publishers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN, as well as news agencies such as Reuters and Associated Press, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot. A link in Google News can lead to a surge in web traffic, build authority for your brand, and ultimately boost revenue. And if you’re already publishing news articles, it doesn’t cost a thing to get started. Not to mention, a listing in Google News matters for SEO.

Here are the basic criteria for Google Newsworthiness:

  • High click-through rate. Google considers click through data when determining how high to prioritize an article. According to Moz.com, it bases its data more on news category and country rather than on an individual article. If you site regularly receives high click-through rates within the finance category in the United States, it will more likely consider you a quality resource.
  • Timeliness. Google looks for timely news articles relevant to its audience that follow traditional journalistic standards. It does not publish how-to articles, advice columns, “thought leadership,” or promotional content. If your site publishes a combination of news, aggregated content, and service pieces (how-tos, tips, etc.), you will need to separate it from news content or restrict Google access to non-news content via your robots.txt file.
  • Citation Rank. If a dozen other blogs reference your article about Brexit in their own Brexit article, you have a greater chance of seeing your name in Google News.

In addition to having a highly trafficked and/or cited website with timely news articles, your site must meet Google’s technical requirements so that it can crawl your content. A few pointers include:

  • Use permanent URLs. URLs that change on a regular basis prevent Google from crawling your content, as it can’t detect the most current URL.
  • Use HTML. PDFs, JavaScript, and most video images cannot be included.
  • Don’t block content. Make sure that robots.txt files aren’t blocking directories that host your articles. Also make sure metatags or header specifications do not block access to your article links. Just like Google Web Search, Google News uses Googlebot to crawl content.

Google News Alternatives

If your content isn’t quite newsy enough for Google News, or your site doesn’t meet Google’s requirements, there are other ways to get Google to notice your news. A couple options include:

  • Newsjacking. When you quickly publish a blog post, a lead gen offer, or social media campaign around a hot news topic, you are newsjacking. Newsjacking boosts SEO, improves brand reputation, and drives traffic, with or without Google News attention. For example, the recent acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft yielded hundreds of thousands of articles, with content related to finance as well as high-tech and even education.

Campus Technology, a respected higher education resource, examined the acquisition from a different angle with “What a Microsoft-Owned LinkedIn means for Education,” Campus Technology.” As a result, it promptly found itself listed in Google News. It found a way to capitalize on current events with a timely,  relevant article.

  • Submit articles to blogs that do get picked up by Google News. B2B copywriter Rachel Foster recommends that bloggers and/or content marketing managers reach out to blogs regularly featured on Google News. You’ll not only boost exposure for your content, but build relationships, as well.

If you publish timely news articles and want to see your click-through rates soar, go through the motions to be included in Google News.