Boost your Google News rankings with expert SEO tips!

Boost your Google News rankings with expert SEO tips!

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Who is Barry?
  3. How Hard is it for Affiliate Sites to Get into Google News?
  4. Pros and Cons of Google News Inclusion
  5. The Algorithmic Process for Google News Approval
  6. The Importance of Paywalls for News Publishers
  7. Strategies for Dealing with Paywall Content
  8. Syndicated Content and Best Practices
  9. The Impact of Website Speed on News Publishers
  10. Tips for Getting into Google Discover
  11. The Role of Website Speed in Google Discover
  12. The Ethics of Selling Pixel Data

Article: The Importance of SEO for News Publishers and Best Practices


In today's digital landscape, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a crucial aspect of any online business, including news publishers. With the vast amount of information available on the internet, it is essential for news publishers to optimize their content to ensure maximum visibility and reach. In this article, we will explore the importance of SEO for news publishers and discuss best practices to enhance their online presence.

  1. Who is Barry?

Barry is a seasoned SEO professional with extensive experience in the news publishing industry. He has been involved in SEO since 1998 and specializes in working with news websites. Barry has worked with various news publishers, including renowned brands such as The Sun newspaper in London. With his expertise in technical SEO and Google News optimization, Barry helps news publishers improve their organic search rankings and visibility.

  1. How Hard is it for Affiliate Sites to Get into Google News?

Getting into Google News as an affiliate site can be challenging. In the past, there was a manual approval process where websites could submit their sites for inclusion. However, since the end of 2019, Google implemented an algorithmic process to determine the validity of news sources. This process has made it more difficult for new websites, especially affiliate sites, to get into Google News. While it is not impossible, the algorithmic process remains inscrutable, making it challenging for affiliate sites to meet the criteria for inclusion.

Pros and Cons of Google News Inclusion


  • Increased visibility and reach for news content
  • Access to a broader audience and potential increase in traffic
  • Establishment as a trusted news source
  • Enhanced credibility and reputation within the industry


  • Strict criteria and algorithmic process for approval
  • Difficulty in meeting the content and technical requirements
  • Greater competition from established news publishers
  • Continuous need to maintain high-quality content and compliance with Google's guidelines
  1. The Algorithmic Process for Google News Approval

Since the end of 2019, Google implemented an algorithmic process to determine the validity and inclusion of websites in Google News. The previous manual approval process was replaced, making it a more stringent and elusive process. New websites that wish to be included in Google News must go through this algorithmic evaluation. While the exact criteria and factors considered in the process are not publicly known, some factors that may influence approval include:

  • Original news reporting
  • Authority signals and backlinks from established news publishers
  • Author profiles and their recognition as journalists
  • Integration of structured data and optimized article markup
  • Site speed and mobile-friendliness
  • Engagement metrics and user feedback
  1. The Importance of Paywalls for News Publishers

Paywalls have gained prominence for news publishers as a means to generate revenue and support the production of high-quality journalism. While paywalls can restrict access to news content, they offer a viable business model for publishers and ensure the sustainability of their operations. Google does not penalize news publishers for using paywalls; however, it is crucial to provide Google with the entire content of articles, either in the HTML source or through news article structured data. This allows Google to understand the nature of the content and appropriately rank it.

Strategies for Dealing with Paywall Content

  1. Metered Paywalls: Implementing a metered paywall allows users to access a certain number of articles for free before encountering the paywall. This strategy strikes a balance between revenue generation and providing free access to news content.

  2. Dynamic Paywalls: Dynamic paywalls utilize smart software to determine the optimal timing to present the paywall to users. Engagement metrics and user behavior are analyzed to ensure higher conversion rates while still allowing users access to some content for free.

  3. Training Editorial Staff: News publishers should focus on training their editorial staff to integrate SEO practices into their content creation process. This includes optimizing articles for keywords, structuring the content effectively, and utilizing appropriate metadata.

  4. Leveraging Social Media & News Aggregators: News publishers can use social media platforms and news aggregators to amplify their reach and drive traffic to their website. By creating engaging and shareable content, publishers can increase their visibility and attract a broader audience.

  5. Content Partnerships: Collaborating with other publishers, media outlets, or content creators can help cross-promote and mutually benefit from sharing content. This can lead to increased visibility, traffic, and reader engagement.

  6. Improving Site Performance: News publishers should prioritize website speed and user experience to provide a seamless reading experience for visitors. Faster load times, mobile optimization, and reducing unnecessary scripts and ads can improve site performance and increase user engagement.

  7. Consider Freemium Models: Some publishers adopt a freemium model where they offer a limited amount of free content while reserving premium content for paid subscribers. This strategy can attract and retain a larger audience while generating revenue through subscriptions.

  8. Analytics and User Feedback: Monitoring user behavior, analyzing metrics, and gathering feedback can provide valuable insights into audience preferences and optimize content strategies accordingly.

  9. Syndicated Content and Best Practices

Syndicated content refers to the practice of republishing articles or content from external sources. While syndicated content can provide a quick way to generate a vast amount of content, it has both benefits and challenges for news publishers. Here are some best practices for dealing with syndicated content:

  • Moderation: Use syndicated content in moderation and ensure a balance between syndicated and unique content. Overreliance on syndicated content can impact the credibility and originality of a news publisher.

  • Uniqueness: Whenever feasible, try to create unique articles using the syndicated content as a source or reference. This approach adds value and ensures that a portion of the content is distinct to the publisher.

  • Attribution: Clearly attribute the syndicated content to the original source, giving credit where it is due. This practice ensures transparency and maintains ethical standards in journalism.

  • Quality Control: Review and edit syndicated content to match the publisher's voice and style. Always aim for high-quality content that provides additional insights or perspectives to the readers.

  • Consistency: Maintain consistency in output by ensuring a mix of syndicated and original content. This creates a diverse range of topics and keeps readers engaged.

  • Selective Syndication: Be selective in choosing syndicated content. Focus on high-quality, reputable sources that align with the publisher's editorial standards and audience interests.

  1. The Impact of Website Speed on News Publishers

Website speed is crucial for news publishers to provide a positive user experience and improve search rankings. Slow-loading websites can negatively affect user engagement and increase bounce rates, leading to decreased readership and ad revenue. Here are some reasons why website speed is critical for news publishers:

  • User Experience: A fast-loading website allows readers to access content quickly and effortlessly. Users are more likely to engage with a website that provides a seamless reading experience, increasing the chances of return visits and longer browsing sessions.

  • Search Rankings: Google has indicated that website speed is a ranking factor in its algorithm. Faster-loading sites are more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), leading to increased visibility and organic traffic.

  • Mobile Optimization: As more users access news content on mobile devices, having a mobile-optimized website that loads quickly is essential. Optimizing images, reducing server response time, and implementing responsive design can enhance the mobile user experience.

  • Ad Performance: Slow-loading websites can negatively impact ad performance, leading to lower viewability rates and decreased revenue opportunities. Advertisers prefer to place ads on fast-loading websites that provide optimal visibility and engagement.

  • Core Web Vitals: Core Web Vitals, a set of performance metrics introduced by Google, assess key aspects of website speed and user experience. Publishers should aim to achieve good scores in areas such as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

By prioritizing website speed and optimizing performance, news publishers can enhance user satisfaction, attract more traffic, and improve their overall online presence.

Tips for Getting into Google Discover

Google Discover is a personalized content feed that appears on the Google app, mobile browsers, and the Google homepage. To increase the chances of getting content featured in Google Discover, news publishers can follow these tips:

  1. Consistent Output: Regularly publish high-quality, engaging content to maintain a presence in Google Discover. Strive for a consistent level of output that aligns with your audience's interests.

  2. Topic Relevance: Focus on topics that resonate with your target audience. Research popular topics and trends within your niche and create content that adds value and captures readers' attention.

  3. Article Structured Data: Use article structured data markup to signal to Google that your content is an article. Include key details such as headline, author, date published, and article body to help Google understand and classify your content correctly.

  4. High-Quality Content: Produce well-crafted and original content that provides valuable insights, answers questions, or offers a unique perspective. Focus on creating content that readers find informative, engaging, and share-worthy.

  5. Sensational Headlines: Craft headlines that catch readers' attention and clearly convey the topic of the article. While avoiding clickbait, incorporating a touch of sensationalism can pique curiosity and entice readers.

  6. Subheadings and Entities: Utilize subheadings in your articles to highlight key topics and entities. This helps Google better understand the content and associate it with relevant interests.

  7. Recency and Evergreen Content: While recency is important, don't discount the value of evergreen content. Both recent and evergreen articles have the potential to appear in Google Discover if they match users' search and interest patterns.

  8. User Engagement: Encouraging user engagement through social sharing, comments, and feedback can signal to Google that your content is relevant and valuable. Foster an engaged community around your content to maximize its visibility in Google Discover.

  9. Mobile Optimization: Develop a mobile-friendly website that ensures a seamless browsing experience for mobile users. Optimize site speed, design, and user interface to make it easy for readers to consume your content on mobile devices.

  10. Analytics and Optimization: Monitor metrics such as click-through rates and user behavior to gain insights into what resonates with your audience. Continuously optimize your content strategy based on data-driven decisions to improve performance in Google Discover.

By implementing these tips, news publishers can increase their chances of appearing in Google Discover, driving more traffic and expanding their audience reach.

  1. The Ethics of Selling Pixel Data

The selling of pixel data, also known as retargeting data or behavioral data, raises ethical concerns in the digital advertising space. Pixel data refers to the information collected through tracking pixels, which are small snippets of code embedded on websites to track user behavior and interests. Some news publishers may consider selling pixel data to third-party advertisers or exchanges to generate additional revenue. However, this practice comes with potential risks and ethical considerations:

  • Privacy Concerns: Collecting and selling user data raises privacy concerns, as it involves gathering personal information without explicit user consent. News publishers must prioritize user privacy and ensure compliance with data protection laws in their respective regions.

  • Legal Implications: Selling user data may be subject to various laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. Publishers should be familiar with the legal requirements and obligations associated with collecting and sharing user data.

  • Trust and Transparency: Selling pixel data to third parties can erode user trust and undermine a publisher's credibility. Users may feel that their privacy is compromised or that their personal information is being misused, leading to a negative perception of the publisher.

  • Relevance and User Experience: Retargeting based on pixel data can lead to irrelevant and intrusive advertisements for users. This can have a detrimental effect on the user experience and may result in increased ad-blocking or user dissatisfaction.

  • Brand Reputation: News publishers have a responsibility to maintain their brand reputation and integrity. Selling pixel data has the potential to damage the publisher's reputation if users perceive it as a breach of trust or an invasion of privacy.

Publishers should carefully consider the potential impact on user privacy, user experience, and their brand reputation before engaging in the sale of pixel data. Transparency and clear communication with users about data collection practices can help build trust and mitigate potential ethical concerns.


Q: Can affiliate sites get into Google News? A: While it is not impossible, it has become increasingly challenging for affiliate sites to get into Google News. The algorithmic process for approval has made it more elusive, and strict criteria must be met to be considered for inclusion.

Q: Why is website speed important for news publishers? A: Website speed is crucial for news publishers as it directly impacts user experience, search rankings, ad performance, and core web vitals. Slow-loading websites can lead to higher bounce rates, decreased readership, and lower revenue opportunities.

Q: What are some best practices for dealing with syndicated content? A: When using syndicated content, moderation is key. It is important to maintain a balance between syndicated and unique content, attribute the original source, and add value through unique perspectives or additional information. Consistently delivering high-quality content is crucial for credible journalism.

Q: How can news publishers get into Google Discover? A: To increase the chances of getting content featured in Google Discover, news publishers should focus on consistent output, topic relevance, article structured data, high-quality content, sensational headlines, subheadings and entities, and user engagement. Mobile optimization and analytics-driven optimizations are also important factors.

Q: What are the ethical concerns of selling pixel data? A: The selling of pixel data raises privacy concerns, legal implications, and issues of trust and transparency. It can undermine user trust, compromise privacy, and negatively impact the user experience. News publishers should prioritize user privacy and consider the potential impact on their brand reputation.

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