Andrew Shotland of Local SEO Guide has come up with a full fledged web site, wherein he has tried to document the top 10 positive as well as negative factors as far as Google News ranking is concerned.
According to him, the top 10 positive ranking factors are:
- Category Authority
- Keywords in Headline and Page Titles
- Domain Authority
- Social Sharing of Article
- First to Publish
- Citation Rank
- Unique Articles
- High CTR from Google News
- High Quality Content
- Use of Google News XML Sitemaps.
And the top 10 negative Google News ranking factors according to him are:
- Duplicate Content
- Vague Abstract Headlines
- No Google News Sitemap
- Poor Quality Content
- Blocking Googlebot/Newsbot
- Slow Site and/or lots of 500 errors
- Poor CitationRank
- Low "PageRank" Domain
- New Site
- All Syndicated Content with the Same Title as the Source Site .
Andrew Shotland (he was helped by Tim Ruder and Neil Pharazyn) came up with this ranking after holding discussions with SEOs associated with some top news sites of the world, such as CNN, ESPN, ABC News and NY Times.
The rankings made by Shotland and his team are very significant and generate scope for discussion, as the secret to favourable Google News ranking has always remained elusive.
The best way to utilize the finding is to emphasize on the following factors -
Using of appropriate keywords in the headline, page titles, leads and meta descriptions: Do research to identify key terms that are relevant to the content. Make sure about it that at least a targeted keyword is used in the title. Try to keep your headline brief and precise, so that the weight of the keywords does not get diluted. Also use appropriate synonyms for your keywords, with focus on this issue that every synonym appears to be natural and not forcibly inserted into the content.
Optimization of your core domain: Follow standard SEO tactics to ensure that the main domain enjoys adequate inbound links. Develop an optimized link architecture, and upgrade the social feedback on your core domain.
Optimization of the content for social: Ensure that the content enjoys a smooth social sharing mechanism, such as a conspicuous presence of sharing buttons.
Quick beginning of the main story: Quick beginning of the main story helps you to improve your long term position, and also helps your content have a brief window without hassles.
Citations: Focus on publicizing your content in channels which can result in citations. Approach groups that are using your content (or parts of your content) without citation. What is more crucial is to develop content that worths citing.
Development of unique as well as quality content: Try to develop a unique content. Try to maintain a freshness and originality, with least possible dependence on quoted materials. And yes, just being unique will not do. Your content should also enjoy a basic quality, so that Google News editorial evaluators identify it as a one which worths prominence.
Optimization of headline and leads: Focus on creating relevant and attractive headlines, catchy leads, and captivating content. This is helpful as Google follows the tracked CTR from not only Google News but also networked outlets, thereby determining the user value of the content. In addition to that, bouncing back to Google News page is also supposed to determine the success rate.
Following of standard optimization practices: make sure about it that your content enjoys favourable standard optimization practices, such as page load time, image optimization, ad-to-content ratio, and content length.
Using of the Google News Sitemap: The sitemap format helps publishers in the specification of additional details (such as publication name, geo-location and genre), while also providing valuable meta data that ensures that the News results entry is more attractive to others. Ultimately it increases the indexing speed of the content.