Do you run a WordPress blog and want to skyrocket your daily readership? You’ve probably jumped through plenty of hoops thus far just to get where you are: social media strategizing, bookmarking, and getting mentioned in blog directories are likely just a few of the methods you’ve used to make your blog a success. But what if there were another way to get your blog ranking higher in Google’s search results?
Luckily for you, there is a surefire way to get your blog the readership following you’re after – Google News. Getting your blog featured in Google News is one of the most effective ways to ensure that it gets seen by an interested readership. However, getting included in Google News isn’t exactly an overnight process.
So, what steps do you need to follow to get your blog listed in Google News and start generating the popularity you’re after? That’s what this article aims to cover. Let’s review how you can get your blog ranking well in Google’s search results to expand your readership and build the credible backlinks you need to get your blog featured in Google News.
What is Google News?
At its core, Google News is Google’s platform to promote stories that it deems newsworthy and relevant to current events. It’s a syndication platform that collects and categorizes news stories that are likely to be interesting to a wide audience of readers. And considering Google’s massive popularity as not just a search engine but as a company as well, Google News is also an excellent way for up-and-coming websites to drive plenty of new readers to their blogs.
Despite the benefits your site and its blog can enjoy if you do get featured in Google News, submitting your site and getting your stories featured in Google News is a different story. Let’s briefly cover how to go about submitting your site to get it indexed as a news publication site by Google and ultimately featured in Google News.
How to Submit Your Site
Think you’ve got what it takes to get your stories featured on Google News? Great! You’ll want to use Google’s Publisher Center when you’re ready and fill out the required information (a description of your site, your site’s URL, your site’s topical category, etc.).
Once you’ve filled out the required info, you can simply click the “verify in Search Console” button in the Publisher Center. Now all that’s left is to wait anywhere between two to four weeks, which is the approximate time it takes for Google to complete its review process.
Keep in mind that while you don’t technically need to submit your site to Google News in order to be indexed and categorized as a news publication, it’s highly recommended that you do so: Google uses BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations) models, which is a natural language processing model, to more efficiently determine whether sites submitted to Google News are appropriate for its feature page.
Start with Your Content’s Quality
Ready to begin your ascent to Google News’ list of top stories? Then you need to start with your blog’s written content. Of course, your content must be well-written and free of errors – that much should go without saying. Besides that, though, you’ll also need to publish content that’s written with a “newsy” voice rather than with the voice of a typical blogger. A more newsworthy written voice lends to the legitimacy of your blog and can go a long way toward making it seem more professional to your readers and, of course, to Google.
We know what you may be thinking at this point: “I don’t want to turn my whole blog into an e-newspaper!” Don’t worry – you can still preserve other parts of your blog for op-ed pieces and other content that’s relevant to your readership. Just make sure that you point to a crawler and a specific part of your blog that you intend to use for your tried-and-true publication topics.
As you focus on generating a higher rate of high-quality content, remember that as your readership grows, their interest in your business and its key mission objectives will also grow. Think of certain articles you publish as snippets of your business plan; in other words, do your best to regularly publish content that includes information about the products and services you offer as well as the objectives your business hopes to achieve in the near- and long-term.
Keep in mind that the purpose of your content should be telling a story. After all, people reading posts on Google News are looking for compelling stories that capture their attention from the get-go. Consider the content that you as the author enjoy reading in your free time and the approaches to storytelling that that content offers. Define a core message behind your soon-to-be-published stories and blend that with elements of storytelling that resonate with you the most.
If you maintain any social media presence, it’s worth analyzing the discussions that your followers have amongst themselves for inspiration when it comes to future posts. Your followers are likely posting on your social accounts that relate to their topics of interest. It can really help your blog if you regularly publish quality content that touches on the main interests of your social followers. Plus, posting content regularly that aligns with your followers’ favorite topics can incentivize them to share your blog with like-minded friends and colleagues, bringing new readers to your blog as well.
Generate Content with Multiple Authors
While we’re on the topic of high-quality content, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t skyrocket to the front page of Google News as a sole author. You need a team of contributing writers to generate the volume of content necessary to secure a spot in Google News’ list of top stories.
Google won’t accept just any blog when it comes to getting published on Google News. Ideally, your blog should give the impression that it’s being handled by an organization of multiple talented individuals and not by a single, overworked author.
Once your team of contributing writers has been onboarded and begins generating new content, you’ll want to let Google know that your blog is not handled by just you. Luckily, there’s an easy way to do that – by creating author bios. Ideally, you’ll want to put these bios on an ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact’ page. Try to generate at least three author bios that you can publish on your site, even if your blog may potentially feature a greater number of contributing authors in the future.
If you’re still in the process of finding new writers to help out with your blog, consider having guest authors contribute posts in the meantime to strengthen your website’s authoritativeness in Google’s eyes. And be sure to checkout these plugins for multi-author blogs.
Create a Google Crawler-Friendly Blog
Finally, you need to make sure that your blog is Google crawler-friendly before you can even hope to start getting featured in Google News. For Google to understand your site, it needs to crawl and index your content. Google is also crawling for specific user reviews of your website that mention the kind of products and services your business offers.
On the more technical side of things, you need to ensure that your blog’s URL address has no odd characters in it. It also needs to contain the title of the blog you’re trying to publish so that Google can clearly understand what content your readers will be viewing. Here’s our guide on slug SEO to help.
As you make your blog more friendly to Google’s crawler, don’t forget to include a Google News sitemap somewhere on your website (you can learn more about WordPress sitemaps in this post). And consider picking a well coded WordPress theme that puts your content at the top of the page. Placing your content close to the top while keeping your sidebars and footers close to the edges of your page helps Google’s crawlers more quickly index your content and subsequently can increase your chances of ranking higher in Google’s search results.
Getting your blog featured in Google News is no small feat, but with a little bit of effort, you can position your blog where it needs to be to catch the attention of more readers and eventually get noticed by Google. If you’re interested in getting featured in Google News, it’s important to publish very high-quality content. Craft content that you want to get featured with a newsy voice and structure your story so that it takes your readers through a compelling, structured narrative.
Remember that you’ll need more than one author to generate the volume of content necessary for your blog to get picked up by Google News. Solicit the help of multiple contributing writers who know how to navigate the WordPress blogging and create author bios for all of them on your website. It’s also a good idea to make your blog friendly to Google’s crawler so that the search engine can recognize that your content is what readers are looking for.