How to Use Technical SEO to Optimize for Google News


Are you trying to get your website into Google News? Then you need to start focusing on technical SEO. Technical SEO is becoming an increasingly important part of SEO overall and plays a crucial role in helping websites earn their spot in this highly sought-after news source. In this post, we'll outline the basics of technical SEO as well as look at specific areas where it can help optimize for Google News inclusion. Read on to find out how you can use technical SEO to get your site into the coveted Google News feed!

How Google Indexes News Articles?

Before we move ahead, we recommend you understand the indexing system of Google a bit further.

SEO has four phases: Crawling, Rendering, Indexing, and Ranking. To understand technical SEO, you need to understand Rendering.

Note

Rendering is a process where Googlebot retrieves your pages, executes codes (HTML, CSS, JS, etc.), and translates the information into a visual representation. This is done to understand the layout and structure of your site.

Search engines like Google do that using a 'headless browser.' It is a browser that doesn't have a visual user interface. It is run by a command-line interface or with an automated script.

We all know that Google has admitted to using at least two indexing stages.

In the first stage, it parses the raw HTML page. The page is loaded in a headless Chrome browser in the second stage. Then the client-side code is executed.

Google doesn't instantly render to index a page. Googlebot first puts all pages in line. A page may stay on the line for a few seconds. However, it may last longer in some cases.

Once Googlebot is ready to render a page, the headless chromium renders the page, followed by executing the JavaScript. 

Yes, to index a page, Google also considers the rendered HTML code of the page. However, this has created a big misunderstanding among SEO experts.

Many developers and SEO experts assume optimizing the client-side JavaScript is perfect for SEO. Unfortunately, it is not the whole story.

Google has admitted that it prefers to use server-side Rendering. Using client-side JS to load pages might not be a good idea.

In a newsletter, Google explicitly mentioned that the article's page should be HTML. However, the body text should be embedded in JavaScript.

Google has a perfect reason for that. The fact is Google aims to render all the pages it puts on the queue for indexing. However, the rendering phase is unpredictable. As mentioned above, the Rendering takes seconds, while in some cases, it could take hours.

On top of that, Google cannot guarantee whether its resources will allow it to articles on news websites within a short span. Indexing delays are bound to happen if it has to wait for Rendering. As an owner of a news website, it is not suitable for business.

So when indexing news articles, google doesn't follow the rendering phase. It directly indexes the raw HTML and extracts the headlines and contents of the article. It doesn't execute the client-side JavaScript.

In most cases, sites have the chance to get a story on the "top stories" of Google within 48 hours. After that, the chance reduces drastically. You should know that Google prefers the "first come, first serve" method. This means if you break out a story first, google will show your articles. It applies to pages about breaking stores and the latest developments of an incident.

Technical Requirements To Include Your Story In Google News

  • Google index articles with AMP HTML format.

  • The website must be SEO-friendly and have no technical flaws that hamper Googlebot from indexing it.

  • The website must have a special Google News Sitemap that automatically updates.

  • You should use easily-readable headlines and date of publication.

  • The URL of each page should be unique and permanently valid.

  • The page shouldn't have a 301 redirect.

  • Check the language of the news and translate whenever necessary.

  • You should use a unique application for each language version of the page.

  • You must encode the page with UTF-8.

  • The HTML source code should be structured simply. For example- headline>image>date>body text.

  • Avoid using large advertisements between the headline and the body text. 

  • Avoid using too many social media plugins.

  • Keep the page load speed under 200ms.

  • Use real HTML links in the article. Google doesn't crawl in JavaScript, graphical links, or links in frames.

  • Make sure you check your robots.txt and ensure it doesn't prohibit GoogleBot and Googlebot-News from crawling and indexing the page.

  • Optimise title and H1 heading

  • Avoid adding a comment section, as it can disrupt the relevance of the news article. Alternatively, you can move the comment to a separate subpage or reload them using AJAX or iFrame.

Content Requirement To Include News Article In Google News

  • Include contact information on the page whenever required.

  • Mention the name of editors and authors on the editorial page.

  • The page must be managed by an organization with several editors and writers.

  • Google avoids using forums and simple blog posts in Google News. A press character with editorial content is required.

  • The page should not be filled with advertisements.

  • The contents of the page should be written for your own website. 

  • Don't publish content irrelevant to the topic.

  • Publish new content regularly.

  • Your site must have a high number of content before registering with Google News.

  • Try to promote other activities as well. Don't be so focused on promoting only yourself.

Conclusion

It can be a great challenge to optimize for Google News, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible feat. Utilizing sound technical SEO practices can help you get your content in front of the eyes of a wider audience and potentially provide more exposure. Furthermore, by keeping track of best practices like utilizing sitemaps, validating your RSS feed, and optimizing your content taxonomy, you have already taken several steps towards improving your visibility on Google News.

Additionally, make sure to keep up with the latest tools available for tracking engagement metrics and keyword research that will allow you to stay compliant with their quality standards. All in all, if you take the time to implement high-quality technical SEO into your online traffic optimization strategy on Google News, you will be rewarded with higher visibility and newfound success.

Updated on: 14-Apr-2023

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