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6 Additional Steps to Get the Most out of Google News

If you’ve come this far, it means you really want to increase your chances of getting yourself some sweet Google News traffic.

Let’s explore a few aspects you should take care of to capitalize on your recent Google News submission. They’re the right balance between Google News-specific tips and more generic ones Google will love:

1. Create a Google News Sitemap

You don’t have to have a sitemap for Google News (and Google in general) but your chances of getting your content crawled faster and better are much higher when you provide one.

Why? A sitemap makes it easy for search engines to crawl and index your content. Unfortunately, Google News sitemaps are not the same as “standard” Google Search sitemaps so you’d need to create a new one if you want to submit your site to Google News.

How to Create Google News Sitemaps

To be 100% sure and have full control over the content you submit to Google News, you’d need to implement a Google News sitemap. To do so, you could use the free WordPress plugin XML Sitemap & Google News or opt for a premium solution like News SEO by Yoast ($69).

How to Create a Google News Sitemap Using the XML Sitemap & Google News Plugin

XML Sitemap & Google News is a free WordPress plugin that will create an XML sitemap and send your updates to Google News. It works great and it’s extremely simple.

Once you’ve installed it, you have to enable the Google News Sitemap feature in your settings:

Enabling the Google News sitemap

Once saved, you’ll be able to access your Google News Sitemap feed at https://yoursite.com/sitemap-news.xml. It’ll look something like this:

Google News Sitemap Feed example

If you’re already using Yoast SEO plugin, you might get an alert about using both like this one:

XML Sitemap & Google News conflicting with Yoast plugin

If that’s your case, simply disable the option “XML Sitemap Index” now available in your Reading > Settings page because of the recently installed XML Sitemap & Google News plugin. This way you can keep using both of them without any issues on your XML sitemaps.

All in all, the XML Sitemap & Google News WordPress plugin is pretty straightforward to set up, plus it even works with WordPress multisite.

2. Follow Google News Guidelines

Your website is competing with lots of other sites also trying to get exposure on Google. Every day, millions of posts are being published on WordPress alone.

Seriously, check out this live look at the WordPress activity:

wordpress usage map

With so much content being produced, Google doesn’t have time to deal with pages that don’t meet all their requirements.

Avoid your site being rejected from Google News because you didn’t follow the rules and make sure each page of your site conforms to the guidelines set by Google News.

google news content policies

3. Always Format Your Content

Google News can read all the text on your pages. But if your site has lots of multimedia (like images and video) it could use some help.

That’s why you should make sure your most newsworthy content is properly formatted. For example, this article was recommended to me on Google News:

article example google news

An article recommenced to me on Google News (obviously it’s about WordPress).

If you click through to it, you’ll see it is nicely structured with numbered subheadings and minimal images:

formatted page example

If you really want to include multimedia content, use title and header tags to give an idea of what the content is about. And ideally, write a description of what your article is about so Google can understand it (and offer it up to searchers).

4. Submit YouTube Video Content to Google News

Videos are everywhere and they couldn’t be left out from Google News. In fact, if your business relies on videos,  you should take advantage of them. To submit your video content to Google News, you’ll need to log in to Publisher Center, click on Content tab from the top menu bar.

From there, you’ll need to add a New Section:

Adding videos to Google News

This will open up a new window where you’ll be able to add links from your YouTube playlist or channel.

This is not the only option available to add videos as you can also embed YouTube videos in your articles, in your feed via an <iframe> or a media <RSS> tags.

5. Create Friendly and Readable URLs

You’ll need to pay attention to your URL structure. When trying to understand quality and relevance, Google looks at the whole page for clues, including the URL. In fact, URLs are one of the first places it looks. So if your site’s URLs are made up of random characters, Google won’t be able to understand them and neither will your audience.

Make sure your URLs are SEO-friendly and unique. Creating unique URLs for each page is essential so Google — and other search engines — can understand their content. It’s SEO 101. Take your time when choosing URLs. Once you create a URL, changing it later could cause problems.