1 – Your CMS
Get a great Content Management Service (CMS) like “WordPress.” It’s free, it is popular and it allows news suppliers to edit, time-stamp and add new content with minimal effort. For those who do not get on with it, services like Joomia, Drupal or Movable Type are good alternatives.
2 – Hosting: Make sure it’s bulletproof
Don’t be tempted by cheap web hosting services. The last thing a fledgling news supplier needs is a host that capsizes when a few thousand clickers converge on a new story. WordPress lists several highly reputable hosts.
3 – Make sure the site URL structure is sound
For details, check our feature article, “What to do before you set up a news feed.” In short, don’t post new content onto a generic news page with the same URL. Every story must have its own unique URL, with a unique three-digit unique identifier number.
4 – Get killer content for the news stories
For news story success there are journalistic rules to follow that go beyond the essentials of flawless spelling and grammar. At Purecontent, we have a team of professional news writers who do this every day and can generate first-rate content for news suppliers.
5 – Make the post Google-friendly
Don’t be shy about projecting a multi-author face to Google, even if there is just one real scribe tapping out the content (or a company like Purecontent). Google likes multiple authors, so give them five. Just give each post a different author name. Use at least three keyword tags for any news article, and adopt the habit of date stamping (a good CMS like WordPress will automatically post pre-written new content at the prescribed time every day).
6 – Ignore that earthquake! Post!
To get recognized by Google News, posting every day, without fail, is essential. We suggest at least two articles daily.
7 – Build up that back-catalogue
Google will require a back-catalogue of daily news items stretching over at least two (preferably three) months. If you do not have this you will need to start posting articles yourself, or alternatively get Purecontent’s professional writers to do it for you.
8 – Submit the site URL to Google news
On the Google “Contacting support” page http://www.google.com/support/news/bin/static.py?page=contact_policy.cs, select the “Suggest news content for Google News” link beneath the “Email us” title, then fill in the top level domain only in the next page to input the news site URL. After that, simply fill in the rest of the form, including the news feed URLs. Supply several author names, even if there is in reality only one.
9 – Chill-out and wait
After submission, Google sends an email, inviting the prospective news supplier to confirm that the site meets Google’s requirements. After that, it is just a question of waiting – Google takes around a month to come back with an acceptance or a rejection.
Don’t entertain illusions
Be aware that it is now much harder to get included in Google News than it once was. In 2009 Google began re-classifying some news sources as blogs if they had RSS feeds, and gave surfers the option of filtering them out from news searches. Not only that, but in 2010 it began dropping websites if it suspected them of spamming or found that they contained poor quality content.
At Purecontent we have the know-how and the experience to get news suppliers, large or small, recognized by Google News.