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News Search Optimization – How to Rank in Google News

“News Search Optimization” session at SES San Francisco 2010

Speakers:

Eleanor Hong, Lead Editor, SEO, ABCNews.com

Allison Fabella, SEO & Social Media Manager, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Brent Payne, SEO Director, Tribune

Topher Kohan, SEO Manager, CNN

Here are a few top take-aways from the “News Search Optimization” session at SES San Francisco this year, which was geared towards how to use press release / article content to rank in the search engines “news” results:

  • Always optimize your news articles for SEO categorization – when search engines are indexing your content, they are reading your keywords as an indication of how to categorize and rank the story.
  • Put the geo-location of the story in the URL – if the story is about an Atlanta hotel vacation package, make sure the word “Atlanta” is in the URL.
  • Always include a sitemap with your website/blog to optimize search engine indexing. Here are a few important rules when it comes to optimizing sitemaps for news articles:
    • The URLs included in the sitemap should only include articles from last 48 hours
    • All articles should be optimized with the publication date – search engines need to know when each piece of content was written
    • Unlike website optimization, the sitemap Generator can not be used for news sites
    • Specify the articles that are with/without Webmaster registration
  • Check the Google Webmaster Forum often – check for errors and sitemap submission status – you can also ask questions and get decent answers in a timely basis from the Google Webmasters team.
  • When creating news articles, remember that images make a significant impact on your SEO ranking – include them when possible, and make sure they have relevant, good alt tags.

In conclusion, your content needs to be well crafted and relevant to the users, your geo-location should be included in your page names, and you should have a well constructed Google Webmasters feed with your optimized sitemap.

Contributed by:
Natalie Evans, Director of Client Services, Milestone Internet Marketing, Inc.

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