Amidst updates that offer users social data for News results, Google seems to be implementing stricter standards for Google News inclusion. Officials have confirmed to Search Engine Land that they have removed several sites that weren't upholding quality standards, and content marketers should be aware that the company is also reviewing its inclusion policies.
Following the criticism of Google's search results in a well-circulated New York Times article last week, Brafton reported that Google offered a speedy solution via an update to its algorithm. Now, the company is wasting no time in ensuring the quality of News result pages – traditionally less crowded spaces for content marketers to bring traffic to their sites.
Because Google News indexes fewer pages, it offers brands that provide quality content better chances of coming out on top for key search phrase. Emphasis on quality content.
A spokesperson told Search Engine Land that the company dropped sites that failed to maintain "quality guidelines" from Google News. The guidelines seem to refer to the company's general Webmaster guidelines (this is the link that the Google News team reportedly sent to dropped sites). But there may be Google News-specific quality guidelines soon to come.
"The web publishing landscape has changed a lot since Google News was created eight years ago, and we're going to keep evolving for the benefit of our users and the publishers they read," insiders told the source.
Marketers are well-advised to look out for Google News quality guidelines and consider news content marketing as a means of establishing brands as thought leaders in their industries. Content that appears in Google News results stands to direct an increasing amount of traffic to sites.
The Pew Research Center for People and the Press reports that about half of the American public turns to digital sources multiple times a week to catch up with the latest news, and Google is one of the top three sites for news finding – outranking traditional news sites such as the New York Times.