Google recently announced the availability of the Standout HTML tag, which allow publishers to praise their own content and that of other news organizations.

On Saturday, Google announced the addition of the Standout tag to Google News, which will help the website drive users to the best news content on the web. The company made the announcement at the Online News Association conference in Boston.

In its Google News Blog, the company said that publishers should add the tag to the HTML code of any of their news content they consider to be especially strong, limiting use to seven times per week. Publishers should also use the tag to mark other online news sites they reference when the source provides original, valuable reporting. Google says adding the Standout tag to other publishers’ content cited within a news article will be deemed a best practice that builds trust – and trust is key as marketers work to promote their own news stories with the feature.

Additionally, excessive use of the tag by a website on its own content could result in the company being penalized by Google News.

Adding this feature is part of Google’s effort to ensure News results are credible and relevant, and the company said in its blog that is has experimented with similar techniques in the past.

Brafton reported last week that for sites looking to rank well in Google News, the focus on quality content should be even greater than it is to rank well on normal Google SERPs. According to a survey of top web publishers including Conde Nast, niche thought leadership and a strong social media presence are among the most important factors for strong Google News ranking.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.