On its Google News blog, Google announced the rollout of a metatag aimed at helping its search crawler detect news stories. The “new_keywords” tag helps Googlebot identify which web content belongs in Google News. While the site is typically successful at distinguishing news from other content, the inclusion of the tag can help those using news content marketing ensure their articles reach News readers in the less cluttered search space.
Rudy Galfi, product manager for Google News, wrote on the company’s blog that it can be difficult for Googlebot to determine whether content is news based on its headlines and URLs. Even though Googlebot has become more refined in recent years, it still can’t determine the relevance of figurative language in certain cases.
The news_keywords metatag is intended as a tool, but high-quality reporting and interesting news content remain the strongest ways to put your newsroom’s work in front of Google News users.
Adding the metatag helps those using news content marketing direct Googlebot to news pages so they’re indexed and appear in search results appropriately. Even with this feature available, Galfi reiterated Google’s insistence that companies develop high-quality content to rank well in search. The metatag is a tool that augments companies’ SEO efforts, but it will not make poorly written content stand out.
“The news_keywords metatag is intended as a tool,” Galfi wrote, “but high-quality reporting and interesting news content remain the strongest ways to put your newsroom’s work in front of Google News users.”
For marketers, standing out in Google search can help increase website traffic and drive authority. Brafton recently highlighted data from comScore and Compete that found Google’s search market share exceeds 65 percent.