Study from Blekko shows publishers neglect to use Google's news keyword meta tag feature.

As content creation becomes a widely used practice among businesses across all industries, the value of ranking highly in Google News searches also increases. Most Americans familiarize themselves with news headlines by searching the web, especially with credible print publications switching over to digital release. Therefore, Google News will continue to play an important role in how people learn about current events, entertainment and product or service releases. For brands that want to harness the power of Google’s content curation abilities, the search engine’s news keyword meta tag function helps brands get noticed on the web.

What does the news meta tag help sites accomplish?

Since it can be awkward to always include relevant keywords in headlines, the news keyword meta tag function ensures the most important phrases remain linked to the actual article. This means, marketers don’t always need to fit essential core terms in headlines, especially if the post would be stronger without them. Secondly, many writers prefer to craft witty and catchy headlines – attention grabbing content that doesn’t always factor SEO into the equation – so meta tags give writers another opportunity to build valuable SEO content without sacrificing creativity.

Adoption – did anyone care?

news meta tag reportWith 2013 around the corner, Blekko, a small search engine, wanted to discover how many publishers have included the news keyword meta tag – designed to help content marketing professionals distribute media – into their overall marketing plans. According to Blekko’s recent study, only 5 percent of news sources within Google News use the tag.

Of course, Blekko’s data does come with some inconsistencies or oversights. For example, Blekko covers approximately 4 billion pages on the internet, while Google reaches well into the 10s of billions. Therefore, Blekko might miss a few publishers here and there, and the source’s data could be inaccurate. Additionally, Blekko included sites like, and as using the news meta tag, but those sites didn’t, because they’re just link shortening services.

Why brands should use the tag

Despite Blekko’s report showing many publishers neglect the meta tag feature, brands creating custom content for Google News should adopt the function. The meta tag option helps articles appear higher in Google News results, especially if articles feature authoritative and quality writing. Companies that want to throw their hats into the news commentary ring must use the feature in 2013, as it greatly helps improve PageRank and drives new traffic to sites.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.