Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common
For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.
If you’ve ever used Google to search for newsworthy topics, you’ve probably seen Google News results.
And if you have ever been quoted on a news site that appears prominently in news results and links to your site (aside from using press release spam), you’ve probably seen the significant impact that Google News can have in terms of sending people to your site. But how do you get into Google News?
Here are a couple of ideas.
About Google News
Before we get into how to appear in news results, it’s worth taking a couple moments to understand some basics about how Google News works:
Google News is a computer-generated news site that aggregates headlines from news sources worldwide, groups similar stories together and displays them according to each reader’s personalized interests.
Traditionally, news readers first pick a publication and then look for headlines that interest them. We do things a little differently, with the goal of offering our readers more personalized options and a wider variety of perspectives from which to choose. On Google News we offer links to several articles on every story, so you can first decide what subject interests you and then select which publishers’ accounts of each story you’d like to read. Click on the headline that interests you and you’ll go directly to the site which published that story.
Our articles are selected and ranked by computers that evaluate, among other things, how often and on what sites a story appears online. We also rank based on certain characteristics of news content such as freshness, location, relevance and diversity. As a result, stories are sorted without regard to political viewpoint or ideology and you can choose from a wide variety of perspectives on any given story. We’ll continue to improve Google News by adding sources, fine-tuning our technology and providing Google News to readers in even more regions.
It’s also worth noting that at least four of Google’s most recent search quality updates directly relate to Google News:
- Better scoring of news groupings.
- UI refresh for News Universal.
- Better local results and sources in Google News.
- Deprecating signal related to ranking in a news cluster.
To me, the key takeaways are that Google is continuing to move in a direction of providing fresh and user-relevant (based upon both query and location) news content. Keep this in mind as you pursue opportunities for getting into news results.
Get Interviewed By A News Site
One of the most effective ways to get into news results is to be interviewed or referenced by a journalist or reporter. Obviously, getting interviewed requires recognition for expertise on a particular subject (or at least perceived expertise).
This is where engaging in online conversations can be very helpful. Spending time listening, identifying credible sources of information and thoughtfully participating in conversations in which you can add something to the discussion, is one way to attract attention and recognition.
My recommendation is to identify local journalists and reporters that cover issues related to your practice. Find these people online and on social networks. Read them. Listen to them. Follow them. Subscribe to them. When appropriate, add thoughtful comments to their articles and posts. Engage them in discussions on sites like Twitter. Even reach out to them via email.
Getting attention and recognition from your local news community is one of the first steps toward getting interviewed, which is one way to appear in search engine news results.
Publish On News Sites
If you already have some recognition and have established relationships with your local news community, perhaps you can become a contributor to a news site that already appears in Google News results.
You might consider reaching out to your news media friends about contributing on a periodic or regular basis. Obviously, if your goal is getting included in news results, you should pursue publishing opportunities on news sites that are already regularly included in news results.
Of course, you can also pay to be included in news results by using online press release distribution. However, if you go this route, I suggest that you have something newsworthy to share.
Get Your Site Added To Google News
Perhaps the most challenging, yet most effective ways to get into Google News results is to build a recognized news site. If you decide to go this route, you will want to follow Google’s News Quality Guidelines and Technical Requirements very closely. Pay particular attention to:
- “We generally do not include how-to articles, advice columns, job postings, or strictly informational content such as weather forecasts and stock data.”
- “We don’t want to send users to sites created primarily for promoting a product or organization.”
- “Write what you know! The best news sites exhibit clear authority and expertise.”
Once you feel fairly confident that you’ve built an established, authoritative news site that follows Google’s quality and technical guidelines, you should submit it for inclusion to Google News.