Getting your website listed in Google News can have a huge impact on your traffic and business, so if you want to learn what it takes to submit your site and get it approved, keep reading.
But first… a short story (promise it won’t be long 👐)
You might not know this about my internet marketing past, but in 2010, exactly on my birthday when I turned 18 years, (yeah…sounds made up), I got one of my websites approved into Google News.
I was doing a lot of affiliate marketing back then, creating one website after another, and one day I stumbled on a WSO (warrior forum special offer).
The WSO that caught my eye was the no. 1 product of that month, which promised to teach people how to submit a website and get it listed into Google News to receive a ton of traffic with the push of a button.
I know, it sounds cheesy… push a button and get ton of traffic…yeah right.
But it was EXACTLY just that.
I’ve put in the work and created about 150-200 news articles over the course of a few months, and submitted my site to Google News, 3 months later, exactly on my birthday (I sh*t you not lol)., I got a mail saying that the website got approved into Google News
Too bad I don’t have any screenshots of that anymore, it’s been 11+ years after all.
Back to the traffic part:
Every time I would click publish on a new post, 10-30 minutes later I would have my article sitting at the top of the search engine results.
Finally a WSO that actually delivered on its promise.
That was something insane, considering that you would have to wait at least a couple of months for regular SEO to take effect to see some results.
Long story short, every time I would write a new article, thousands of people would come to my website in an instant (not actually an instant but you know, a couple of minutes to a few hours, depending on the niche and competition between the big authority news sites)
I was stupid with the way I monetized the website, so unsatisfied with the financial results, I sold it after a few months.
Did it earn me money? Heck yea.
About $50-$100 per day from AdSense, but after spending half or more on content creation (outsourcing to other writers), I wouldn’t be left with too much of a profit.
Nowadays though I realize that it was a stupid thing to do, and of course I would handle things a bit differently, but oh well… you live and learn.
Story time over…
Back to the main point now, you’re here because you want to learn how to get your website approved in Google News.
What is Google News?
Many many years ago, Google has decided to disrupt the News industry a “bit” by releasing their Google News platform.
The news platform is aimed at both publishers and readers, with the goal of providing readers with quick and easy access to breaking news, or news from their favorite industries such as finance news, medical news, sports news, etc.
Google News publishers are usually your big news companies such as The New York Times, Forbes, CNN, etc.
But, sometimes you could also see some niche websites that found their way inside the coveted Google News Platform.
You see, back in the day, the only way to get your website listed on Google News was by having a website that was strictly about news or press releases. That was it, you couldn’t get in with content like:
- “How to” articles
- Tutorials and guides of any kind
- Product reviews
Nowadays though, things are a little bit different, and we constantly get to see content that’s not news ranking in the Google News search results.
Personally, I’m not a fan of this new policy where content other than news is allowed, because there are a lot of publishers abusing it.
There are a ton of product reviews, affiliate links, promotions of all kinds, and in general, it’s not a great experience anymore that’s just for news.
Not to mention that if you go to Fiverr and search for “Google News”, you will get a bunch of people that are selling links and ads on Google News-approved websites.
This sort of stuff kinda hurts the whole Google news experience in my opinion, but I digress.
I don’t know what made Google decide to implement other types of content on their Google News search page, but hey, I guess they know better 🤷♂️.
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How the Google News index works
I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now, but just in case, here’s a short description of how the Google News platform operates.
Publishers (e.g news websites), publish new content, and within minutes, the article can appear in the Google News search results.
Now, not everyone will get to see your article though, this is because Google has implemented certain filters in their algorithm, to try and better serve the right kind of news to the right user.
So for example things like location, website authority, topic, interest, the freshness of the news article, will affect who gets to see the news content.
If multiple news websites report on the same issue, then Google’s algorithm will probably feature to show only those that are coming from high authority websites.
As a reader, you can however choose what news to see, in your Google News app on your phone or on the Google News website.
You can control your news feed by adding websites that you would like to read content from, making it easier to filter out other websites from your feed.
How much traffic you can get from Google News
Honestly, it depends, I can’t give you an exact number, but I was getting about 3,000 – 5,000 visits per day.
Sure it’s not a lot, especially for a news website, but you have to remember it depends on the news category, authority, and how much you publish daily.
I was lazy… only posting 3-5 or so news articles a day.
Big news sites can get thousands or hundreds of thousands of visitors a day alone from Google News.
If you post a ton of fresh news content every day, then expect to get a lot of traffic to your website.
Basically… it’s a numbers game, the more you write, the more chances your website gets to be featured in Google News, and the more traffic you can get to your site.
Content creation doesn’t have to be hard, I’ve recently written a post on how to write blog posts faster, so go check that one out if you’re interested.
Also, these days there are a lot of platforms and websites where you could get articles written for your website at affordable prices.
Alright, alright…I hear you… “Stephen, enough with the boring stuff”, let’s see how to submit a site to Google News and get it approved (hopefully).
How to Get Your Website Added to Google News
Before you go ahead and try and list your website into Google News, you need to make sure that your website absolutely follows ALL of Google’s guidelines.
This is some pretty important and powerful sh*t, you’re going to be competing with the big boys like NY Times, CNN, BBC, Mashable, TechCrunch, etc.
Your site won’t stand a chance if it’s not high quality and is not following the rules properly.
Take your time to read over all of Google’s Guidelines. There are technical guidelines, webmaster guidelines, quality content guidelines, and a bunch more.
They are honestly too many to list here, but I’m going to go over a few that are very important to keep in mind.
You want to make sure that your news website follows all the latest technical guidelines that are specified for the Publisher center.
Here are some of them:
- Unique URLs – Each news article must have a unique URL, you can achieve this by appending numbers to your slug.
- Permanent URLs – It goes without saying that you shouldn’t change the URLs of your news articles.
- Permanent Sections – The same thing as with the URLs these are basically your news category pages, don’t change this structure often.
- Website can be crawled – Obviously, you should not block Google from crawling your pages, so check your robots.txt to make sure.
It goes without saying that your news site should also follow all of Google’s Quality Guidelines if you want to stand a fair chance of your website appearing in Google News.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to make money with Google AdSense or try your hand at doing affiliate marketing with Google Ads, if you’re using or relying on a Google product or service you need to make sure that you’re doing your best to follow their rules and guidelines.
Here are some important ones to keep in mind:
- Unique content – ALWAYS publish unique content only, don’t copy-paste stuff from other websites, that’s not how it’s done.
- Responsive design – Try to have your website in a responsive format so that it can be seen correctly on every device.
- Fast loading pages – Your website and news pages should load fast.
- Articles should be timely – Since we’re talking about news here, make sure that each news article you write is done at the right time right when it happens.
- Write News Related Articles – Obviously, you can have tutorials, guides and reviews on your site, but you should only submit your News category, where all you publish is just news articles.
Honestly, there’s a ton more, but for the sake of keeping this article shorter, it’s best that you go ahead and check out everything in-depth straight from their pages.
In general, if you’ve created a blog that’s of high quality and you add news to it regularly, you should be eligible to get featured in their news results.
Submitting Your Site to Google News
I know it’s a pain in the ass reading and following all those rules, but hey, it’s all worth it if you can get it, this is push-button traffic, remember that 😉
After you’ve read all the rules and guidelines and if you think your website is eligible for Google News then you can go ahead and submit your site.
Oh wait, I forgot…
You can’t manually submit your site to the Google News platform anymore in order for your content to appear in the news.
You see, in 2019, Google has announced that they will no longer manually review sites that want to be included in their News results, so they have made the process automatic.
That means that if your website is eligible to be in Google News, it will be picked up automatically and your articles will be shown on their news platform.
You can speed up the process of having your website in Google News if you add it site in the Publisher Center. This is not guaranteed that you will get approved, but it might help.
So… here’s how you can do that:
Step 1: Go to Google Publisher Center
In the Google Publisher Center, find the left side menu and click on the “Add publication” button. You will then get a popup asking you enter your website’s name. (Don’t add the URL, just the name, e.g: NetHustler)
Step 2: Fill in General Information
After you’ve added the name of your publication you will be redirected to add more details about your news site.
Make sure to carefully add the description, news category, and finally the URL address of your site.
Step 3: Add the News Content
So the next step is to add your news section from your website that you want to show up in Google News.
You will see something like this:
Click on “New section”, and from here you can choose the type of content of your website will show up in Google News.
You can either choose the feed, to add all the posts that you’re writing to the News search results or if you have a dedicated category just for news on your site, add that (example.com/news).
Step 4: Add Website Logos
You should already have a logo for your website, but if you don’t go ahead and create one and then add it here.
Create multiple versions of your logo though:
- A Square logo – with minimum dimensions of 512 x 512 px.
- A Wide Logo – with the minimum 200px in width by 20px height.
- Logo Variations – add a light and dark theme logo if you have the possibility
Step 4: Add AdSense Info
Here you can add your AdSense info if you want to get paid for ads that can show up in the Google News App.
Step 5: Review & Publish
Now the last step that you have to do is review your application and then click on the “publish” button.
As you can see I haven’t added any details for the purpose of this example, so obviously the “Publish” button isn’t available.
So review everything and make sure that you got all things covered before you submit your site in the Publishing Center.
After this, it’s basically a waiting game.
Benefits of Having a Website Included in Google News
Oh boy, where do I even begin. I’m sure by now you’ve realized the big potential here.
But just in case you’re confused, here are some benefits of having a Google News approved website:
Get instant traffic
The biggest reason of them all: free instant organic traffic, which you can get in minutes after publishing an article.
You knew this already, right?
The only thing that compares to this is paid advertising, but then again you have to pay for that…so this one is hands down better, by a lot.
You instantly become an authority
Ok, maybe you won’t be able to compare yourself with Forbes or CNN in 3 months, but still, if you’re getting approved, you will show to many that your website is becoming an authority in that field.
Since many know that it’s not an easy feat of getting approved, they will have to respect you for that at least.
Build your brand
In addition to signaling authority, you will also be able to build a much more solid brand, faster and easier than other websites.
People will start visiting your site directly, follow your social media pages, sign up to your email list, etc.
I mean it’s basically like regular SEO but on steroids, so there’s a ton of benefits to be had, especially if you’re smart about it and try to build an actual business out of it 😉
Google News Tips & Extra Advice
Okay so after everything I’ve written above, there are still some Google News tips and tricks that you can try and implement, especially if you’ve gotten approved.
Follow Journalism Guidelines
When writing news articles it’s important to keep in mind how to format your posts.
Follow this inverted pyramid of journalism to see exactly how it should be done:
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
You could improve your user’s experience by enabling AMP for your website. This will make it easier for people to read your news.
There are many benefits in enabling AMP, one of them is that your website will load faster to users, and because of that it can also help lower your bounce rate.
Write Active Voice Headlines
Don’t repeat your words, try to keep it relatively short, straightforward and informative, as Poynter… points out (yes lame pun I know ☺️).
But also, your news article headlines should also be in an active voice.
Passive voice: NetHustler Just Updated His Cheap Traffic Sources
ACTIVE Voice: 5 New Traffic Sources Were Just Added to NetHustler’s Guide.
If you take a look and check most news headlines, you will see that they are written in an active voice, so try to incorporate that into your news articles as well.
Create a News Sitemap
Want to have a higher and faster chance of getting your website indexed into Google News results?
Go ahead and create a news sitemap, that’s separate from your regular articles.
This news sitemap allows you to specify exactly what pages or posts can get indexed in news and it will help Google’s bots to crawl your news articles much faster.
Get Listed In Google News: Conclusion
As you can see there are many reasons and great benefits of getting your website listed in Google News.
Sure, it’s not an easy task, and obviously, it requires a great website with amazing content on it to even stand a chance these days, but it can still be done.
Aim to have at least 100-150 news articles before you submit your site in the Publisher Center… I don’t know for sure if this helps, but you definitely don’t want to have only 20-30 published news articles.
Is it worth doing all of this? Maybe, it honestly depends. I would say for most of you probably not.
Unless you really want to go out of your way and add a News category to your website’s regular content, and you have the free time or resources to do it properly.
I’ve done it because I had nothing else going on at that time and I had 3-4 free months of free time to write 5-6 news articles on the site daily.
Also in the past years, Google is super serious about the quality of the sites getting in, you know with all the fake news and all.
They are investing over $300 million just to combat misinformation on the internet and strengthen the quality of digital news journalism that is appearing on their platform.
With that being said, for the right niche, it’s totally worth the hustle, for example, Finance, Crypto, Business, Sport sites, etc.
If you decide to apply, let me know how it goes.