Google News New Ranking Factor

Keyword meta tag has always been a subject of debate for SEOs. We all know, Google doesn’t take Keyword meta tags as a factor for ranking where as many other search engines like Bing and Yahoo use it for better understanding and ranking of your article.

In a recent blog post, Google news team announced a new meta tag “news_keywords” for Blogs and Websites which are included in Google news.

One of the biggest problems with news reporter earlier was to come up with creative title, as it was almost necessary to add the Keyword in the post title, else visibility will be very less, but with the addition of this new meta tag “news_keywords” will help writers to write creative and clickable title along with making it more visible in Google news.

Since getting in Google news is not as simple as getting in Google search, so we can expect less spam is happening due to this new Keyword meta tag. According to official announcement

“Similar in spirit to the plain keywords metatag, the news_keywords metatag lets publishers specify a collection of terms that apply to a news article. These words don’t need to appear anywhere within the headline or body text. Taking the Variety example above, news keywords such as “stocks,” “stock market,” or “crash” would be helpful in allowing Google News to better understand the article content for ranking without forcing the editors to water down the creativity of a great headline. Because the metatag appears only as part of the HTML code of a page, visitors to a site won’t ever see the magic under the hood.”

What does News_Keywords Means for Google news publisher :

If your blog is in Google news, all you need to do is add this new meta tag in your post via custom value or directly in HTML. Here is a help guide from Google which will help you to get started with it. According to Google, it does mean, you can ignore putting your target keyword in meta title or even in body text and just target it using News_Keyword metatag which will help search engine bots to understand your content and rank them accordingly. There is a limit of 10 Keywords, and every keyword should be separated by “,”

Though this is just one of the ranking factor for Google news, and you should also keep other factors like Freshness, diversity, right textual and originality of content. Needless to say, your article should be of high quality and authentic.  If you are one of those who maintain a quality blog and adds content on a daily basis, you can read this guide by Google to understand how to get your site in Google News.

Though, I wonder if Google is giving important to Meta keywords in Google news, should we also pay attention to adding Meta Keywords for a normal blog or Website, as this may or may not be a signal for ranking, but using it doesn’t mean any negative effect. But, Matt Cutts in a tweet mentioned that this new Keyword meta tag is only for News and not for general Web:

I hope all Google news publishers will follow the new Google news ranking metric and use the news_Keywords tag for improved ranking, and for others, I have this question: Do you prefer adding Keyword meta tag in your articles?

For further reading:

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