Elevate Your Audience Reach: How to Include Your Station in Google News

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Adding your website’s RSS feed to Google News is a strategic move to increase your site’s visibility and attract more readers. Google News aggregates content from various sources to provide users with timely news articles and blog posts.  You might think this process would be automatic, given that Google is a search engine that scans every website.  Google News is different.  Only verified sources appear within Google News, and there’s a vetting process to ensure they only display actual news articles.  With an estimated 280 million users worldwide, being part of Google News can significantly boost your website traffic.

Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you get started.  If you’re listening to the audio version of this podcast, check out our podcast notes on SkyrocketRadio.com because it contains links to all the pages you’ll need to access.  If you’re watching on YouTube, you’ll see me go through the steps.  The links will be below the video, as well.  Be sure to like and subscribe while you’re there.

Step 1: Ensure Your Site Meets Google News Content Policies

Before you begin, ensuring your site complies with Google News content policies is crucial. Your site should offer original content following journalistic standards, including clear dates, bylines, and author information. Ensure your content is timely, relevant, and valuable to your readers.

You will be submitting your website RSS feed, so ensure your RSS feed includes full articles, not just summaries, to maximize engagement on Google News.  If you are using WordPress, the settings for full articles are under “Settings” and “Writing.”

Step 2: Verify Your Website Ownership

Google Publisher Center requires you to verify ownership of your website through Google Search Console. If you haven’t already, add your site to Google Search Console and verify ownership.  This will require a DNS change, so if you partner with someone who controls your website DNS, you’ll need to coordinate this change with them.

This step is crucial since it gives your account access to Google Search data for your website.  It can affect how Google Search crawls your site as well. You must verify your website to be able to submit to Google News.

Once you do this, you can click “Verify” to ensure your site passed their test.

Step 3: Gather Some Needed Items

To save time during the setup process, have the following items handy.

  • 1000×1000 Website Logo (PNG or JPG).
  • 1000×100 Transparent (PNG) website logo for light backgrounds.
  • 1000×100 Transparent (PNG) website logo for dark backgrounds.
  • Website description.

The transparent website logos can be smaller, but smaller images will appear blurry on some devices.

Step 4: Create a Google Publisher Center Account

Visit the Google Publisher Center (https://publishercenter.google.com/).

Sign in with your Google Account, preferably the account associated with your radio station website.  This might be the one used for Analytics, Adsense, etc.

Click on “Add Publication” and enter the name of your news site.

Step 5: Provide Publication Details

Once your publication is added, inside the “Publisher Center,” you’ll continue with more details, including the name, website, primary language, contacts, and geographic location.  This is where you’ll verify your website with Google Search Console.

In the “Visual Styles” tab, you’ll customize how your content appears in Google News by adding logos and more.  Be sure to click “Save” when each page is complete.

Step 6: Configure the Publication

Click “Open” in the “Google News” block within the Google Publisher Center.  Click “Edit” to verify the category of your news content.  It will be either “Entertainment” or “Special Interest” for most of us.  It will also ask for distribution, which should be set to “Worldwide.”

Step 7: Configure Sections

You can organize your content into different sections based on topics or categories. This helps users find your content more easily.

In the “Sections” screen, click “New section” and choose “RSS feed” as your content source.  Add the RSS feed URL of your website.  Remember that your main website RSS feed contains all your news posts without any category separation.  So, it’s best to create a section for each category.  This means one for “Local News,” “Local Sports,” etc.

You mustn’t add RSS feeds to content you import from other sources.  For example, national news that you import from ABC News, entertainment news from Pulse Web Content, or station news from local sources.  This content is likely already on the Google News platform somewhere, and duplication of that content could get your entire Google News submission review denied.  It’s no secret that Google frowns on websites that import content from other sources.

Once you’ve added the section, click “Save” on the page.  The Google admin shows a preview pane on the right of your posts.  This can take 10-20 minutes to populate, so be patient.  Come back and refresh every so often to see your posts.

Step 8: Submit Your Publication for Review

Once you’ve added all necessary information, configured your sections, and verified your feeds, you can submit your publication for review.  Google will review your site to ensure it complies with all Google News policies. This process can take several weeks.

When you click “Submit,” a popup warns that approval can take 10-20 days.  Many users say it takes less than a week for approval.  The popup also says you will be e-mailed when your publication is approved.  Don’t count on that.  Users often say they never get an approval e-mail but only get an e-mail if an issue needs to be resolved.

Step 9: Monitor Your Performance

After your site is approved, it should start appearing in Google News. Use the Publisher Center and Google Analytics to monitor your performance better and understand your audience.

Words of Warning

Keep in mind that some things have changed inside Google News.  Pre 2020, being on the platform meant your news articles would rank in Google News.  Every site that follows the content policies can now rank within Google News.  This means that sites that have been Google News for a long time may still appear before your content.  This will change, though, as more people interact with your news stories on the platform.  This process is a quick fix to get your articles above your competitors.  So, take every precaution to ensure your content is finely tuned to SEO.  The better site at SEO will win the race, not just Google News, but everywhere.

Tips for Success

Keep Your Content Fresh: Regularly update your site with new, engaging content.

Optimize for SEO: Use relevant keywords and follow SEO best practices to improve visibility.  Use a WordPress plugin like Yoast SEO to help you understand and do better at SEO.

Engage with Your Readers: Encourage comments and interaction on your articles to build a community.

Following these steps will help you add your website’s RSS feed to Google News, increasing your site’s exposure and potentially driving more traffic. Remember, the key to success on Google News is to maintain high-quality, engaging content that adheres to Google’s content policies.

We want to help your radio station grow and succeed online.  That journey starts with an amazing website that keeps visitors coming back often.  Reach out to us to start your path to online success, or book an appointment to see our tools in action.