1. Don’t copy from other sites. Write original news articles.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your stories are original.
A major search engine like Google doesn’t want to syndicate the same piece of content verbatim and it’s search algorithm will pull you up. You’ve got to make your story original with accurate data points from credible sources. Wherever you got your information from, whether it’s trawling through search history, sitemap files, or exploring web pages – make sure your sources are trustworthy.
We strive to make it easy for users to find news that is independent and original, containing a significant source of fresh, original (100% plagiarism-free) and purposeful content.
2. Write keyword-rich headlines that communicate the story topics.
Your headline makes a promise to the reader. If you get it right, your news story will likely be picked up by Google and other journalists who can amplify the content’s reach.
According to Poynter, you should “try to keep your headlines straightforward and unadorned. Use concise and familiar words, if possible.”
You may be tempted to use numbers in your news story headlines. After all, users love numbers. But, if you’re going to use a “listicle” headline type, it should provide specific insights and steer clear of “linkbait” territory. There is no way that linkbait and lousy anchor texts are going to get your article placed on Google’s news XML sitemap file.
I’ve noticed that authority sites that report stories daily rarely use the listicle format or “numbered” headlines.
They simply write an accurate, clear and compelling headline. Let’s take a cue from Search Engine Land.
Just like blog posts, your news story headline determines whether your story will be syndicated by Google or not.
Here are some tips to help you write newsworthy headlines that are sure to appear in the search results and remember the same approach can be taken with your meta tags:
i). Don’t repeat words: The purpose of getting your website or story added to Google News XML sitemap is to get clicks and views from the huge user base. You don’t have to repeat words or keywords in the headline, as though you’re actively doing search engine optimization.
Here’s a weak news headline:
“How experienced investors can mentor about-to-quit investors”
Avoid this repetition of words like the plague.
ii). Use active voice: A news headline is a quick way to demonstrate what’s inside the story and will catch the eye of the search engine.
Don’t bore users or discourage journalists from picking your story. Avoid using a passive voice.
In the passive voice, the subject is receiving the verb. For example:
- Passive voice: Mary was hit by a car.
- Active voice: The car hit Mary.
An active voice starts with the subject. With an active voice, you can say more with fewer words from the very first time. Brevity is an essential news publisher tactic that captivates the audience.
Using active voice in your news headline also helps to trim down unnecessary words. If you check Digg’s homepage, you’ll see that most of the syndicated stories have headlines written with an active voice.
Here’s an example:
The passive-voice version of the above news headline is obviously weaker:
- An Episode of ‘Top Chef’ Was Produced with Help From the CIA
iii). Write in the present tense: This is another important point to keep in mind when writing a story headline with the hope of getting it syndicated on the Google News XML sitemap file.
Even if the story itself or content is written in the past tense, the headline should indicate what’s happening right now. After all, that’s why it’s called “news”, and that’s what the XML sitemap is looking for.
Several stories on the Google News homepage are written in the present tense. Take a look:
iv). Know which words to capitalize: Have you noticed that not all words in a news story headline are capitalized? As a rule of thumb, capitalize the first word of the headline. You must also capitalize proper nouns.
On the Google News homepage, both title case and first word/proper noun capitalization standards are used.
If you use the title case, don’t capitalize on articles. So, for example, “Judge Rejects Kesha’s Last Effort to Free Herself From Dr. Luke” is correct, but if “to” were capitalized as well, that would be incorrect.
3. Write news-related articles, not evergreen content.
Remember that a major search engine like Google can only include sites that follow their Webmasters Tool Guidelines.
If there’s nothing timely about your topic or story, it’s not news. It’s as simple as that. In journalism, “timing is everything.” Timely content makes it to the top, others get lost in the pages of the search history.
For your article to be accepted, you’ve got to write news-related articles consistently. Evergreen content just won’t work with Google News.
Aside from that, the major search engine Google also has specific types of content that they accept. In Google’s words:
“We generally do not include how-to articles, advice columns, job postings or strictly informational content such as weather forecasts and stock data.”
In the world of blogging, creating evergreen content is your guarantee for sustainable organic traffic. And Google rewards such content in its organic results.
But, that kind of content isn’t news, so a search engine like Google won’t syndicate it.
When you look at the Google News homepage, you’ll notice that the stories are timely – mostly as the events unfold:
4. Follow Google Feed content guidelines
Last but not least you have to always follow the Google Feed content guidelines while writing your article.