Optimize for Google Universal – News Results

In an effort to liven up the dog days of summer, we’re setting aside the remaining Mondays in August to talk about how to optimize your website for Google Universal.

If you are unfamiliar with Google Universal, here’s Google’s very own explanation:

With universal search, we’ve begun blending results from more than just the web in order to provide the most relevant and useful results possible. In addition to web pages, for instance, the search results may include video, news, images, maps, and books.

Today’s focus will be optimizing for News.

So how do you acquire real estate in Google’s web results for your news content?

Submit to Google
Does your site create news-worthy content? This can include a blog devoted to a specific topic or a website that includes industry-related news that is frequently updated. If so, you can easily submit your site for inclusion in Google News.

Pinging
If you have a blog, it’s also important to make sure your blogging platform is configured to ping blog sites, such as Technorati, when you add a new blog post.

Original Content
Don’t forget – your content should be completely original. Even when the content is written in reaction to a news article, press release, company product/service updates, etc., your blog post needs to present fresh and unique content on the topic.

Update Frequently
To gain recognition as an important news source, your blog or website needs to be frequently updated. Frequent updates will help to keep readers interested and inspire repeat visits, in addition to qualifying your blog or website as a trusted news source in the eyes of Google and other search engines.

Create a Google News Sitemap
Even if you’re not familiar with Google’s Webmaster Tools, it’s pretty simple to create a News Sitemap. Basically, a News Sitemap is an XML formatted list of your Site URLs – specifically the pages that contain your news content. Google offers instructions for creating a News Sitemap.

Want to find out more about optimizing your site for Google Universal? Visit us again next Monday for the second part of our series.

Update: Read Part 2 in our Google Universal Series: Optimize for Google Universal – Local Results.