Google news – join the club
They say a club that'll admit anyone isn't worth joining. While that's not always the case there is something appealing about gaining membership to more exclusive groups.
This is exactly how the websites that have got their content marketing strategy in order and been accepted by Google news must feel.
Unlike the main index, getting returned in Google's news results is a little trickier than putting up some pages and submitting a site map – and it's not decided by a robot.
Rumour has it that such is the power of the algorithm Google even has one for deciding the pay rises of its employees.
That might be one of those corporate myths, but Google's algorithm is without doubt one of its most valuable assets (probably second only to its brand).
But when it comes to Google news, the all-powerful Googlebot takes second place behind human decision makers.
If you publish news content and want to get access to Google news you'll need to satisfy certain criteria set down by an editorial board.
You'll need to be publishing regularly, you'll need a decent-sized archive and you'll need to be writing genuine news – not PR.
Once admitted, Google news has two main advantages from a content marketing perspective.
First up is the additional routes Google news offer to your website. Searchers looking just at the news index can only find your site if you're publishing new stories and have got the nod from Google.
Google news searches will be much less competitive, which gives your site a better chance of ranking if you're a member of this elite club.
This brings us neatly to the second benefit, which is the chance to get pulled into the universal results for competitive terms.
Whenever a topic is trending and getting a lot of fresh content, news results will often appear on the universal results page. That means a chance of achieving a highly-valuable position without breaking your AdWords budget.