For Developing News Stories, Google Says It Prefers One Page To Separate Articles

    February 13, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

After taking a month off, Google’s Matt Cutts is back online, and has put out a new Webmaster Help video. This one talks about news sites, and how to approach developing stories.

The user-submitted question being addressed is:

Do you have any specific tips for news sites, which have unique concerns compared with commercial sites? For example, if I have a developing news story, should I keep updating the same page, or create a new one when the content changes?

Cutts prefers the same page route, keeping the information on a single page updated.

“If it were me, I would tend to have one page because that’s where all the PageRank can accumulate,” he says. “People don’t get confused. Sometimes you even see people doing multiple stories over several days, and they don’t link those stories together, so from one story you can get to the other story, so you sort of lose a few people through the cracks that way.”

“Marissa Mayer [former Googler/current Yahoo CEO], in the past, has talked about having living topics, or topic pages, that are really like exhaustive entries about a specific area or type of breaking news,” he says. “You can see something like Wikipedia as another example, where they have one page that just gets richer and more developed. At some point, a news story is over, and you want to move on to creating a new page, but given a certain story, often, I think it can be helpful to add updates, and add more information on the same URL.”

He goes on to recommend reading Google News documentation and research more about what works for that. He references the recent news_keywords meta tag Google announced (without mentioning it by name), and suggests using authorship.

The part about PageRank is interesting, and certainly worth considering, but unfortunately, he doesn’t get into how Google (or Google News) treats old articles that are updated (in terms of the freshness element), or the best ways to get these old articles in front of their audiences on their second, third, or fourth (etc.) rounds. Of course, there’s always social media, but in terms of search, it’s not that always that simple.

  • http://gardenbay.net garden bay

    I write short stories. I need to learn about how shemal’s body develops like when (age) their breasts grows etc. It is for a thriller story. Please let me know what is their biological name so that I can search informations about them in google. The word ‘shemale’ doesn’t contain enough informations in google.

  • Eddie

    I have always wondered if it is best to create one page per topic instead of posts (I post about 3 times a week about different product updates etc.)? I have a couple hundred posts over the years that are organized by categories. All the posts are covering 10 categories. Should I just create 10 different pages and update and revise those pages instead of adding new posts?

    I really appreciate your help.


  • Alex

    Sorry but I can not agree with Matt Cutts.

    Lets see for example this news “France action in Mali is real war, says Le Drian” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21348335

    According to Matt Cutts we should make only 1 news (story) “War in Mali” including all the articles (more than 200). I think this article will be too large for Google News and for common readers.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/company/brick-marketing---boston-seo-firm Nick Stamoulis

    For a developing story I think this makes sense because it helps ensure that your readers have the most up-to-date and accurate information. Updates can happen so fast and a single source lets people see the whole story unfold. But like Alex mentions, as the story gets more and more involved and other pieces start to come together you’ll have to create more articles.

  • http://town-court.com Traffic Court

    Disappointed in this video. Matt did not give it enough time. What about the role of recency in newsy searches? If you have one story that you’re updating, does Google credit the updated version as recent or date it back to the original date?

    And I could go on a major rant about the frustration of trying to get into Google News. But I’ll save that for another day.

  • http://ayanaglaze.com Ayana Glaze

    I think for a quick update to a story (like a paragraph or a sentence) it is much easy to update the article page. But, for developing news where more parts of the story and more angles are revealed it is probably a better practice to create a category and place the original and related stories within the category for centralization and accessibility.