Google News Introduces Standout Content

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Google News Introduces Standout Content
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Leveraging Google News for traffic and pageviews is a strategy that’s been around as the popularity of Google News began to increase. For instance, an article from SEOMoz discussed the approach, and it was written in 2006. Now, thanks to a simple HTML tag adjustment, you can point Google towards the content you think will standout on Google’s news reel.

Much like the “nofollow” tag, the “standout” tag belongs to the HTML rel category, and much like it suggests, it’s intended for the most pop-worthy content, although, there’s nothing to stop people from putting the rel=”standout” tag on all of their content. One would guess Google is prepared for standout tag spam, and the inclusion of the tag doesn’t guarantee first page status on Google News. According to the Google News blog, the tag exists as a suggestion:

If you put the tag in the HTML header of one of your articles, Google News may show [emphasis added] the article with a ‘Featured’ label on the Google News homepage and News Search results.

The blog entry also suggests using the standout tag — which looks like this: — while linking to content being referenced as well as on your own:

Standout Content tags work best when news publishers recognize not just their own quality content, but also the original journalistic contributions of others when your stories draw from the standout efforts of other publications. Linking out to other sites is well recognized as a best practice on the web, and we believe that citing others’ standout content is important for earning trust as you also promote your own standout work.

While that stanza contains a “we believe” in reference to trust-earning, it’s clear Google is relying on this trust when it comes to picking which content is actually standout worthy. If you run a content spam site, one that survived the Panda purge, and you’re making liberal use of the standout tag, it’s doubtful it will make much of a difference in how the content is perceived, especially as Google refines the weight it gives links containing the tag in question.

In what looks like an effort to proactively address standout tag spam, Google suggests news organization only use the tag once per day:

At this point, we ask news organizations to use the Standout tag to cite their own content at most seven times in each calendar week. If a site exceeds that limit, it may find that its tags are less recognized, or ignored altogether. A news organization may cite standout stories from other news sources any number of times each week.

In other words, don’t spam with the standout tag, otherwise, we’ll ignore you; but please, use it when you’re linking to quality content.

Pretty simple, right?

With that in mind, how long will it be before we see the first “Standout Tag Spam on Google News” article? Before the end of the coming week? Once again, for those who may have missed it, the syntax for the standout tag is as follows:

link rel=”standout” href=”http://www.example.com/scoop_article_2.html”

Thoughts on the standout tag? Let us know in the comments.

Google News Introduces Standout Content
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  • http://newsbreakthroughs.com Anish

    Interesting. I’m surprised, to be honest. But again, like you said, it’s obvious that Google’s probably gonna use some advanced algorithms to fight standout spam. I just started a News site recently, and will apply for Google News once I’ve recruited more writers.

    Anyway, getting back to topic, if the spam is managed well, I think it’s a good feature for users. Personally, though, I think Google should MANUALLY select which publishers it’d work on.. Reputable ones like CNN, BBC, WebProNews, etc. would obviously never abuse the tag. Some greedy sites that somehow manage to get into G News and are eager for quick traffic will definitely try to abuse it.

    Anish G.

  • Jennifer Fricke.

    Well. Actually. One day while I was bored I just starting making my letters look like art work. Then it turned into my artwork. A lot of times when I write like that u can distinguish it from keywords like I do own most of my sites. I was in Facebook and a friend of mind posted like that. I was stunned. Google is a brand so let’s keep it like that. It is why I love it. Hyperlinks on the page should always be in uniform color. Like the blue and underlined. I like that there are rules on the artwork because to much of it would ruin it. But please listen to me on the googles. Keep it pretty. I love writing it!!!! LoVe 2 LaUgH

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steven

    When is Google going to learn they can’t trust a publisher to do the right then when it comes to ranking influence? Even the +1 buttons that Google introduced this year and the like button that Facebook created are open to abuse.

    For example, many publishers are already asking the public for like buttons in trade for something. At the time of my writing Del Taco is offering a free coupon you can print out for a free Carnitas taco with any purchase, right from their Facebook page. You can even print it out as many times as you like. I’ve used it 3 times already, not to mention that each time I print it out, there is a different expiration date, usually a week or so from the date I printed it. Facebook games has many game developers giving out free bonuses just for liking the game. What if I liked the game just for the free in game stuff as I would think many have already done this? Every time I see a friend of mine liked a game or a business on Facebook I have to wonder if they don’t really like the game or business, but rather wanted something for free that was being offered for free just for the sake of saying they like it. I’ve done it before, and while I know it’s wrong, I’m not complaining about the free stuff I get for doing so.

    Even when I’m going to the supermarket and somebody asks me to sign a ballot initiative that I realize those people are usually paid to get my vote for it to appear on the ballot.

    Doesn’t Google have enough trouble with relevancy issues to add another way for publishers to game the rankings on purpose?

  • http://cityfurnitures.info City Furniture

    hahahaha,,, nice post guys

  • http://www.debt800.com Consumer Debt

    This is all good info but don’t you still have to be accepted by google news as a publisher?

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