In 2019, I pursued getting a new site, Coywolf News, into Google News to learn what it would take to get it included and what the benefits would be if I did. After I succeeded getting it included, I wrote a guide on how to get into Google News.
About two months after I published the guide, Google News changed its eligibility policy, stating:
Publishers no longer need to submit their site to be eligible for the Google News app and website. Publishers are automatically considered for Top stories or the News tab of Search. They just need to produce high-quality content and comply with Google News content policies.
The new policy technically changed the process for inclusion, but it didn’t negate the methods described in the guide. Case in point, after the policy change, I had a Coywolf Pro reader tell me that they implemented the guide’s recommendations and were able to appear in Google News successfully.
What’s different is that Google News eligibility and inclusion is now algorithmic, not a manual action. Fortunately, the recommendations in the Google News guide are already optimized for that.
What to expect after getting into Google News
Equally or perhaps more exciting than getting into Google News has been the exposure and traffic from it. What I’ve experienced so far with Coywolf News has been nothing short of astounding, and it’s why I’m starting to commit more resources to it.
Here’s what I’ve learned and how it’s reshaped my thinking around natural link building and brand exposure.
Instant global traffic
Google News opens up your site to a worldwide audience instantly. The first thing I noticed when I got into Google News was the consistent daily traffic from countries all over the world.
Organic traffic from Google doesn’t have the same impact as news articles on Google News. Without Google News, a site’s content will get some traffic from other countries, but not a significant amount unless it’s targeting specific countries. However, Google News acts as a global platform for your content that otherwise wouldn’t be possible without internationalization efforts.
Zero effort link building
When you’re in Google News, it’s assumed that you’re a legitimate news source. That’s because all news sources have been vetted by Google News manually or algorithmically. Because of this implied trust, news editors, bloggers, and other kinds of contributors are more likely to reference and link to your stories. That’s what’s been happening with Coywolf News. Here are some examples from the past few months.
Engadget mentioned and linked to a Coywolf News ICANN article.
Techmeme also included a mention and link to Coywolf with their curated coverage of ICANN.
TechRadar published an article based on a Coywolf News article that broke the story about Speedtest adding a VPN to its app. They credited Coywolf at the end and linked to the article.
Coywolf News also got an .EDU link from the University of Minnesota Duluth for writing about accessibility and SEO.
Based on Ahrefs and Fathom Analytics, there are many more natural backlinks that have been created since Coywolf News started to get visibility in Google News. The best part about these backlinks is that there was zero outreach done. They happened because the content was of high quality, relevant, and exposed via Google News.
Visibility in Google Discover
I’ve experienced success with articles being promoted in Google Discover because of it being in Google News. On multiple occasions when I’ve had an article gain in popularity on Reddit and Twitter – signals that Google uses for Discover – the article has performed well on both Google Discover and Google News.
Visibility in organic SERPs
I’ve found that news articles typically perform better in organic search than non-news articles. I think the exposure they get in Google News and the way news articles get written are why they do better. For example, I wrote an article about static sites on Cloudflare, and it consistently appears as the featured snippet above Cloudflare’s snippet.
The exposure the Coywolf brand gets through Google News is the thing I like the most. As I publish more articles, it increases the chance that searchers will see and experience the brand multiple times. If the content and the UX are excellent each time they visit, it will build brand loyalty and result in conversions (e.g., Subscribing to the email newsletter or signing up for a Pro account).
The brand exposure that Google News provides is free and has a multiplying effect. The only real cost is content creation.
Where to go from here
Is Google News right for everyone? The answer is no. However, I do think it’s a valid strategy for many companies. Here are some reasons why a company may want to get into Google News.
- Thought Leadership – Publishing industry news can help establish a company as a thought leader and influencer.
- New Source of Revenue – Companies may find that they can leverage the site for revenue through ads, sponsorships, and email aggregation.
- Brand Awareness – It can provide repeated positive exposure to a new or struggling brand.
I think marketing agencies likely have the most to gain from adopting a Google News strategy. That’s especially true if an agency is hyper-focused on a particular industry for its clientele. A commitment to publishing news could become a significant source of leads and new clients.