The media landscape has changed drastically in the past two years, becoming more challenging to earn the media’s attention and land quality coverage. In parallel, the importance of public relations continues to rise, forcing organizations to become more creative to achieve the visibility they need.
The solution for many organizations in overcoming these challenges is to diversify the channels they can generate exposure from. As a result, contributed content, social media, owned content (web, blog, etc.), sponsored content, and others have seen accelerated adoption and growth.
Google News is an aggregator platform that can help facilitate broader exposure to the content organizations create. Though it has been around for 20 years, its purpose in a PR strategy and the value it can deliver have evolved.
What Is Google News?
Google News is the world’s largest news aggregation service, covering more than 50,000 news sources worldwide and offered in nearly 30 languages. Like all things Google touches, adoption rates are incredibly high, with Google News speculated to have somewhere between 275 million to 300 million users.
To increase personalization, the platform allows users to tailor their experience by filtering only subscription-based content and/or based on interests, topics, publication/news provider, and other criteria.
Getting content distributed through Google News
The platform is relatively easy to use, particularly when utilizing Google’s Publisher Center tool. Simply sign in to your organization’s Google account, click the “add publication” button in the left-hand navigation and follow the steps to submit the links to your content.
Getting content submitted is the first step in leveraging the Google News platform. But like its organic algorithm, there are specific factors the aggregation tool uses to determine which content to serve within the platform:
- Relevancy and prominence—based on topical and interest modifiers for user personalization.
- Authoritativeness—tied directly to relative authority levels used to rank in organic search results.
- Freshness and recency—content tied to current events typically performs well.
- Location and language—also directly tied to the platform’s personalization efforts.
Benefits of Google News on a PR strategy
- Brand exposure and web traffic—When used correctly, Google News can position your content to millions of engaged users, providing a great potential new traffic source to contribute to marketing and business objectives.
- Attract new audiences—User personalization features allow organizations to tap directly into their primary audiences' interests and online behaviors.
- Earn relevant backlinks—Google’s stamp of approval carries a lot of weight. A lot of the content found and consumed within the news aggregator is then used as source material for other related content, resulting in authoritative backlinks to your materials that can power SEO performance.
To stay competitive and grab users’ increasingly shortened attention spans, organizations must deploy diversified media and content strategies across several earned and owned channels. While Google News is not enough to be a game-changer on its own, it provides a simple, free and effective method for expanding the visibility of the content that organizations produce.