A new website (GoogleNewsRankingFactors.com) that has been created by few marketing companies, has gathered 17 experts from the news industry to analyze the most important and negative ranking factors for Google News.
The ensemble of the participates/contributors is quite impressive- It includes Eleanor Hong from ESPN, John Shehata from ABC News, Simon Heseltine from The Huffington Post, Topher Kohan from CNN and more. The cast is what makes this survey/research/report significant and reliable.
The website ranks the important and negative ranking factors in a descending order (1 is the strongest). I will try to explain briefly every factor:
Most Important Google News Ranking Factors
1. Category Authority- How authoritative is that website on the specific search query category (sports, movies, music, etc.).
2. Keywords In Headlines and Titles- Does the search query keywords appears on the H1, H2 headline and on the HTML title of the page.
3. Domain Authority- How authoritative is the domain in general (backlinks, quality content).
4. Social Sharing Of Article- How the page is being shared on the social media, where the speed of being shared from once it was posted is important.
5. First To Publish Story- The first source that publish the story will get prioritized.
6. Citation Rank- How many other authoritative sites are linking directly to the article.
7. Unique Article- Original content only!
8. High CTR From Google News- How many are clicking on the article in the search page relatively to other sites.
9. High Quality Content- How quality and engaging is the content compared to others (determined by Google evaluators).
10. Use Of Google News XML Sitemap- Using sitemap that is designated especially for Google News.
Most Negative Google News Ranking Factors
1. Duplicate Content- Devalue the article (heard of Google Panda?).
2. Vague Abstract Headlines- The search algorithm don’t connect well the headline to the search query (no keywords).
3. No Google News Sitemap- While its 10th in the importance rank, not having it is much more severe.
4. Poor Quality Content- Not engaging, repeating in different words content.
5. Blocking Googlebot- Using wrongfully the Robots.txt and/or Meta Tags.
6. Slow Site and/or 500 Errors- Technical problems with the website’s server.
7. Poor Citation Rank- Too few backlinks.
8. Low Pagerank- The domain homepage has a low Pagerank.
9. New Site- Newer sites have less trust and less authority.
10. Same Titles- Mostly its a problem with publish platforms that posting articles with the same title.