How Agencies Can Leverage Google News for Their PR and Content Strategy 

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Google News

Matt Raven, VP of Digital at Look Left Marketing

As all PR professionals are aware, the media landscape has changed drastically in the past 2 years – becoming more difficult to earn the media’s attention and land quality coverage. However, the importance of public relations continues to rise, which has forced agencies to become more creative in their strategies to gain the visibility their clients need. 

The solution for many organizations is to make their content go further and 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. This has been an effective approach in getting key messages out to target audiences without relying on the unpredictable media landscape. 

To further increase the reach of content, using the aggregator platform Google News, can help facilitate broader exposure to the content created by both agencies and organizations they represent. Though it has been around for 20 years, its purpose in a PR strategy and value it can deliver has recently evolved and can now make more of an impact for clients’ content.

Exploring Google News 

Google News is the world’s largest news aggregation service available as an app on Android, iOS, and online, covering more than 50,000 news sources worldwide and offered in nearly 30 languages. As with most Google solutions, adoption rates are incredibly high – with Google News estimated to currently have between 275 – 300 million users. 

In an effort to increase personalization, the platform now allows users to tailor their experience. Users can filter subscription-based content, content based on their interests, publication, location, among other criteria to get news the way they want to see it – in just headlines of the day or full text articles. The platform also allows users to follow their favorite interests or news sources so they never miss pertinent content. These updates to Google News have been responsible for the rise of its popularity and its hundreds of millions of users today. 

Steps to Ensure Content is Distributed through Google News

The first step is that your clients need a Google account in order to submit news. Once you have that login information, Google News is relatively easy to use – particularly when using Google’s Publisher Center tool. Simply sign into an 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, however like its organic algorithm, there are specific factors the aggregation tool uses to determine which content to serve within the platform. They include the following: 

  • Relevancy and prominence – based on the various topical and interest modifiers Google users select when searching. 
  • Authoritativeness – tied directly to the content’s perceived authority levels that Google uses to rank in organic search results.
  • Freshness and recency – if your content is tied to current events, it will typically perform well. 
  • Location and language – directly tied to the location and language data that Google uses to personalize its user-specific results.

Benefits of Incorporating Google News into a PR Strategy

As with all good PR strategies, having a plan that is multi-prong will help organizations get the most out of their efforts. Incorporating Google News as part of a PR strategy can prove successful and could bring the following benefits:

  • Brand exposure & 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 the interests and online behaviors of their primary audiences. This can allow companies to connect with a brand they might otherwise not. 
  • Earn relevant backlinks – due to the credibility the Google stamp of approval carries, much 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. 

For agencies, helping their clients stay competitive and break through the noise in the media is a tall task. Their efforts can be more effective with media and content strategies that are diversified across a number of 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 organizations produce.