B2B Articles - Dec 29, 2012 10:56:27 PM

Publishers ignore the the Google News Keywords Meta Tag

Google recently leased a new META tag to help publishers achieve better rankings for their content--without having to sacrifice the quality of their page titles to human readers. So far, few publishers have adopted this very useful META tag.

Let's say you are writing an article about Amazon's free eCommerce shipping (titled Fear of Amazon Pushes Stores to Offer Same-Day Shipping ), but you (like the NYTimes) prefer the title Instantly Yours, for a Fee for your readers, you can use the Google News meta tag to help this content get ranked and placed within Google News.

The META tag was designed specifically for Google News, and it's usage will be limited to that service. But still...the META tag is a useful tool to help publishers gain traffic and better placement, while maintaining great user experience.

Blekko.com, a web search engine, released a report on just how many and which web publishers are adopting the tag.  Search Engine Land believes the adoption rate by publishers is about 5% based on open source figures. Google has not released actual numbers, but it must be low. Google Web Search and Google News have different ranking systems that are used, but Google News is still a vital traffic referrer for web news publishers.

The following image should a list of publishers ordered by site rank that use the tag. usage of Google News meta tag for SEO

So, what is the Google News META tag you ask?

<meta name="news_keywords" content="SEO for publishers, Google News help for publishing company websites">

You can use commas to separate more than one keyword, should you wish your content to be categorized using more than one keyword set. Google doesn't disclose much on how the keywords are integrated or considered, but SEO practitioners should use best practice when selecting their keyword strategy. You can use up to 10 terms, and if you go over, you will not be penalized. Google will simply ignore the 11th.

<meta name=”news_keywords” content=”World Cup, Brazil 2014, Brazil 2014 World Cup, Spain vs Netherlands, soccer, football”>

Perhaps one reason for the low adoption rate is because Google ignores the META tag for keywords, and so many webmasters and marketers may feel that adding more stuff to their already dynamic websites may not be worth another keyword tag in the META header info. Perhaps the reason Google avoids the traditional META keyword header is to remove the people who have historically abused that tag to artificially boost rankings.

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