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How (and Why) to Dominate Google News

by Marcia Yudkin

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Published on this site: March 16th, 2009 - See more articles from this month

Search engine marketing efforts usually focus on improving the extent to which a site shows up in Google searches. However, there are distinct methods and advantages to showing up in Google News searches (http://news.google.com).

Show up there, and you're in the elite company of stories from famous-name news organizations worldwide. Google News aggregates headlines, leads and stories from thousands of legitimate news organizations around the world – and luckily for publicity seekers, it displays news releases (also called press releases or media releases) as well.

One day when I was celebrating my visibility in Google News, someone asked me, “What’s the big deal? What’s so great about getting a news release into Google News?” Here’s why:

  • First, in Google News you're more likely to get found by media people looking for what colleagues have recently written about a topic. Ditto for web-savvy, influential bloggers and others researching this week’s take on news and trends.

  • Second, because of your inclusion in Google News, you appear in news alerts received by experts, reporters, columnists and others who have requested notifications of all news items containing certain words, names or phrases.

  • And third, from Google News, you usually show up more quickly in regular Google searches, too.

These reasons add up to visibility that tends to bring you more visibility. It’s a terrific and cost-effective way to get your business, product, event or cause in front of people who not only might visit your site and become customers but also spread the word about what you’re up to, to their sphere of influence.

Two methods get you into Google News:

  1. Getting quoted in a news story and
  2. Issuing a news release

- which may of course lead to getting quoted in a news story. In case you aren’t familiar with news releases, they are 300-400 word documents in a very particular format and style that you can learn by Googling “sample press release” and following the models you find.

Key to a proper news release is a journalistic tone – relatively objective and factual, rather than sales-y. Your news release has to come across as if a reporter, not an advertising expert, wrote it. In the headline and body of the release, strategically include the words and phrases by which you want to be found.

After writing the news release, use a distribution service to get it into Google News. These services include established, expensive ones like PRNewswire and Businesswire as well as more affordable newcomers like PRWeb and Emailwire. A few free news release sites, such as pr-usa.net and shepress.com, also get their contents into Google News.

Posting the release on your own site is also a good idea, but it’s not what gets your material into Google News.

From what I've observed, Google News keeps stories and releases live for 2-4 weeks. To get found in Google News, twice a month would therefore be the minimum frequency for distributing news releases. Do it more often if you have a variety of keywords by which you’d like to be found.

Did I convince you to crank up your news release efforts?

Marcia Yudkin: Publicity expert Marcia Yudkin is the author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity, third edition, and 10 other books. She has engineered coverage for herself or her company in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Success, Women in Business and dozens of newspapers around the world. Get free access to a one-hour audio recording in which she answers the most common questions about getting media coverage at: http://www.yudkin.com/publicityideas.htm.

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