Google News is becoming a lot more restrictive on what they include, and we want to help your press releases have a better chance of getting picked up, which is solely at their discretion. In prior years almost every press release from a Google News source was picked up by the site, but that is not the case any longer.
Here are 7 tips to help ensure your release gets picked up. [Note: we are talking about real news releases and not spam releases.]
1) Press release length: The most common errors we see are “Article too short” or “Article too long”. They do not want content that is either too brief or too lengthy. We suggest press releases of at least 200 words and no more than 500. Sometimes we see releases flagged as too short or long when within these parameters and we scratch our heads, but typically that is a good length.
2) Fragmented press release: Google News does not seem to like press releases made up of lists (bulleted lists, numbered lists) or other content that is not in proper sentences. They flag it as “Fragmented Content”. We highly recommend avoiding lists and other fragmented text in your press releases.
3) No duplicate content: If you have already submitted the same press release on another press release distribution service that is a Google News source, it is very unlikely your press release will get picked up on Google News again. In fact, ideally the content is new and original and not on any other website prior to submission.
4) Include contact info: Please make sure your company name or spokesperson or product or event is in the main headline of your press release so everyone knows who it is being issued by, and have your press contact info filled out in your newsroom so it is on the release.
5) Avoid general headlines: If your headline is primarily common and general words, it is less likely to look like a real press release and be picked up and indexed in Google News.
6) No ALL CAPS headlines: No matter how press releases were historically formatted, Google News does not publish headlines in ALL CAPS. Don’t believe me? Look at the headlines on https://news.google.com/.
7) No Excessive Formatting: If you are pasting in your release from MS Word, you may be pasting in all kinds of extra formatting such as <div> tags which you can’t even see. We highly recommend pasting into a plain text editor and then into PRUnderground to keep it clean. And do not use Header tags or other excessive formatting. Stick with plain text, and maybe an occasional bold or italicized word if you must.
We want your releases on PRUnderground to get picked up by Google News, but help yourself out by following these 7 tips that make it much more likely to get included.
And remember, regardless of Google News, make the press release interesting to get people reading it.