Breaking news might be precisely what your brand is missing. If you’ve been struggling to get to the top of Google, then covering news can make a massive difference in a number of different ways. Think about the biggest sites on the web: a lot of them cover breaking news. In this entry, we’ll be discussing a bit about why breaking news is a big deal and how you can start covering it.
What is Breaking News?
Breaking news, as the term rather suggests, simply means any news that is completely brand new. This might mean something that is currently in the papers, or it might mean something that is industry specific.
So, for example, if the president were to make a speech to the united nations and say something impactful, then that would be a form of breaking news. But likewise, if Apple were to bring out a brand new smartphone, then that would also be breaking news. Sites that cover news actually have a few advantages over other sites.
The Advantages of Covering News
- Firstly, if you cover breaking news, this can have some large advantages in terms of your SEO. SEO is Search Engine Optimization of course – creating content designed to reach the top of Google for specific searches.
When you make a new post, you are going to be competing with all the other posts on that subject to get to the top. That’s why it’s so hard to get to the number one spot for an article like ‘how to get great abs’. There are just too many other sites out there that are the exact same!
Thus, if you want to get noticed, you need something that people are searching for but which isn’t yet populated with tons of competition. Breaking news offers you this advantage because it will let you beat the other sites to the punch. So if something big happens and you are the first to cover it, then your site will be right at the top of Google, just when everyone is searching for it!
- Secondly, breaking news is also ideal for creating content that will do well on social media. The reason for this is that social media is very much governed by what’s big in the news at any given time. This is how the whole hashtag system works and how the whole trending system works.
In fact, if something big does happen, then often the best place to find out about it is on Twitter. While it takes a while for people to write full blog posts and while Google will take a while to index that content, people will start writing about it on Twitter right away and using relevant hashtags. And thus, those hashtags will soon appear in the ‘trending’ column as things that you should look out for. If your posts are found here early on, then that is a great way to get your content seen by the denizens of Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
While it’s true that there are many advantages, the one disadvantage is that news content is not evergreen. That means that once it has been used, it will quickly become out of date. It’s ideal to have content that you can re-share at a later date, so the solution here is to create both kinds.
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Getting Into Google News
You’ll know you’ve really made it if you are able to get your site into Google News. Google has a whole category for search called News and the news results will also often show up at the top of the regular SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Google News is not curated by a human being but of course is managed like an algorithm, just like all the rest of Google’s systems. It collects and aggregates news stories and headlines from 50,000+ sources. Did you know that over 60% of people trust Google News more than they trust news outlets?
This is massive for your brand and if it appears that Google trusts you, then that means that a lot of the population will trust you too. This way, you become a ‘trusted’ authority for news and information. Which of course is a highly desirable position to be in. And once Google trusts you in this manner, it also means that future content will be featured more highly.
To Get into Google News, you need to make sure that you are covering news first and foremost. And using a category or tag to identify your pages as news will help a lot. At the same time, make sure your content is original, readable, and lengthy with lots of useful references to trusted sources. Google also has a list of technical and quality guidelines that you can find on the site and which will help.
Better yet, you ideally want to be linked or referenced by other sites that are considered trusted. This is another huge advantage of creating breaking news content: it is inherently highly sharable. This is perfect ‘link bait’ and an ideal way to get people pointing their sites and social media at your brand.
How to Cover Breaking News
Covering breaking news isn’t as easy as it sounds as it means beating the biggest organizations to the punch. You do this by being leaner than they are and able to respond to news faster.
But to really have that edge, you need to build relationships with the movers and shakers in your niche. This way, you’ll receive press releases and information that is under ‘embargo’ and that must be released at a specific time.
Develop those relationships, go to tradeshows, speak with professionals and do what you can to make sure that you’re in that loop and that you have the news covered and ready to go live as soon as you’re given the go-head. Spend time in forums and communities and if possible – do something newsworthy yourself! And remember: you can still stand out even if you’re a little late to the party by offering a different take on that industry news.