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Patch.com, Huffington Post Dominate Google News Results [Study]

jennifer-slegg
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A stack of newspapers

Since launching universal search results in 2007, Google has been integrating many more non-traditional search results, adding videos, news stories, sports scores, products, images, maps, and reviews into what was once traditional organic search results from their search index.

One of the most common integrations has been the addition of a small Google News results section within the search results. If it often seems to you like the same news sites pop up again and again, you would be right.

Top 10 News Sites That Appear in Google News Results

Searchmetrics analyzed search results in March 2013 over several hundred thousand keywords and discovered the two most prominent news listings were both AOL owned properties Patch.com and Huffington Post. Rounding out the top 5 were Disney’s Go.com, NYTimes.com and WashingtonPost.com.

Here are the top 10 sites which appear in news integrations on Google.com (the number of times they appeared are in parenthesis):

  1. patch.com, (4,352)
  2. huffingtonpost.com, (3,530)
  3. go.com, (3,140)
  4. nytimes.com, (2,141)
  5. washingtonpost.com, (1,873)
  6. guardian.co.uk, (1,834)
  7. yahoo.com, (1,826)
  8. nydailynews.com, (1,488)
  9. usatoday.com, (1,456)
  10. foxnews.com, (1,405)

More News Results, More Sources

News results within the organic search results have increased dramatically, increasing by a staggering 70 percent throughout 2012, from Searchmetrics study on Universal Search integrations (note: requires signup). While Google started small by integrating news and other alternatives into their straight organic search, they have certainly ramped up the effort in the past year to provide current news stories to regular search users.

In addition to simply integrating news into their results from major mainstream news sources, Google has increased the variety of news sources it draws from. They now include not just straight news sources, but also blogs and alternative news sites. Searchmetrics found an increase of 15 percent in the variety of news sources being shown in Google News integrations over the course of a year.

It used to be extremely difficult for webmasters to get their news content into Google News when it was first launched in 2006, initially with a mere 4,000 news sources. However, their guidelines have become more lenient over the years, so it is worth exploring again if you have been denied in the past.

News Accounts for 6% of All Universal Search Results

The frequency of news in the search results has fair coverage as well. Searchmetrics discovered that Google News now makes up 6 percent of all of Google’s universal search integrations. While the number is small, it is pretty substantial when comparing it to the other integrations in 2012 (video content 62 percent; images 32 percent; maps 7 percent; shopping 5 percent), some of which do not usually have nearly as high CTR as news results.

This certainly shows that it will be increasingly important for websites that provide any kind of news to try and get their publication or blog into Google News. By being able to add Google News results, they can increase their own brand coverage on the pages for their keywords they have relevant news stories for, particularly for competitive keyword phrases.

“Pages listed within the Google News channel have higher click-through rates (CTRs)” says Marcus Tober, CTO of Searchmetrics. “And because News integrations always appear on page one and are often blended near the top of search engine ranking pages (SERPS), they present an opportunity to be listed high on the first page, even for competitive search terms you might struggle to rank highly for using traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO).”


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