Google Adds “Standout” Tag for Featured News Content

google-news-logoGoogle announced a new content tag for the U.S. News edition, allowing publishers to point to “standout” content within their own or other publications.

The new tag, placed in the HTML header of articles, is visible only to automated systems and not to readers. Using the tag could result in Google placing a “Featured” marker label on the piece in News search results and on the Google News homepage. The tag will also factor into the Google News algorithm and help determine placement.

To prevent publishers from gaming the algorithm with this new tag, Google will ignore tags when used more than seven times in one calendar week to promote internal content. There is no limit on using the tag to promote the work of another publication.

Said Google, “Standout Content tags work best when news publishers recognize not just their own quality content, but also the original journalistic contributions of others when your stories draw from the standout efforts of other publications. Linking out to other sites is well recognized as a best practice on the web, and we believe that citing others’ standout content is important for earning trust as you also promote your own standout work.”

The syntax for the new tag, whether using it to highlight content within the site or by an outside publication, is:

 < link rel="standout" href="">

Google has tried using metatags in the past to help determine the original and best sources of content, such as “original-source” and “syndication-source” tags. They’ve used feedback from those trials in the creation of this latest tag.

About the author

A member of the Professional Writer's Association of Canada, Miranda has authored more than 60 e-books, 300 client projects, and thousands of articles and blog posts for clients ranging from SMBs to government agencies and Fortune 100 companies.

Miranda studied e-commerce at Athabasca University and specializes in marketing, business and educational material. She currently assists the Province of Ontario Ministries of Research & Innovation and Economic Development, Trade & Employment with their copywriting and SEO goals. She is one of a handful of Canadian consultants experienced with Ontario's new adult literacy curriculum framework and as such, is contracted by literacy agencies and publishing houses to develop new learning material.