Google 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="http://www.searchenginewatch.com/article/2111839/YouTube-Case-Study-Ceilumes-Ask-the-Ceiling-Tile-Guy">
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.