google news searchLast week, Google rolled out a new feature for Google News that content publishers should know about. Now, sites that are included in Google News search results (which are different from standard Google search results) can use the “news_keywords” metatag feature to help identify content with keywords rather than relying solely on in-content search engine optimization tricks.

That means you might be able to start writing intriguing and useful headlines instead of desperately trying to squeeze keywords into them. And that’s great news for Authoritative Content publishers!

Of course, this is a new feature, so no one knows exactly how well it works. That means you probably don’t want to drop keywords from your content headlines right away. Furthermore, Google reminds content publishers in its “news_keywords” metatag launch blog post that there are many factors that go into ranking news content. Translation — don’t give up other tactics you use to help people find your content and replace them all with just the “news_keywords” metatag.

There are a couple of things you need to understand about the new “news_keywords” metatag feature:

First, it might not affect your content at all. If your site isn’t included in Google News search results, using “news_keywords” metatags won’t help you. You can find out if your site is included in Google News by visiting news.google.com and searching for your site. Just enter site:yourwebsite.com (where yourwebsite.com should be replaced with your site information) and click the search button. If results are returned for your site, it’s included in Google News. If no results appear, your site is not in Google News. You can learn which sites Google considers for inclusion in Google News results here and submit your site for inclusion here.

Second, adding “news_keywords” metatags to your content takes a bit of technical prowess. Justin Horner provides step-by-step instructions to add “news_keywords” metatags to self-hosted WordPress sites on the Content Marketing Institute blog. If you’re comfortable editing a bit of code in your WordPress theme files, you can add the “news_keywords” metatags to your site within a few minutes.

Image: Sachin Ghodke