Today at the Online News Association conference, Google introduced a new link rel attribute that news organizations can use to mark their best work. You can mark up to seven pieces of content per week. Google News will use this information as a signal for labeling news stories as “featured” on the Google News home page and in News search results.
The attribute works a similar way as other link rel attributes:
- The tag should be placed in the <head> section of the source code on the page
- The syntax is <link rel=”standout” href=”URL”>
<link rel="standout" href="http://searchengineland.com/my-awesome-article>
When marking your own content as standout, you place this tag on that page and indicate the canonical URL. You can also recognize excellent source content from another publication that was a resource in writing your story. In this latter case, you would point to the URL of the source as the href value. You can point to content on any domain. Unlike the seven-article limit per week on flagging your own content as standout, there’s no limit on the number of times you can cite other content.
In other words, you can point to your own domain up to seven times a week (any more than that and Google News will start to ignore this tag) but can point to other domains as many times as you’d like. Citing other sources is different from using the original-source and syndication-source tags. Those tags tell Google what version of the story should get credit; this tag tells Google which story is the “standout” version.
Google News already recently introduced Editors’ Picks, and it’s unclear how these two feature will work together, although a news organization has to be approved for Editors’ picks, whereas any publisher can use the standout tag.
- Google News includes around 50,000 publishers
- Google searchers click on news stories 4 billion times a month — 1 billion from news.google.com and 3 billion from news results in web search
- When searchers skip a result and click the result below it, that is a signal that the clicked result is more trusted, which may boost its ranking in the future
- If you embed a YouTube video on a page of a site that’s part of Google News, that video could appear in Google News results even if the channel that it comes from isn’t a Google News publisher
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