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SEO for news websites answers to proper considerations. Revenue for online publishers like newspapers relies on visits and page views. While page views should not be the only metric to take into account (bounce rate and time on-site are more representative of user behavior), page views in still one of the main criteria to set CPM costs. And organic traffic remains one of the main source of traffic and visits. SEO should be a true concern for news media because it influences their livelihood.
This articles discusses the key considerations to focus on when auditing and optimizing SEO for a news website.
Architecture is one of the most important SEO area to monitor because it has real impact on how Google and search engines are going to visit, interpret and rank your pages. For news media, this is particularly important because:
To preserve the highest link equity, which is generally close to the home, you need to organize archive content to fewer clicks from the home page. At the same time, newer pages also need to receive link juice. To organize your architecture and distribute link juice properly, you should focus on:
Pagination has a real impact on your architecture and link authority distribution. Some websites only have pagination relying on previous and next links on the home. Using numerical pagination is a better way to keep closer older content to the category homepage.
Moreover, users will need fewer clicks to reach a specific content.
News media often deal with large volume of pages and it can be quickly complicated to keep pages from a few clicks to the home page. Creating an index operating as a collection of links on one page lets you have around 100 links per page. This way, you can store high volume of pages close the main page. Here you can organize links by theme, tags or any other relevant classification to provide a better experience to your users.
By using a SEO crawler like OnCrawl, you can understand how your architecture behaves and how link authority flows. It is particularly interesting for internal popularity flow. OnCrawl has computed a score called the Inrank that calculates how internal popularity is distributed throughout the pages regarding the number and depth of inlinks pointing to the page. Other factor are used to ponderate the Inrank such as anchors and duplicated content evaluation so that all inlinks are not born equal. The homepage usually gets a 10 points Inrank, and then the Inrank is inherited from internal links.
For a news media, this is even more useful if you need to check that some categories of articles are receiving enough Inrank.
For instance, you could need to reorganize your page depth distribution to put strategic groups of pages close to the home. You can compare where your pages are located by looking at your depth distribution.
By looking at your logs, you can also understand that pages located far from the home have fewer chances to be crawled and indexed by Google. The same goes for crawl frequency.
Tags and categories – as taxonomy system – have been a subject of discussion for a while. Large websites are often suffering from creating too many tags or categories.
What you need to ask yourself is:
Different types of categories and tags can be used. Yoast has written an useful guide about category management.
Google News is for sure particularly useful for news websites if you want to drive more traffic. To be included in Google News, your content should:
If you are already on Google News but don’t appear in the results, a few reasons may explain why. In fact, Google values the following points:
You need to specifically focus on duplicate content if you want to have chances to appear on Google News but also just in terms of global rankings. Here are a few tips that could save you from being punished by Google:
News media need to get crawled and indexed fast by Google as content freshness is pretty low when it comes to news. Different onpage SEO factors can influence your crawl speed like site speed, hosting performance or XML sitemaps. News sitemaps needs to respect some rules:
Frequency of publication will also influence your crawl frequency. If Googlebot finds new content on your website with every crawl, it’ll come to your website more often. On the other hand, publishing content on a regular basis does not mean publishing unvaluable content. You don’t want Google to spend its crawl budget on useless pages. To know more about crawl budget, you can check our article.
By checking at your logs and crawl data, you can understand where Google is spending its crawl budget and which pages he is visiting the most.
Any other recommandation you would like to share with us? Feel free to tell us what you focus on when optimizing SEO for news media.