Why do news publishers need to learn more about SEO? Because the Semantic Web and Google’s evolution are changing the game. It’s certain that Google Author will release a deluge of authors. Journalists would hope to rise among them and bring that precious Google juice to their sites. This is a time of opportunity. And also a time not to be left behind. But most important, it’s past time to refine journalism SEO.
Conrad Saam, Director of Marketing for Urbanspoon, told me at TechWeek:
“The author’s authority is haloed to the blog. Google is trying to get a feel for the quality of authorship and have that come into play in the search rankings.”
Basically, topics matter and Google knows which authors are relevant to which topics. Saam said:
“If my mom writes a quote about SEO it shouldn’t matter. If Vanessa Fox — who is a guru of SEO — writes a post about the quality of SEO it should really matter. So finding out who is writing what and associating that with the quality of the content as a ranking factor is just absolutely happening.
What’s not to like?
Yellowstone Gate, Editor and Publisher, Ruffin Prevost pointed to this article by Joost de Valk, the developer of the Yoast for WordPress SEO plugin, which shows how Google has made registering for Authorship as easy as entering your email address from your site’s domain. Unfortunately, it looks like the plugin he has developed won’t work for multiple authors on one post. But it will work for everyone who writes for your WordPress news site. That’s pretty cool.
Who is expert at journalism SEO?
Prevost also noted this article by Frédéric Filloux, which discusses how online only outlets are often far better than legacy media in marketing stories to readers using SEO and headlines written using algorithms.
The essence of what we’re seeing here is a transfer of value. Original stories are getting very little traffic due to the poor marketing tactics of old-fashion publishers. But once they are swallowed by the HuffPo’s clever traffic-generation machine, the same journalistic item will make tens or hundred times better traffic-wise. Who is right? Who can look to the better future in the digital world ? Is it the virtuous author carving language-smart headlines or the aggregator generating eye-gobbling phrases thanks to high tech tools? Your guess. Maybe it’s time to wake-up.
Lean and nimble online news publishers already have a leg up on the big newsrooms. Perhaps time is right to add a few more SEO skills? Or perhaps it’s time to rethink the way a newsroom works, building a little SEO in from the beginning of the editorial process? What do you think? How do you work this?
Although Google Author does not yet factor in Google’s search rankings, it is at minimum sorting out issues of duplicate content. In this interview for Search Engine Journal with Sagar Kamdar, Google’s Director of Product Management in Search, Grant Crowell discusses how Google Author will help identify duplicate content:
Of course, one of the important reasons that Google implemented the Authorship program is to help them identify duplicate content. Some authors have had problems with others ranking higher than them in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for their own original content. Authorship is supposed to push the original author to the top of the rankings when someone does a search for their article. What it can’t yet do is exclude others who aren’t the original authors…
On the BlockbyBlock Facebook page, I asked independent online news publishers about the role of SEO, search engine optimization, on their hyperlocal news sites. Here’s a Storify on what they said about journalism SEO.
- Is writing the new superpower? Make it so with Google Authorship! (blockbyblock.us)
- On-site SEO Factors for 2012 According to 17 Industry Experts (organicseoconsultant.com)