Google Wants Keyword Metatags on News Websites

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Major travel brands and organisations with authoritative news services such as tourist boards, airlines and major hotel groups should be paying particular attention to their news sites this month.

Google has now introduced a new search engine optimisation (SEO) technique to categorise news websites. This technique is a way of tagging news website so that Google can classify them accurately. This is an old technique that Google have decided to revisit as part of its new updates.

The Google News blog has announced that with Panda 3.92 changes it will begin to index “news_keywords” metatags when ‘crawling’ news websites. News_keywords metatags are HTML programming codes inserted in the background of a webpages and not visible to ordinary Internet users.

Beforehand, Google had ignored meta_keyword tags due to the fact that it was often used as SEO spam techniques. Google’s Matt Cutts who had previously posted a YouTube video entitled “Google does not use the keywords meta tag in ranking.” has now taken to Twitter to announce that Google News will start using news_keywords metatags. However, Cutts states that Google will not be looking at news_keyword metatags on every website but only on news sites.

Twitter

Indexing news_keyword metatags on news websites will be only used to categories news articles accurately. Therefore, it is not necessary for the content of this metatag to be included in the headline or the content of the news article page. This will prevent it from being prone to spamming. Google only indexes news from reputable websites and therefore people are less likely to abuse the usage of this metatag.

The news_keywords metatag will be used by Google News to help classify news articles by topic. There aren’t a maximum number of keywords to add per article. However, Google suggests no more than a dozen keywords per article.

Google defines news websites as sites that provide updates and current reports on issues that its audience have a genuine interest in. How-to articles, advice columns and job advertisements will be discounted, as well as general information such as weather forecasts. So tourist boards with regular news about activity in their countries, airlines reporting on new routes or delays should all be taking this into account.

Website owners and SEO agencies alike should recognise that, although news_keywords metatags will now be an important feature of news articles, it is just one aspect of how Google can categorise your site. Google has provided guidelines and categories that you should pay attention to when creating Meta Tags for your news page.

The decision from Google to consider new_keywords metatags could be a beneficial development for many websites with a news pages. As mentioned before, although, this is just one way for a website to be categorised, it is better to implement than not. Google is constantly changing and updating so it is better to refresh your website gradually to avoid extensive maintenance at a later stage.

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