It’s not every weekend that I get to dedicate two full days to actual research. With the responsibilities of real time projects coupled with the everyday chores of personal and family upkeep, getting in a good 15+ hours of new research is what many of us in the industry would call a productive vacation. With that in mind, I’ve decided to write an article that specifically deals with the search term Reputation Management, and its appearance on Google News.
As someone who has directly managed an uncountable number of Google News acceptance campaigns (defined as dealing with the uploading of content as well as backend programming methods for ensuring the best chance possible of getting a website entered into the News department of Google’s search engine), I feel I have a solid grasp on the Do’s and Dont’s of said campaigns. With that in mind, I’d like to focus on a recent discovery that has been begging for an article for months.
Reputation Management In Google News
If you’re a Reputation Management expert, then the screenshot I’ve pasted above will no doubt give you a general idea of where this article is going. If not, then suffice to say that Google News gone through an extensive process over the last few years to ensure that the links appearing highly on its search engine queries are actually news (and not public relations excerpts). Nonetheless, there are still some very popular terms that have yet to get the royal treatment (in programming terms), and one of those terms is RM.
You’ll notice in the screenshot that the top two results happen to be press releases when RM is searched via Google News. Honestly, with all the work that has gone into Google Panda, Google Penguin and Google Hummingbird, I was somewhat surprised earlier this year when a general news search for our all-inclusive term resulted in a number of spam-like entries. What’s more, as this article is being written, eight out of ten of the top results under Google News for the term Reputation Management happened to be press releases. I suppose this is a good thing for the industry, as it shows an undeniable trend toward competition, yet the focus of this article to make another point about how search engine algorithms have adapted (and will continue to correspondingly update) in favor of genuine news rather than public relations snippets.
What Is Really News?
For a more in-depth take on the algorithmic process behind search engines, take a look at the SEO Demystified article I wrote back in 2013. It outlines how search engines have evolved from the beginning days of the Internet and explains what SEO methods have become outdated. If you’ve read that article or already have a solid grasp on how SEO works, then the fact that so many PR stories happen to show up under Google News when RM is searched may come as somewhat of a shock.
However, this is something that is going by the wayside in more ways than one. Not only are popular search engines constantly updating their software to filter news, there is also a swift change currently happening in the social media department when it comes to which articles, viewpoints and advertisements are considered authoritative.
While the Reputation Management companies (all great ones I’m sure) that happened to get their press releases to appear on the Google News platform are sure to benefit from short term exposure and a potential massive influx of business, it won’t be long until it becomes much more difficult – if not impossible – for such an event to transpire. What’s more, websites that offer press releases as news could find themselves penalized for such acts due to how algorithmic filters are created and implemented.
Tips For Avoiding Soft, Promotional News
There are several things to avoid when categorizing your website publications as News if you ever endeavor to enter a large search engine database and remain there. For one, news entries should be precisely that – news. Topics that include pointers, promotions, tips, guidelines, and opinions are being filtered into their relevant categories in real time by most search engines, and the fact that Google hasn’t completely polished its software for the Reputation Management term is simply an exception to this trend – nothing more.
Only a few years ago (namely before the creation of Google Panda), websites could easily enter into Google News and have their spam appear highly in the company’s search engine since acceptance into the News site was pretty much automatic. All you had to do was apply. That’s no longer the case, and the restrictions that have been placed on news sites are growing yearly if not more often than that.
The canned 500-600 word news articles (along with their effortless 50-word cousins) are all but irrelevant and a waste of time in today’s environment where search engines can sniff out a line of garbage in less time than it takes to type it out. As a website owner or administrator, don’t put yourself in a position to be made an example of when it comes to publishing useless updates and hoping that they will get you into Google News. It may still work in the very short term, but running the risk of having those stories subsequently wiped from the database and your website penalized for future search rankings far outweighs any short term benefit unless you’re planning on closing your virtual doors by year’s end anyway.
As a website publisher, you need to be very careful about how you categorize content. It is absolutely fine to publish whatever you like – opinions, news, photographs, videos, reviews, gossip, mortgage rates, stock market insight, your pet’s favorite treat… whatever – as long as you’re up front about what is being posted. Gaming Google is not nearly as profitable as it used to be and can come with severe consequences.
Working Towards Authority
It all comes down to being perceived as an authority figure on a given topic; especially when it pertains to sites like Google News. Author Rankings are just now becoming mainstream in our industry, yet they will almost undoubtedly be instrumental in search engine categorization for years to come. The more quality content you publish related to a certain topic or topics, the more you will be perceived as someone of authority on that subject. It sounds simple and really should be, but the effort to game the system has forced search engines to update their software to counteract with spammers. With each passing day, it becomes more important to upload content that will interest the target audience rather than turn them off. The best way to give yourself a shot at having a search engine consider you as an authority figure on a particular topic is to write about it and express your thoughts in a way that will be well interpreted by an audience.
Posting in formus and chat rooms will also play a substantial role in paving the way for the future of Online News as well as how entries are ranked in general. Already, there is a growing trend towards showing links forum feedback when a popular term is searched, so becoming an active member on forums is one of the best ways to improve your personal authority ranking.
The Ins And Outs Of The Reputation Management Business
After reviewing the press releases that appeared as News, I came up with an idea to do further research into various Reputation Management companies, the services they provide, the cost of those services as well as their overall value. Although this article probably isn’t the best place to insert that information, I’ll be working on this for one of my upcoming articles. It serves as a win-win situation by providing our readers with updated data on how RM providers work as well as allowing me to compare our services here at Reputable with our competitors.
I look forward to publishing my research in the weeks to come, and as always appreciate any feedback you have. If you’d like to make a comment about this article, feel free to leave a reply below or email me directly. I’m happy to be of assistance in any way and enjoy discussing how Reputation Management can help your business or personal image online.
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