Google’s New Meta Tag for News Content: news_keywords

Data Log 10/03/2012

Google’s new meta tag is an ongoing effort to make its search results more relevant, the new meta tag is called “news_keywords” and used to classify news articles. You can include several keywords that best describe your article in your HTML. They do not have to appear in the article title or in the body text – the purpose of this new meta tag is to help Google’s search engine find and sort results.

What’s this new meta tag for?

The news_keywords meta tag makes SEO easier for publishers. Your writing can be more creative because you no longer have to structure your first paragraphs to include keywords. You can write a colorful introduction without worrying that readers searching for your topic will never see your article. You can also include keywords for subjects related to your topic.

How do I use the new meta tag?

Google suggests using news keywords to tell the search engine that your article relates to a particular topic when it contains terms that have multiple meanings. For example, including the word “soccer” in the news keywords tag for an article on World Cup Football will prevent the article from turning up in search results for “rugby.”

News keywords must be separated by commas. Google allows up to ten keywords or phrases. The order does not matter, and each keyword has equal weight.

The new meta tag applies only to articles posted on websites already officially approved by Google News. Marketing sites that primarily promote a product or organization are excluded. So are how-to articles, advice, and material that is strictly informational, such as weather forecasts or stock prices.

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