Google gives more visibility to local news publishers

Local news publishers could get some extra visibility and traffic – both from regular search results and Google News Showcase, Google announced today.

Google ranking improvement. Google announced an improvement to its ranking systems. This change is meant to help searchers discover stories from “authoritative, relevant local news sources.” Google also said this change means local news publications should appear alongside national publications in places like Top Stories.

Google News Showcase panels. Publishers who are part of Showcase program can now decide which content appears in their local news panels on Google News. Basically, it’s an easy way for publishers to highlight what they consider to be the most important news of the day.

Google News Showcase is Google’s content-license program that pays publishers to curate content via story panels. Since launching News Showcase in October 2020, Google has signed deals with 1,200+ news publications in more than a dozen countries.

You can find the local section of Google News on the left side navigation or in the local section of the For You feed in the Google News app.

Google News Showcase real-time reporting: Also in today’s announcement, Google mentioned that it recently began letting publishers see, in real-time, how readers are engaging with their Showcase content. Google said this data can help publishers quickly respond to what’s trending, add more context to stories, or add related panels to stories gaining traction. 

Why we care. All of this is potentially good news for local news publishers. Google provides a significant portion of traffic to publishers – but they are often competing with large, national media brands who dominate Google News and the regular search results. Every publisher’s goal is to grow their traffic and audience. So long as you are publishing high-quality stories and doing proper news SEO, the opportunity is there for you to seize. 

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