To most Examiners, the goal is to get at least a portion of their articles accepted by Google News as opposed to simply having their articles listed in the Google Index. Getting listed in the Index is a given – it happens within minutes from the time you hit the publish button. Getting listed on the Google News feed, on the other hand, isn’t automatic.
There are those who will tell you that it’s no big deal, really, to hit that Google News feed but they’re also the first people to hit the forum and whine when it doesn’t happen. So yes, it’s important, for two reasons:
Traffic – Obviously, you’ll get more traffic simply because your article is now being promoted by Google. However, not every topic is as hot as the news that Justin Bieber cut his hair or Lindsay Lohan just got arrested again. Depending on your topic, the direct traffic you get from the Google News feed may be minimal.
Syndication – However, once you start hitting GN consistently, you’ll notice traffic coming in from other blogs and websites who’ve picked up your article in their own Google News feed reader and it’s automatically being posted on their site. Eventually, these blogs and websites will just start picking up your own Examiner RSS feed and publishing links to every article you publish. This is why you want to get your Examiner articles accepted by Google News.
What Makes A Newsorthy Article Different From Any Other?
Every day there’s someone in the Examiner forum whining because their article didn’t pass muster and of course, they blame it entirely on Examiner. But, in order to protect that relationship with Google so they’ll continue to accept our articles, Examiner must police the articles before they’re submitted and you must meet the requirements.
Whining that your article didn’t get accepted and you see crappy articles all over GN all day long doesn’t really make sense. For one thing, two wrongs never make a right. And for another, you’re admitting that you wrote a crappy article!
Timing: Your news article must be about an event that happened within the last three days. This is an Examiner requirement and you can whine all you want about announcements of upcoming events being newsworthy, too, but this is a requirement.
If the event happened more than three days ago, it’s no longer news, regardless of what you think. The world moves too fast these days and people have already forgotten about your “newsworthy” event.
Writing style: A “news-style” article is written in the third person, with no references to the words “I” or “we.” Your thoughts and opinions should not be included anywhere in the article. You’re simply reporting on the event and the reader can form his own opinion if he wants to.
If you absolutely must express an opinion, save it for the last paragraph of the article. Better yet, write a non-news, evergreen opinion piece about it and link them together.
Lede paragraph: Your lede, or lead, paragraph is crucial. It must contain the who, what, when, where, and why of the situation and it must show, without a doubt, how this news story is relevant to your title.
I’ve had every single one of my last 60 articles accepted by Google News. Here’s an example of my standard opening paragraph used in an article for my Coast to Coast AM Radio title:
“The guest during the third hour of the Coast to Coast AM banking fraud special on Saturday, August 25, 2012, was William K. Black, author of “The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is To Own One.” Black spent his hour discussing the Federal Reserveand his recipe for how to rob a bank.”
In your lede paragraph you absolutely can not use any wording that suggests opinion. For example, “Black spent a long and boring hour..” or “the con artists at the Federal Reserve…” Just the facts, ma’am, nothing but the facts.
News vs. Evergreen: What’s the difference?
The stumbling block for most Examiners is they don’t understand what “newsworthy” means and how to tie it into their Examiner title.
A recipe for Berea Spoonbread is not newsworthy, it’s an evergreen article. As such, there should be no mention of dates or holidays, not even the word “recent” or “new”.
However, an article titled “Boone Tavern reveals secret Spoonbread recipe” that talks about how the chef shared his recipe with you at the annual spoonbread festival IS newsworthy. It’s a specific event, that happened at a specific time, and new information was gained that readers will find important. In other words, you’re reporting on an event, not just sharing a recipe.
How To Avoid The Dreaded “Newsworthy Ding”
Once you hit that 300 level for newsworthiness it becomes a lot easier to get your articles accepted. Maybe the editors are a little less “editorial” because you’ve reached that milestone, but I like to think that you’ve learned more about writing newsworthy articles along the way.
The best way to avoid that “Newsworthy Ding” is right there in your opening paragraph. Either zero in on the who, what, when, where, why and the tie-in to your title, or don’t – but don’t try to combine the two.
With Examiner.com, your article is either News or it’s Evergreen. We’ve already covered what to do if you want to get it accepted by Google News. Now, if it’s not completely a “news” article, then it must be Evergreen, in Examiner’s eyes. Period.
No references to dates, times or holidays in your opening paragraph. This means you can’t use the words “yesterday” or “last week” or “last month”.
The information should be relevant forever – or at least for a very long time. Here’s an example:
Evergreen: Berea Spoonbread Recipe
News: Boone Tavern chef reveals secret Spoonbread recipe
Neither: Spoonbread Recipe for Christmas 2012
Taking the easy way out and writing an article that’s neither Evergreen nor Newsworthy works for a while, but eventually you’re going to want to get your articles on Google News. So why not take the time and learn how to do it right to begin with? That’s what makes you a better writer!
- Examiner.com Tips: Choosing a Local vs. a National Title
- Put Your Small Business In The News With Examiner.com
- Forget About Article Marketing And Get Real Traffic With Examiner.com
- Can You Use Examiner.com To Promote Your Blog Or Business?
- My Personal Examiner.com Success Story