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Do Google News Websites Get Pushed Down In Organic Searches?

2:47 am on Sep 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We've a section on our website that publishes technology news and is indexed by the Google News service. Now, whenever there's a breaking news, the site usually attracts lot of traffic because Google lists the news articles on first page most of the times.

What we've noticed is that these articles are pushed down in organic searches and that hurts the overall traffic (long tail). Even our well researched articles do not get the rankings they deserve (I can definitely tell apples and oranges).

Now, as an experiment, we've began publishing more generic articles in another section of the site; but I'd like to know whether there's any confirmation that the articles that once appear in news don't get ranked well in natural search results?

PS: It even makes sense because news items is fresh only for about a day or a week, but not after that.
9:53 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've always had the feeling this this is so, but I can't 100% confirm it. Of course, when a query needs fresh results because it is breaking news, then a News Results line may also appear as part of Google's Universal Results page.

But it seems to me a news page from a news website often doesn't break into the organic Web Search top 10 (or even 30) until the news is getting stale. And depending how long tail the search is, that may mean it never shows up in Web Search.

I use both Google News and Google Web Search on a daily basis, so I do have a pretty big base of experience behind my opinion - although that is not a definitive study of a large data set.
3:41 am on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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That's the thing! I can't draw any conclusions based on observation over weeks and months. My options are -

1. Improve the news publishing frequency.
2. Focus more on long-tail content that will keep bringing the traffic.

So: 20% News & 80% regular articles - I think that could be the way to go. I'd however like more insights on this.
4:41 am on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If the articles get rotated out of the News Results and also off your top level news pages, they may simply not have time to receive the kind of linking that would allow them to rank for long tail in organic searches. This might give the appearance of being pushed down in organic, whereas actually they may never have taken root.

You might be able to give these articles a second life by, say, weekly or daily email or feed campaigns... even "best of" newsletters... to help attract more ongoing attention to them. Requires enough of a regular following, though, to create additional inbounds. It helps if this audience has websites and/or is motivated to tweet or share.

Thinking out loud... on the site itself, if you had both news and regular articles, you'd have a linking situation similar to the dynamic between a blog and static evergreen content. You'd need to pay attention to "related article" links both ways... blog to static pages, and static to blog... etc... but without overdoing it. Keep this internal linking relevant and focused.
7:22 am on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This has always got me thinking and that is somewhat the exact pattern i have observed in not all but most of news sites, specially the ones which print papers as well. This could primarily be because of poor titles and as Robert said, they don't get enough chance to stay on home page for longer period of time and get pushed away before they get necessary link juice or recognition.

In order to overcome that, you might want to pick your titles carefully and have a sitewide widget and place your top articles there for a week or a month time! this might get things going.