Google News Facelift June 2017

What’s this about?

This is an extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates 30 June 2017.

The news we’ve all been waiting for! Google News has had a facelift for the first time in 7 years. Aside from tweaked look and feel, they are also trying to deal with echo chambers and fake news. Read about the changes in this post.

If you would like to discuss ways this facelift could impact your traffic and visibility on Google News, and how to improve it, please feel free to contact me.

#SEO #GoogleNews #UserExperience


Google News Spruced Up After a Mere 7 Years

Summary:

  • 7 years after the last update, Google News has had a spruce up.
  • This is partially to improve the UX / design side of things with improved readability and  improved navigation.
  • With the addition of “different perspectives” to related coverage boxes, this is also and attempt to break out of those bubbly echo chambers.
  • The final part is a step to reduce the impact of fake news with an additional Fact Check box listing information from avowed reliable news sites and myth-debunking sites.
  • As with all change, this has brought all sorts of “put it back to the way it was” complaints out of the woodwork.

TWIS 30 June 2017 Google News Facelift

Actions to take:

  1. Review the new Google News layout.
  2. If publishing news, ensure your stories are well-sourced and accurate.
  3. Providing alternative commentary is now an opportunity for enhanced visibility in the related coverage area.
  4. Try to avoid re-publishing fake news…
  5. Contact me if you would like to discuss ways to rank in Google News further.

Discussion:

Google News is now rather venerable, being 15 years old. Like all oldies, it needs a make-over at certain points in its life.

The UX & design changes are obviously a result of shifts to mobile, and consumption outside of the Google News app. Unsurprisingly, these changes bring loud squeals of complaints from users, but they are unlikely to go elsewhere for their news.

The big change is increasing the rounded perspective / alternative viewpoints side of things, so that Google News is not viewed as a mouthpiece for a singular, mainstream, point of view. The Fact Check box is also a good addition to try to overcome issues surrounding Fake News.

It’s important to realise that the Google News algorithm is relatively gameable – Google really likes fresh content in this area, and the big news organisations exploit this as much as the smaller ones. It’s a simplistic algorithm, akin to the old algos in use by Yahoo! and other prior to Google’s rise in the late 1990s.

More info:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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TL;DR

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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