Some people regard the fact that you can post content online anonymously as one of the Internet’s greatest attractions. Google doesn’t think so.
Now that social signals, reviews and other content are being incorporated into the search algorithms, Google is very keen to know who is posting this content and whether you are a known and trusted source. Trust is the X-factor that bulletproofs your site from Google slaps and algorithm updates.
This is an excerpt from a Google patent application:
“Not all references, however, are necessarily of equal significance. For example, a reference by another agent with a high reputational score is of greater significance than a reference by another agent with a low reputational score.
Thus, the reputation of a particular agent, and therefore the reputational score assigned to the particular agent, should depend not just on the number of references to the content signed by the particular agent, but on the importance of the referring documents and other agents.”
In plain English—in Google’s eyes we are not all created equal.
Someone with what Google calls a “high reputational score” gets more Google juice than someone else with a low score. And your score is influenced by the quality and importance of other sites and people referring to your content (ah yes, those necessary inbound links.) And if someone who has a high score refers to your content, it raises your trust.
So how do you get to be trusted by Google?
1. Google Authorship. Verify who you are and what sites you write for.
2. Link out to authority sites and blogs.
3. Get your bounce rate down.
4. Have a branded domain for the site and the newsroom.
5. Register the domains for at least 2 years and make the “Who Is?” information public.
6. Post in depth content in the About Us/Company Info section of the site and newsroom.
7. Expert bios with comment on their topic of expertise.
8. Active social media accounts with followers and engagement.
9. Get links pointing to your site and your newsroom from authority sites and blogs.
10. Get links from media sites indexed in Google News.
Trust is vital to your search visibility and your news content can provide that trust, if you learn how to write and optimize it correctly.
Sally Falkow is a digital PR and social media strategist, and author of “SMART News: How to Write News Content for the Digital Age.” Follow Sally: @sallyfalkow.