Have you ever imagined a world where you could talk to Google? Well now you can. Sort of.
Representatives from Google News, during a session at this years Online News Association conference in Boston, announced a new meta tag that will allow its over 50,000 subscribers to send a message to Google News. This will signal the search engine and inform it that your content is a ‘standout’ story--breaking news, an original piece, something no one else has published.
The standout tag is placed in the HTML header of your content, and if picked up by the Google News algorithm, labeled as a "featured" story for readers. The tag’s syntax is as followed:
<link rel="standout" href=“http://www.example.com/scoop_article_2.html”/>
Now, why should marketers care about this?
1. Marketing More Like a Publisher
Part of being an inbound marketing rockstar means you’re ranking high in search. Although this standout tag does not help ranking in search engines, the same theory can be applied. If you have a powerful story to tell, essential information to share with society, or just something hilarious and irresistible, the media (traditional, blogs, etc) will pick it up. And if that outlet deems that content to be standout material, perhaps they’ll throw in that tag and boost your tale as their feature story. Thus, those who click on Google News that day may just see you featured as the number one story of the day (or minute, seeing that news changes so rapidly).
2. Staying Current
Part of being a marketer is knowing what is going on in the world around you. You never know when a customer will mention the latest news. The story may be a conversation starter, or even relevant to your campaign. Regardless of the situation, you do not want to be caught with a lost gaze on your face. This new tag will help Google News decipher what content truly is new, unique, and the most up-to-date. Therefore, when you navigate to the Google News page, the top story will showcase exactly what you need to spend time reading to avoid the aforementioned situations.
It’s important to keep in mind that this tag will only work for Google News' subscribed publishers. For further information on the standout tag, check out my 1-on-1 interview with Google News product special David Smydra on the ONA 2011 website.
How else do you think this standout tag could benefit marketers?