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News in Blended Search

For the last few months we’ve noticed that Google has begun surfacing news results on Page 1 of their blended Web search.  After taking a closer look, here are a few specifics we have found:

1. News stories have approximately a 24-hour shelf life in blended search – In fact, news stories surface on page 1 of Google for about 24-hours or so.  After that they are primarily just found in news search.

2. Keyword competition is an important variable in determining placement on page 1 – For less competitive keywords, top placement is possible.  Take for example a release from PRWeb customer America’s Watchdog, “Mesothelioma Victims Center Urges Diagnosed Mesothelioma Victims To Call Them First For Help, Advice and Honesty.”  On day 1, the release appears at the top of Page 1 for a query of “Mesothelioma Victims”:

This is decent placement but it is worth noting that mesothelioma + victims isn’t a terribly competitive keyword.  According to the Google Keyword Tool, there are about 880 queries for the term on a monthly basis.

For more competitive keywords, the placement moves down the page.  Take for example the release titled, “Twilight Star Ashley Greene Covers the Latest Issue of Savvy Magazine.”  If you search for “Ashley Green,” a search term queried about 673,000 times every month, the news placement is now at the bottom of the page.

3.  Placement of keywords in the title is extremely important – Google seems to be paying a lot of attention to the keywords in the title of the release.  Take for example the release titled, “New Web Site Guides Moms to Greener Living.”  The release shows up on the bottom of Page 1 in the news section for a query of “Greener Living,” which is a fairly competitive term but a search for a far less competitive term found in the body of the release, Nickie Night (the founder of the site), doesn’t show up at all in the news section of Page 1 although I should mention that the news release does show up as a standard Web result.

4. Keyword sequence is important but proximity is sufficient – The keywords don’t have to appear completely sequentially.  Take for example the release titled,  “Manhattan, NY Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Performs 200th Buttock Implant Procedure.”  The higher volume query for this customer is Manhattan +Plastic +Surgeon however the presence of those keywords in the title is sufficient to result in a mid-Page 1 placement:

It should be noted that much of these recommendations are based on a relatively small sample set.  More extensive research may result in varying patterns however in general, I would conclude that in certain cases where a query is relatively targeted, news releases can be an effective means for targeted potential audience members through Page 1 of the blended Web search.

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