- Google recently rolled out the “Full Coverage” SERPs
- Will this impact traffic for news sites, SEO best practices, and content strategies?
- Here’s what in-house SEOs from The LA Times, New , Conde Nast, Wall Street Journal, and prominent agency-side SEOs foresee
Google’s “Full Coverage” update rolled out earlier this– but what does it mean for news-SEOs? In-house SEOs from The LA Times, New York Times, Conde Nast, Journal, and prominent agency-side SEOs weigh in.
As a news-SEO person myself, I was eager to get my peers’ opinions on:
- If this feature will result in more significant SEO traffic for news sites?
- If editorial SEO best practices and content strategies will evolve because of it?
- If it will result in closer relationships between SEO and editorial teams?
- Or will everything remain “business as usual”?
ICYMI: Google’s new “Full Coverage” feature in mobile search
Google added the “full coverage” feature to its mobile search functionality earlier thisto make it easier for users to explore content related to developing news stories from diverse publishers, perspectives, and media slants. Just below the “Top Stories” carousel, the option to tap into “Full Coverage”/“More news on…” for developing news stories. The news stories on this page will be organized in a variety of sub-news topics (versus one running list of stories like we’re used to seeing), such as:
- Top news
- Local news
- Beyond the headlines and more
Take a look at in-action here:
While the. The technology, temporal co-locality, works by mapping the relationships between entities – and understanding the people, places, and things in a story as it evolves. And then organizes it around storylines in “full coverage” of the topic searched for.
The launch of Google’s new “Full Coverage” feature in mobile search, specifically, is exciting because it takes its technology a step further; able to detect long-running news stories that span many days, like the currently available to English speakers in the U.S. and will be rolled out to additional languages and locations over the next few months., too many weeks or months like the pandemic to serve to users. The feature is
What five news-SEO experts think about “Full Coverage” in mobile search
1. Lily Ray, Senior Director, SEO & Head of Organic Research at Path Interactive
Lily Ray is a Senior SEO Director at Path Interactive in New York. She’s a prominent voice within the SEO community (with +15K followers on Twitter) and has been nominated for multipleawards throughout her career. She is well known for her E-A-T expertise. Here’s what she had to say:
“Full Coverage appears to be another new tool in Google’s arsenal for displaying a diversity of perspectives and viewpoints on recent news and events. It’s a good thing for publisher sites because it represents another opportunity to have news content surfaced organically. It may also serve as a way for niche or local publishers to gain more visibility in organic search, since Google is specifically aiming to show a broader range of viewpoints that may not always come across with the major publications.
Hopefully, Google will allow us to be able to monitor the performance of Full Coverage via either Search Console or Google Analytics, so we can segment out how our articles do in this area compared to in other areas of search.”
2. Louisa Frahm, SEO Editor at The LA Times
Louisa Frahm currently serves as the SEO Editor at the Los Angelesat the University of Southern California. Before the LA Times, Frahm was an SEO strategist at other high-profile digital publications, including Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, TMZ, Yahoo!, and E! Online. Here’s her take:
“I’ve always liked that element of Google News. It taps into readers (like me!) who are consistently hungry for more information. Working in journalism, I’m always in favor of readers utilizing a diverse array of news sources. I’m glad that this new update will tap into that. I’m interested to see which stories will fall into the “develop over some time” criteria. I could see it working well for, but big breakout themes like Harry and Meghan could also fit that bill.
A wide variety of story topics have resulted from that, and fresh angles keep flowing in! As we’re in the thick of the 2021 , I could also see the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Oscars playing into this with their respective news cycles before, during, and after the events. The long-term aspect of this update inspires me to request more updates from writers on recurring themes so that we can connect with the topics this particular feature likes. Though pure breaking news stories with short traffic life cycles will always be , this feature reinforces the additional importance of more evergreen long-term content within a publisher’s content strategy. I could see this a traffic boost since it allows for one more way for stories to get in front of readers. We always want as many eyeballs as possible on our content. Happy to add one more element to my news SEO tool kit. Google always keeps us on our toes!”
3. Barry Adams, Founder of Polemic Digital
Barry Adams is the founder of SEO consultancy Polemic Digital. His company has helped news and publishing companies such as – The Guardian, The Sun, FOX News, and Tech Radar, to name a few. He has earned numerous search marketing awards and has spoken at industry conferences. This is his opinion:
“The introduction of Full Coverage directly into search results will theoretically mean there’s one less click for users to make when trying to find the full breadth of reporting on a news topic. Whether this actually results in significantly more traffic for publishers is doubtful. Thein reading a broad range of sources on a news story will already have adopted such click behaviour via the news tab or directly through Google News. This removal of one layer of friction between the SERP and a larger number of news stories seems more intended as a to emphasize its commitment to showing news from all kinds of publishers – the fact remains that the initial Top Stories box is where the vast majority of clicks happen. This Full Coverage option won’t change that.”
4. John Shehata, Global VP of Audience Development Strategy at Conde Nast, Founder of NewzDash News SEO
John Shehata is the Global VP of Audience Development Strategy at Conde Nast, theknown for brands such as – Architectural Digest, Allure, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. He’s also the founder of NewzDash News SEO – a News & Editorial SEO tool that helps publishers and news sites boost their visibility and traffic in . This is his opinion:
“Google has been surfacing more news stories on their SERPs over the past few years; first Top Stories were two-three links, then became a 10-link carousel. Google will continue to introduce multiple and other forms in the SERPs beyond Top Stories article formats.the Top Stories carousel from one to three featuring 30 news stories. They also introduced local news carousels for some local queries [and now, this new feature]. It is obvious that Google keeps testing with different formats when it comes to news. One of our top news trends and prediction for 2021 is
As for the impact on traffic back to publishers, it is a bit early to predict, but I do notin traffic. Do not get more wrong; this feature provides more chances for more publishers to be seen; the question is how many search will click. And if users click, Google surfaces over 50 news links plus tweets, making it even more competitive for publishers to get clicks back to their stories.
I did some quick analysis in July ofSearch Console started providing News tab data. I found that News Impressions are less than five percent of total web impressions. Not quite sure how is the new “Full Coverage” feature CTR will be and how many users will click! The “full coverage” link placement is better than the tabs, so we might see higher CTR.”
5. Claudio Cabrera, Deputy Audience Director, News SEO at The New York Times
Claudio Cabrera is the Deputy Audience Director of News SEO at the New. He is an award-winning audience development expert, journalist, and educator. Before working at The New , he was Director of Social and Search strategy at CBS Local. Here are his thoughts: “It can be viewed in many ways. Some brands will see it as an opportunity to gain more visibility, while others will feel their strong foothold may be lost. I think it encourages better journalism and even better SEO because it forces us to think outside of our playbooks and adjust on some level to what we’re seeing users.
From a site traffic perspective, I can’t comment onus. Still, I know there are so many other areas where sites have done serious research and testing, like Discover, where audiences can grow and be picked up if you see a drop-off. I don’t think the best practices of SEO change too much, but I think the relationship between search experts and editors deepens and becomes even closer in the algo.”
Google’s new “Full Coverage” feature in mobile search rolled out earlier this month and extended the full coverage function developed for Google News in 2018. This newto help users understand complex news stories holistically as they grow – by organizing editorial content to go beyond the top headlines and media outleEssentiallyence, they givingving users the “full coverage” of the event.
News-SEO experts seem to agree that this new feature will make it simpler for users to explore – and gain a holistic understanding of – trending news stories. Regarding what this new feature means for SEO traffic and strategy, experts can only speculate until more developing news stories emerg, and we can analyze the impact. Elizabeth Lefelstein is an SEO consultant based in Los Angeles, California. She’s worked with various high-profile brands throughout her career and is passionate about technical SEO, editorial SEO, and blogging. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter @lefelstein.