Following the announcement that search engine giant Google has created a news_keywords metatag for publishers that are in, and want to be, listed Google News, Search News Media   is urging brands, businesses and marketers to invest in content now in order to benefit from the search engine’s continued emphasis on quality content.

The Google News metatag, introduced to help Google to better identify, understand and classify news-related content, is good news for those that like reading witty newspaper style headlines.

The new metatag allows brands big and small to create a title that does not need to have the keywords included, but it will have the ability to ‘tag’ the content with relevant keywords that are applicable to the story. Up to ten phrases per article can be added, and each keyword is given equal value.

Dale Lovell, Publishing Director at Search News Media comments;

“Newspapers and magazines have traditionally sold themselves via their headlines; many online publications however sell themselves through their search rankings. This invariably leads to some inclusion of keywords. What this means is that they have until now often faced restrictions in getting the title and opening sentence ‘correct’ in the eyes of search engines. The introduction of the metatag is great for online news content.

“Google continues to place considerable emphasis on content, and this is just another example of how the search engine is looking to reward sites that are creating good quality content.

“Google likes content led sites because there are few shortcuts that can be taken to create this sort of top-quality, informative content that is useful to users. Add to this the fact that search algorithms are increasingly looking at stats such as social likes, comments and shares to determine rankings – all of which need good content in order to get these stats – and it is easy to see why content is increasingly powerful.

“Content is set to be at the heart of all marketing activity in the future. Google Authorship and Google News metatags are just the start of it.”

As the world of search and social increasingly merge into one, there is going to be a far greater emphasis put on content in the future too. The rewards for brands that adopt a content strategy now, and continue to invest in that strategy over time, are set to far outweigh any initial investment; it will be quantified in far more than search rankings or social likes, too. Content will be online marketing. Everyone is a publisher now.

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