How to Get Your Blog Into Google News and Yahoo News

Google News and Yahoo News are the biggest automated news aggregators online. Millions of news junkies across the world read these news sources on a daily basis. If you want major exposure and publicity for your blogs, Google and Yahoo are where you want to be.

You will drive HUGE traffic to your blog plus you gain instant popularity from readers across the world! This is another great way to showcase your expertise and credibility to mass audiences.

Before you can submit your blog URLs, make sure to sign up for both a Google and Yahoo account (sign-ups are free!)

How Google News Works

Google “crawls” news sites and gathers articles. Headlines are crawled based on algorithms/certain factors: how often and the particular site where the story appears.

Google taps into more than 4,500 English-language news sources worldwide. There are NO human editors associated with selecting articles. They solely rely on online news outlets and online publishers to determine which stories have the most prominence/relevance. Google News consists of top stories and eight sections: World, Nation, Business, Sci/Tech, Sports, Entertainment, Health and Most Popular.

• Currently, Google News does NOT accept single articles or RSS/Atom feeds.

• Submit blog URL – You have to answer a few questions first before you submit your URL. Google reviews your blog to determine if it’s suitable for inclusion. They will notify you if your blog is accepted or if they need additional information. They cannot guarantee that your site will be added to Google News

• Google News Help Topics provides further information and tips for publishers.

How Yahoo News Works

Yahoo also gets millions of visitors to Yahoo News each day. Yahoo News works similar to Google News. There aren’t human editors picking out top stories. Main stories (that you find on Yahoo News front page) are generated by content partners. Internal search stories are found via the Yahoo News indexing.

• Fill out the Yahoo News source form. Yahoo asks you to fill out some preliminary questions. You also need to be able to “pitch” your blog. Yahoo asks you why you recommend your blog so make it sound good!

• Yahoo News will determine if your blog is suitable for inclusion – they will contact you if your blog is accepted.

How to Get Your Blog Accepted

The competition is stiff when applying to Google News and Yahoo News, and many blogs are rejected. However, there are some publishing tips to keep in mind when creating/writing your blogs.

• Original content – Unique content wins every time! Remember to make your content SEO-friendly and add relevant keywords. Don’t duplicate content on your blogs!

• More than one blogger/author – Content from one writer alone won’t do the trick – include guest bloggers/writers or ask another blogger to join you!

• Response time – Server response time (Bots look for pages they can index quickly and that load quickly for readers)

If Google News accepts your blog, Google suggests adding sitemaps to your blog. Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools and add sitemaps via the tools section. This is the easiest way to promote web traffic and for spiders to efficiently crawl your blog.

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How Much News Is Good News?

I’m not sure if the timing of last month’s “news free zone” assignment could have been worse or better. Coming just two days after the devastating tsunami hit Asia, how could I realistically expect you to take a two-day break from the news? I wonder if it seemed a bit callous of me to suggest such a thing. But here’s the interesting part: when I sent out the newsletter, I was in the middle of a weeklong news strike and had not yet heard about the disaster. While the rest of the world was watching the tragedy unfold, I was engaged in the act of hibernation.

When I did hear about it, I pondered the implications of “missing” this huge event. As much as I’d like to imagine that my knowledge of the event might have had some positive effect on the region, I’m fairly certain that the people affected by the tsunami did not notice my ignorance.

On a more personal level, if I had learned about the tsunami when it first struck, the information junky part of me would have pushed for an aggressive campaign of information gathering. I only have to look back to the last Gulf war for an example. During the height of that war, I was logging over an hour each day of online newsgathering. Calculating it out, over the course of that war I spent over forty hours gathering information that is of limited (or no) use.

I’ll stop short of calling that time wasted for it provided me with a wonderful opportunity to reevaluate my priorities. And that experience has informed my actions regarding the tsunami. Instead of diving into the photographs, videos, stories and discussions of the event, I have limited my newsgathering to brief updates.

My pondering also led me to the question of value: what is the value of newsgathering? What benefit does it provide? How does it serve me, my family, my community, the people affected by a news event? Again, I asked myself of what use is the time I spend watching, reading, or listening to the news? As with my Gulf War newsgathering experience, it is difficult for me to come up with ways in which the gathering of information is of much use.

In this age of instant information access we have the capacity to become passive observers of events anywhere in the world literally within seconds. With that ability comes a risk and a challenge.

The risk is that observing geographically inaccessible events – especially tragic events -can create a sense of helplessness within us. My personal experience shows that the act of newsgathering sets up a self-perpetuating cycle of disempowerment: we watch the news, get upset by it, feel there is nothing we can do to help, get more upset, watch more news in the hope that it will get better. . . but it never does.

The challenge then, is to find a way to break that cycle of disempowerment and balance our desire to be informed with our desire to be present in our own lives and actively contribute to the improvement of our world.

How can we do that? Here are some suggestions.

The most important step is to limit newsgathering time. If you currently watch the morning and evening news on TV, try to skip one. If you listen to news radio on your commute to and from work, switch to music or books on tape for one direction. If your Internet homepage displays news headlines, switch to a news-less homepage and choose your newsgathering time.

The next step is to re-empower yourself, to shift from a place of helplessness to an awareness that you have the power to provide valuable support and assistance. You have specific skills and resources you can apply to places and people in need. Here are just a few ways to turn your talents into tangible support.

Send positive thoughts and prayers:

While this may not seem to be a “tangible” action, it is. You’ve heard of the power of positive thinking related to your own beliefs and goals, but that power extends to everyone in the world. Everything on this Earth is connected in ways that we are only just beginning to comprehend. When you consciously take time during the day to “beam” your positive thoughts and prayers to the people affected by tragedy, those thoughts and prayers are definitely received. You may not see the results of your actions, but you are providing a wonderful gift to those people.

Donate money:

While the life costs can never be fully measured, the financial estimate for the healing, cleanup, and rebuilding in the aftermath of this disaster is well into the billions of dollars. What you can give may seem insignificant compared to the total amount needed, but it is through the power of collective giving that significant help is provided. Many of our local stores have set up collection funds. When I add a $5.00 contribution to an $85.00 grocery bill, the effect on me is hardly noticed, but when Whole Foods combines the contributions from all of their customers, the impact on the lives of those in Asia will be considerable.

Volunteer locally:

By cutting down on your newsgathering time you will create a chunk of extra time. If you devote some of this “extra” time to local organizations, you begin to actively break out of the cycle of helplessness. When you serve food at a local homeless shelter, or feed an injured bird at a wildlife rescue center, or provide after-school tutoring to children in underserved neighborhoods, you are able to witness the immediate, tangible and powerful effect that you can have on the world.

Come up with your own ways of breaking the cycle. How can you empower yourself? What skills, talents or resources can you contribute to people and places in need?

Envision and create your ideal balance between newsgathering and active engagement. In the quote above T.S. Eliot asks, “Where is the life lost in the living?” Stop losing your life to the news and start living in the way that feels right to you.