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Google News Surfaces: Jargon, Traffic Impact, and More

Google News Surfaces: Jargon, Traffic Impact, and More

In the world of Google News, the lexicon used by SEO experts to describe its diverse surfaces can be both accurate and confusing. Discerning the significance of each news surface can be a big fat question mark, but the answer does matter.

Let's talk through the significance of every surface, which news categories they feature, how they shop up, the analytics you can get from them, and their ramifications on Google Organic Search traffic. 

Google Search Top Stories (News Box / News Carousel)

Significance: Principal (Utmost Importance)

Type: Search Engine (Displayed results predicated on search queries)

Website Traffic: 40-60% of organic search traffic constitutes Top Stories traffic. This ratio hinges on the news-to-evergreen content proportion on a website. For news-centric sites with scant evergreen content, the average ranges between 40-60%.

Display: On desktops, 3-7 news articles; on mobile, 10-30 stories. As the majority of publishers witness 80-90% of their traffic from mobile devices, mobile display outweighs desktop.

Analytics: Segregating Top Stories traffic from a publisher's overall Organic Search traffic remains tricky (not gonna happen, actually.) Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and analogous tools lack Top Stories-specific analytics.

Performance Tracking: NewzDash exclusively furnishes insights into News Search Visibility, which encompasses organic traffic share and real-time tracking of News Trends Rankings, updated every 15 minutes. Traditional SEO tools falter in tracking Search Visibility and comprehensive rankings within Top Stories.

Optimization: Google News Top Stories SEO & Optimization

Google Discover

Significance: Secondary - In certain cases, Google Discover might serve as the primary traffic source, a precarious scenario. Google Discover operates as a tactic, not a steadfast strategy. Its volatility could lead to its abrupt cessation.

Type: Recommendation Engine - The social feed tailors content to individual users based on their interests, past searches, geographical location, and more.
Website Traffic: 20-40% of Organic Search Traffic

Display: Continuous display of news articles, videos, cards, and evergreen content, confined to MOBILE devices.

Analytics: Click data accessible through Google Search Console. Analytics data remains somewhat inaccurate, with a significant portion of traffic categorized as Direct.

Performance Tracking: There are a handful of third party tools that can track Google Discover performance.

Optimization: Google Discover Optimization

Google News (news.google.com)

Significance: Tertiary - Third in importance. Serves as a gauge of News Authority - sites excelling in a Google News section are likely to perform well in related news keyword sections. Strong correlation with Google Discover.

Type: Primarily a Recommendation Engine (+ Search Capabilities) - Users interested in a specific topic receive a nearly identical feed.

Website Traffic: 2-4% of Organic Search Traffic; select publishers secure 14-18% through prominent placement on Google News' main homepage.

Display: News categorized into sections and topics.

Analytics: Click data available via Google Search Console under "Google News," as well as in Google Analytics under the referral "news.google.com."

Performance Tracking: A few platforms can track visibility on Google News, updating every 15 minutes.

Google Search News Tab

Significance: Least Significant

Type: Search Engine - An extension of the Top Stories module.

Website Traffic: 0.5-2% of Organic Search Traffic

Display: 10 Blue Links accompanied by images, alongside segmented clusters of news articles related to searches.

Analytics: Click data accessible through Google Search Console, categorized under Search Results and filtered by Search Type "News."

Performance Tracking: Predominantly reliant on Google Search Console.

Google News Surfaces

The significance and traffic contributions of each of Google's News Surfacesmay fluctuate based on specific industries and websites. This is just a broad comparison of the various Google News Surfaces. For precision, you'll want to dive into the platforms themselves. Good luck!

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