Following the release of its latest update, Google has revealed that it has started prioritizing local news in its search results. The move is said to be part of the company’s efforts to improve local search and make information more accessible to people who are looking for important details about their neighborhood and community.
For people who aren’t sure what that means, here’s a quick breakdown of how Google’s latest update works, along with some insight on why this change matters so much for local news organizations like yours.
What does this change mean for users?
If you use Google to search for news, your search results just got a little more local. The tech giant announced on its official Webmaster Central blog that it’s now prioritizing local news stories in its search algorithm. This means it will emphasize pages from nearby publications in your search results over national outlets or media sites based abroad.
Why did Google do this?
Google knows that local news outlets are under a lot of pressure in today’s digital world. Many of them have closed their doors over time, and more than a few have been reduced to nothing more than simple content farms.
Since those sites wouldn’t be able to compete with national news sources like CNN or The New York Times in terms of rankings, Google had no choice but to find another way for people to access local news stories when they’re looking for something relevant.
What Google Says About Prioritizing Local News With Latest Update
The Top Stories feature in particular has been targeted since it has the potential to limit the ability of only the largest news organizations to get their websites viewed by the various users who would be interested in that type of news in the first place.
After all of that has been said and done, it is crucial to note that Google just made an upgrade that may result in all of that being modified at long last. This update has altered the ranking algorithm to give relevant local news sites a bit of a boost in Top Stories, which can help to balance things out and tip the scales in the right direction for a change.
Google’s Showcase initiative is also undergoing a makeover, with more control being provided to the participating publishers. Publishers will now be allowed to select articles that they believe are the most important, and these items will appear in the top stories area.
It’s fantastic that Google is returning some power to local news and websites that aim to share information, because the way things were going previously may have resulted in a news environment rife with disinformation.
Publishers of showcase content will also begin receiving real-time updates on things like user engagement with their content. This will allow them to gain a better understanding of the types of interactions their content is receiving, allowing them the opportunity to enhance it when necessary.
It’s also critical to provide these websites with additional information about how people feel about their articles, and Google is the sole business capable of doing so, with other search engines likely to follow suit.
Read our article on all measure Google Algorithm Update and how this update will impact on your site.