Update: I did follow the Ghost tutorial to set up a Google News sitemap just now. But definitely hope for and open to other feedback. Thank you!
Hi! I run a news website in Berkeley, CA, that publishes daily stories about public safety. It has been my beat for the past 10 years.
I launched my site at the end of September, so it’s new, and I’m sure that’s a factor. But I’ve already published 80 stories; most are scoops and exclusives. My site is indexed but I’m still having some serious issues. I’ve had links from regional and national outlets due to all the stories I’ve been breaking, but I’m still just getting very low Google visibility.
Fortunately, social, direct and referral traffic have all been awesome. But search is obviously a key piece as I grow. All my SEO is optimized. But it’s not helping at all.
Here are some of my main pain points right now. I feel like there must be more I can do to make this better.
(1) Even though I run all my stories through Google Search Console, they take hours or longer to be indexed. That obviously doesn’t work for a news source where most of my stories are scoops and breaking news. I’m just using the basic Ghost sitemap …
(2) Searching for “berkeley scanner” leads folks to my site which is great. But searches for specific article subjects or more general things like Berkeley crime and Berkeley police (the focus of nearly all my stories) just don’t lead to my site at all - or I am VERY far down the rankings. It’s frustrating when I am the one breaking news that others pick up (and often credit me for, via link and name!) - but Google still isn’t surfacing my stories in any way.
(3) My publication is listed in Google News, but searching for key terms in my stories (headline, lede, etc.) does not result in my stories being shown AT ALL for any search; searching for my site name in Google News ONLY pulls up other news sites that link to me and my scoops. I can’t figure out why that is or if there’s some change I need to make in the News Publisher center setup.
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.