Krishna Bharath Discusses the past and Future of Google News

Krishna Bharat, founder and engineering head of Google News, speaks with David Nordfors, Founding Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication at Stanford University


The Meta Keywords Tag Is Back, At Least For Google News

Everyone knows Google stopped using the meta keywords tag ages ago. They simply ignore it and because of that, many SEOs don’t bother to use it. But yesterday Google announced they will begin using it for Google News publishers in the form of the news_keywords metatag. It looks like this:  In fact, I’ve already implemented on this site because it is easy. I don’t have meta keywords but I do have the news_keywords tag.

More Powerful +1s on Google News

Over the past few months, myriad sites across the web (including Google News) have adopted the +1 button to help start conversations. But there hasn’t been an easy way for signed-in users to see what news articles your friends are enjoying — until now.

Starting today, the Spotlight section will sometimes include articles that your Gmail contacts and people in your Google+ circles have publicly +1’d. You can see their profile pictures and click through to their Google+ profiles, just like on Social Search. And of course you can +1 the stories too, expressing your opinion and optionally sharing with your circles.

Here’s what Spotlight looks like with social annotations:

We hope this change helps you find more great articles to enjoy, and gives more power to your +1s.

Google News Spotlight Has Google +1’s Now Highlighted

The change is in Google News Spotlight section. This section now shows the Google+ friends and the Gmail contacts that have +1 ed the story alongside the link to the news.

google +

What exactly is changed?

If you are logged in with your Google account, and you look at Google News, the pieces of news +1’ed by your friends from the spotlight section shall now be displayed. Along with the article, you will see the Google+ profile of the friend where you can click and view the entire profile.

Social signals are being taken more and more seriously by search engines. The recent changes that Google has made around the searches and the Google+ influence on the search results has been immense. Well, social media marketing is powerful.

Well, the +1’s are becoming powerful by the day. Which is a good thing; because these also help increase the popularity and establish a presence in social media and over the internet as a whole. Credibility and popularity rises once the +1 from a friend is cited. Good changes taking place in the search and social media world. Let’s all make ourselves aware and catch up

Google Removes Objectionable Content

The Internet censorship scene in India has been heating up for quite some time now. Late 2011, the Indian government and Telecom frontman Mr. Kapil Sibal asked Internet companies to pre screen objectionable content, which can be a blog post, a photo, a video or a tweet. Google, Facebook, YouTube and 19 other social networking sites were precisely told to remove inflammatory material before February 6th 2012.

[January 13th]: Objectionable Content Can’t Be Filtered – Google, Facebook.

On January 13th 2012, both Google and Facebook appealed to Delhi High court arguing that it is impossible to pre-screen content posted by thousands of internet users. Instead, the users should be held responsible, not the social site or the search engine.

“The search engine only takes you to a website. What happens after that is beyond a search engine’s control,” Neeraj Kishan Kaul, a lawyer for Google India, told a packed High Court hearing on Monday. “If you use blocks, which is very easy for people to say, you will inadvertently block other things as well. For example: the word ‘sex’. Even a government document like a voter ID list or a passport has the word ‘sex’,” he added.

[February 7th]: Objectionable Content Has Been Removed – Google.

Google India has now admitted that the company has removed or filtered controversial content that were flagged to be offensive towards religious and political leaders. Which websites or pages were removed? Google hasn’t revealed any names but the company is now adhering to the laws of the land and the legal requisitions of the government. Please note that the objectionable content has been removed only from Google’s localized India domain, the same content is accessible to users of a different country.

Just one week ago Google forced a new web address for all blogger blogs in India, shifting from a .com TLD to a more localized .in address. This is definitely in conjunction with selective censorship, as the search giant can control (and remove) objectionable content for Indian users only, while they will continue to be available in other countries.

Amongst other companies, the Delhi high court has issued directions to Facebook and Yahoo to take down offensive content at their earliest. Facebook India came up with a compliance report on Monday arguing that the complaints raised are not specific in nature. Facebook told the court that it does not control or operate the servers that host the website available at , which are located in the US, according to a report from Indian ExpressThe operating party is Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd and not Facebook Inc.


Google News Ranking Factors

The following are the most important factors for gaining high rankings in Google News as judged by the respondents:

The Top 10 Most Important Google News Ranking Factors:

Category Authority
Keywords in Headline and Page Titles
Domain Authority
Social Sharing of Article
First to Publish
Citation Rank
Unique Articles
High CTR from Google News
High Quality Content
Use of Google News XML Sitemaps.