Barry Adams 📰 Profile picture
Jun 22 11 tweets 3 min read
Over the years I've performed over fifty SEO audits for news publishing websites, and these are the most common issues I find (that are worth fixing):

A #NewsSEO thread... (1/11)
NewsArticle structured data is usually implemented the right way.

However, images defined in the SD - both the article featured image and the publisher logo - are often the wrong sizes and aspect ratios.

This can limit visibility, especially in Discover. (2/11)
While most publishers use tags to some degree, their is often little structure or sense to it and left to journo's discretion.

In-article linking to tag pages is often non-existent. This is a lost opportunity, due to the power of internal links. (3/11)…
On many publishing sites, pagination of article lists on category pages is handled with Load More buttons or infinite scroll.

This often makes it uncrawlable for Googlebot, so articles drop off a site's internal link graph when they fall from the 1st page of a category. (4/11)
E-A-T factors are incredibly valuable for publishers, as Google wants to rank only reputable news sites in its Top Stories & Google News ecosystem.

Author pages & bios and info on editorial policies are often missing from smaller news publishers. (5/11)
Crawl issues are common on publishing sites, with slow server response time the most typical hindrance. TTFB of >500ms seems to be the norm.

Fast response time = faster crawling, which is crucial for news. (6/11) Google Search Console Crawl Stats report with a very slow av
Navigation, and especially subnavigation, is so incredibly important yet seems to be implemented with little thought on many publishing sites.

Your nav links indicate your topical expertise, as perceived by Google, so craft them carefully. (7/11)
The constant need to balance monetisation (i.e. ads) with user experience (load speed) is a tough challenge for almost all publishers.

No easy answers here, it's about finding the 'least bad' approach. (8/11)
Every news site is different, and I approach every new SEO audit with an open visor and (as much as I am able) without preconceived notions.

Many sites do the big things well, but lose ground on the details. And those details all add up to make a big impact. (9/11)
Like most things in life, there's not one big change you can make for the better.

It's about doing little things marginally better every day.

That's what I tell my clients. Just try to be a little bit better every day, and the rewards will materialise in due course. (10/11) The Power of Tiny Gains graph, from
For more learnings on all things SEO for news publishers, sign up to my newsletter here:

END. (11/11)

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More from @badams

Jan 18
Short thread:

In the last week two entirely different people have asked me if it's true that when an article is shown in a news box on Google SERPs, it does not show up anywhere else on the first page.

Basically they think Google filters Top Stories articles from regular SERPs.
This is not the case. It can be easily disproven; look for recent articles published on a major news outlet (BBC, The Guardian, NYT, etc). Search for relevant keywords relating to that article.

Chances are, you'll see the article in the news box as well as on the regular SERP.
This doesn't happen very often though, and usually only for big news outlets.


Because news boxes are very fast-moving and tend to show recently published articles (up to 48 hours old).

And regular SERPs are usually focused on ranking authoritative, established content.
Read 6 tweets
Apr 16, 2020
It's interesting to see how different types of websites have been affected by the Covid-19 lockdowns. Most search traffic shifts make sense but some surprise me a bit.

This is from a technology news site and shows a fairly typical graph for many publishers - strong uplift: Image
This is a local (city-specific) news website, similar uptake: Image
This is a general regional news publisher. This one breaks with the trend by not showing any significant traffic flux since the lockdown. The earlier peaks were stories that went viral nationally: Image
Read 11 tweets

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