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What Breaking News Can Teach Content Marketers


B2B software vendor Optify just brought out a study that reinforces a fact already well known--content marketers need to keep their ears to the ground (or the door), so to speak, when creating, timing and distributing their SEO content marketing.  

As most successful Internet marketers are aware, keeping up with and adapting to the constant changes made by search engines is an endless task. You already know how to do basic SEO content marketing. Now we're finding out that the major search engines treat some content much differently … content from breaking news.

Optify looked at high volume keywords for three major breaking news events in 2011; one each for world-wide news, business news, and local news with a global audience. What they discovered was that Google and Bing use different algorithms and modified search engine result pages (SERPs) for these types of content that will vault it over other ranked content during the news cycle:

  • 70% of space above the fold was used for breaking news results as opposed to ranked results.

  • Reaction to newly placed news, videos, images, and real-time updates was very fast.

  • Google showed preference for authority and social reach.

  • Bing preferred the most recent results and results from its affiliate,

Breaking news is, of course, not a planned event, but marketers can still take advantage of the differences in treatment to broaden messages and drive traffic. While you can’t predict the keywords in advance, you can keep an eye on industry news outlets and create alerts for industry jargon to be able to react quickly to breaking news and ride it to the top of the search engine results. An excellent resource for trending keywords is Twitter; check rising keywords and hash-tags.

Other ways to take advantage for SEO content marketing:

1. Create multimedia content: top results for breaking news are “placed results” of news, video, and images. Organic results were pushed down the page. Ads are completely absent at the top.

2. Prepare for and control breaking news about your company including press release embargoes, media briefings, and connections with industry influencers before your news comes out.

3. Build a social network to share and promote your own content. If you do this ahead of time, your network will be more effective at sharing and promoting breaking news as it comes out.

4. Social signals are a major factor in determining placement for news results. Don’t forget Google+ when building your strategy, especially since the implementation of Google Search Plus Your World.

5. Build authority. If the search engines recognize you as a news site, index your pages on a frequent basis, and if you have good page rankings, then news results from your site will be considered better than those from a less authoritative source. A non-news source will be ignored entirely. All of this must be done in advance; you cannot create authority at the last minute or on the fly.

6. Make sure you have fresh, one-of-a-kind content linked to your key page at all times. Search engines favor frequently updated sites over static ones.

Don’t forget to use SEO and marketing best practices at all times. When breaking news comes along, you will be able to incorporate it easily into your marketing strategy while still sending your business message.

Optify has included a very helpful glossary of SEO and breaking news terms in its study, a great addition to your management presentations on SEO content marketing. Other resources for SEO content marketing terminology are out there, so be sure to check them out.


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