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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Google News SEO Tips for Mathrubhumi English News Website

Cross posted from www.nikhilraj.com

I am a regular reader of Malayalam daily “Mathrubhumi”. Recently one thing caught my attention. Have I ever seen their news website appearing on Google when I search for regional(Kerala) news. Ha..! Never..! Have you?

Hmm Have you guys ever seen a regional newspaper’s website appearing when you search for kerala related news. Which one?

I searched for “bus strike Kerala September” and I got this. There are no regional news sites in the result. Click on the image to zoom.
kerala bus strike september

It’s time to take a deeper look into what’s wrong with my study website – Mathrubhumi. Let’s catch something..!

Here is a comparison of search engine traffic for mathrubhumi.com and manoramaonline.com

Search engine traffic for mathrubhumi and manorama online

Yeah! We have some real competition. Hope this report will help Mathrubhumi to achieve better impressions and clicks from Google.

To make things easier, I selected the English version at http://www.mathrubhumi.com/english/

Mathrubhumi English Latest Kerala News

The top menu urls are dynamic. For eg; clicking on the menu link Kerala returned http://www.mathrubhumi.com/english/liststory.php?sub=14 which is not search engine friendly. The url alone doesn’t provide any information to the user or search engines.

It should have been http://www.mathrubhumi.com/english/kerala based on the current site architecture. Anyone will understand what this page will contain by looking at the custom url.

Lets take an individual news post
http://www.mathrubhumi.com/english/story.php?id=128266

The page title tag is Mathrubhumi English – Come clean on US observatory in Kerala, demands Achuthanandan

The most important factors in SEO that has direct impact on rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs) are Title tag and URL.

The title tag can have a length of 69 characters. Search engines will truncate the title tag beyond this limit on their result pages. So the most important keywords should be placed to the extreme left.

Truncated Title Tag Mathrubhumi

The current title tag for news posts is Mathrubhumi English – News Title. Placing the brand name to the left decreases the chance of top rankings for news posts. Thus for news posts the title can be rearranged as News Title | Mathrubhumi English

So for this post title will be Come clean on US observatory in Kerala, demands Achuthanandan | Mathrubhumi English. Even though the title tag has more than 69 characters, only the brand name in the title will be truncated and not the news title. Title tag problem solved!

Now the URL structure. URLs that contain keywords will rank better.

This can also be solved by rewriting the URLs to the form www.mathrubhumi.com/english/NewsTitle-storyid

Thus the SE friendly URL for this post is http://www.mathrubhumi.com/english/come-clean-on-us-observatory-in-kerala-demands-achuthanandan-128266

Why the story id? It is used to tell Google that this is not a static page but an article. This is important for URLs in news websites.

I tried to find out their CMS, but failed!

There is Meta description tag which is a short description of the webpage around 160 characters. Search engines displays it on their result pages. It doesn’t affect rankings but can improve the CTR as search engines will highlight the keywords on the meta description to help the user.

The meta description for this post is mathrubhumi, kerala, news, Come clean on US observatory in Kerala, demands Achuthanandan

Looks ok. But I would recommend using a short summary of the news post as the meta description like the one below:

Come clean on the proposed neutrino observatory coming up in the Kerala’s Idukki district and contiguous Theni in Tamil Nadu, demands Achuthanandan.

Now lets talk about Google News SEO for Mathrubhumi.com.

The content should be fresh and original. We are talking about news here. So speed of delivery/publishing also matters. Hmm, also don’t forget to check your spelling..!



Optimizing images in News posts are also an important factor. The particular post I have mentioned here has no image. Here is one you can use V.S. Achuthanandan’s smiling face!!

V.S.Achuthanandan smiling

The main image should be placed near the News Title. The image should be non-clickable.

The image alt text is a ranking factor. Use it for adding keywords. Also provide a small caption for the image. Google recommends using JPEG images. (Shh..My site has lots of PNG images)

Here is an example from Times of India

Times of India has a great News SEO

The best place to put the date of the news post is between the title and the body.

And now the Most Important Factor to let Google know that Mathrubhumi is a news website is by uploading a News Sitemap. The News Sitemap should be updated each time a new post is published. This can be done using programming/softwares. It also helps the Google bot to know the date of publication. Don’t forget to put the sitemap url in your robots.txt.

News Sitemap of BBC

Updating the news sitemap frequently helps Google to know about recent posts.

If Mathrubhumi can follow these tips how will they benefit? Ha..Just visit the site man..It’s Adsense! More clicks. More money.

Just being funny! Hope this will help the Mathrubhumi news site to be more SE friendly.

Here is an official video from Google about News SEO.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg8xgoULIIE[/youtube]

Also don’t forget social. Lots of sharing activities for news articles happening now. You can implement open graph tags for Facebook.

Thanks for reading! If you have any tips on Google News SEO or if I missed something or posted wrong information please add as a comment.

Google News SEO Tips for Mathrubhumi English News Website

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Attention Graduates, Consider Online Marketing as a Career

The future of marketing is online, and successful web marketing requires a new set of skills, and a unique language of its own. The Internet has changed the way companies attract and keep customers, requiring fresh strategy that utilizes e-mail, websites, and wireless media.

Online marketing, also referred to as Web Marketing, Internet Marketing, or e-Marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.

Angloscape’s 45 days Online Marketing Course will teach you the skills you'll need to develop a lasting Career. Learn how to effectively utilize the Internet, search engines, social networks, and a variety of other online tools. Discover new advertising opportunities and find out how to become an indispensable asset in the world of marketing.

Course Details:

Search Engine Optimization: The act of creating a website so that it does well in organic, crawler-based listings of search engines.

Social Media Marketing: A form of Internet marketing that seeks to achieve branding and marketing communication goals through participation in various social media networks.

Pay Per Click: An advertising model based on bidding on relevant search engine keywords, only accruing costs when a user clicks on your ad.

Web Analytics: The process of tracking and analyzing data gathered through website usage patterns in order to evaluate your marketing initiatives

Online Reputation Management, Email Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, … & much more.

Course starts on 24/11/2011, Course fees: Rs. 5,000, Convenient Timings

If you need any clarification please Call Anjana:

AngloScape, A6- Elankom Gardens, Gokulam,
Vellayambalam, Trivandrum-695010
Ph:0471 4064451 ,52,53
Mob: 09633254579

Course (Theory & Practicals) is taught by well-known Online Marketing trainer, Sudhir Sreenivasan .

Monday, September 19, 2011

Google Flight Search : Find And Book Flights Using Google

Google has launched a new vertical search for travel and is called Google Flight Search. Flight search helps in searching and booking flights directly from the Google search results. The feature is now available only in USA.

Google Flight Search

The project began five months ago after the acquisition of ITA by Google. ITA software specializes in organizing airline data.

Even though the flight search is only in its early stages the features are exciting.


  • Flight search is lightning fast compared to Expedia and other travel websites where you have to wait for the results to load.
  • Updated instantly
  • An interactive map
  • You can compare prices.
  • In the search there are options for selecting destinations, price and duration.
  • The search results directly point to airline websites.
The Google Flight Search will launch in India and other countries soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fetch As Googlebot : Google URL Submission Tool

Have you ever been in a situation where you have posted about an upcoming event in your website or blog and waited for Google to index that content? Now there is a solution. Google in its Webmaster Tools have added "Fetch as Googlebot" in the Diagnostics section. Earlier it was in the Labs section.

With this tool you can submit your new website or updated pages to Google for review. If the submission is successful then the page will be added to Google's index. Googlebot will crawl your website within a day according to Google Webmaster Blog.

How to submit URL to Fetch as Googlebot?

Sign into Webmaster Tools. Go to Diagnostics. You will see the option Fetch as Googlebot. Type the URL to fetch.

SEO Trivandrum Fetch as Googlebot

After a succesful fetch you will see the option Submit to Index. There are two options. Either you can submit the individual link or the individual link and all the links on that page.

SEO Trivandrum

This tool is useful in many ways.

Suppose you posted a content which has some errors or is outdated and Google stores a cache of that erroneous content. Now even after updating you will need to wait some days for Googlebot to crawl that page and to update the cache. You will try to get some backlinks to that page for this to happen faster. Fetch as Googlebot will help to update the Google cache of your website within a day.

Fetch as Googlebot can also be used when you have added new pages to your website or posted upcoming events.

In order to prevent spam the number of individual link submission is limited to 50 per week and URLs with linked pages is limited to 10 per month. So use this tool wisely.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hotel Check In and Check Out in Google

Google has introduced a feature that allows a person to book hotels straight from the SERP. It may be called "Google Hotel Search". This is an improvement in Google Local search.

When searching for hotels in Las Vegas one might see an option for check in and check out.

SEO Trivandrum


If you change the dates the prices also change. In the first image the website Bellagio.com shows $179 and in the second image $239.

SEO Trivandrum


The feature is provided with the help of some travel websites and some of the best hotels in the city. As more hotels participate in the program, the search will become better.

This will help to reserve hotel rooms with out visiting Tripadvisor or Expedia.

Happy Journey!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Google Realtime Search is Disabled

Google has disabled its Realtime Search. The Google Realtime Search returns a 404 error. It was disabled from July 2. Google Realtime Search showed results from Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, Google Buzz.
Google's explanation for discontinuing Realtime Search is

           "We've temporarily disabled google.com/realtime. We're exploring how to incorporate Google+ into this functionality, so stay tuned."

This appeared on their Google Realtime Twitter account and Google Web Search Support.

Google is going to launch a new Realtime Search with Google+ posts along with twitter.

To search in Twitter you can use Topsy. It shows tweets from even 2008.

Let's hope for a better version of Google Realtime Search.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Google Loses PageRank


Google's new PageRank is 9.

SEO Trivandrum


Yes, it is true. After a recent toolbar PageRank update google's PageRank was reduced from 10 to 9 by its own PR algorithm.

This happened after Google became the first website in the history of internet to cross 1 billion unique visitors.
Facebook retained the PageRank 10 award.

For the past few months there are lots of changes happening in Google's search page. The appearance, introduction of +1 button, all these changes are aimed at making search better and improve the quality of search results for the user.

It seems like Google may be busy with changing its PageRank algorithm.