Google Standout Tags

by Marina Shawd

Google recently introduced the idea for a “Standout tag” for journalistic content on the search engine.

According to Google’s official blog, standout tags are a way to give credit and recognition to news outlets that spent a exceptional amount of time and research on a story. (Yet, when searching for an article written by Google Officials, the link was seven deep.)

A screenshot of a Google search for "Google Standout Tags."

The standout tag will not be the only way to determine where an article appears in Google search. And to prevent abuse of the tag, Google plans to limit each organizations usage to seven times per calendar week.

To me, this could be a way for the media to get ahead in SEO. As stated above, the articles with a standout tag will not immediately jump to the top of the search. But, Google is still giving them a bit of a boost.

As journalists, this could mean more exposure for the piece you spent countless hours researching and writing. Overall, who will this tag benefit and how? Google? News organizations? The reporter? Share your thoughts below.

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10 responses to “Google Standout Tags

  1. I think this tag idea will benefit everyone. It will help reporters see what sites have more time and dedication spent on them, which will hopefully mean they are more crediable. It will help News organizations get their sites out there, and have more poeple click on their tab since it might not be at the top of the page (which most users and myself go for most). Its a good idea in general, so the tests comes when the public starts to use it and whether they like it or not.

  2. I agree that is will benefit everyone. It will be interesting to see what Google defines as “an exceptional amount of time and research” and if news organizations abuse the tag.

  3. Emily - Drake University

    I like the idea, but I’m not sure how Google should go about deciding what articles should get the tag. Giving that responsibility to news organizations in tricky because what one deems an “exceptional amount of time” compared to another could be vastly different. I do think it will benefit everyone. It will reward news organizations who do spend more time and research and will help journalists pinpoint which articles to read.

    • I agree. Who gets to decide what is and is not important? I think that is giving a bit too much power to Google and not enough to the writer. On the opposite side, it could be an incentive for journalists to hold themselves to a higher standard of reporting. I am very interested to see how this plays out.

      • That’s a great point. Ultimately Google will be the one deciding what is exceptional. Does Google have a journalist on staff who has experience in the field and will make the final decision. And if there are 5 exceptional stories one day, how will he or she decide the ranking?

  4. Bravo, Google. I agree with the general consensus: Everyone can benefit from this new feature: It will (with any hope) give readers the best content available and give the writers the recognition they deserve.

  5. I think news organizations will benefit from Standout tags more than individual reporters. Google-users will see the publication logo on the tag and probably follow through to the publication’s home page.

    That being said, I think this is a really interesting way to help us sort through all of the information on the Internet. We will more easily find work that our favorite publications deem most important, although that in itself raises more questions regarding objectivity. Objective or not, at least the tags can potentially lead on-the-fence readers to other information on the publication’s site.

  6. I feel like this is definitely something Google has been working towards. Their attempt at have a “News” feed specifically vs. compiling all results. Google has been changing the world of SEO and likes to play with the balance of SEO, link building, etc. This seems like a fair way to bring certain stories to the top of organic search results as apposed to the videos and other types of media that we’re used to showing up first.

  7. I wonder too how Google will decide who gets recognized? This makes me worry that some news organizations will be noticed more often than others, giving off the vibe that some work much harder than others, while this may not be true.

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