Keep press release headlines short to get Google SEO love

While both Google News and Google Search both reward brevity, what many people don’t realize is that Google News is a very different beast than Google Search, and has different SEO requirements.

The two most important elements for optimizing a news release headline are keyword inclusion and length. There are many other factors that go into whether a release will show up in Google News, but keeping the headline short but full of keywords is essential.

In terms of length, a full release headline must be 65 characters or fewer to be displayed in Google, yet only 18% of press release headlines meet this requirement.  For a news release to show up on Google News, it must have fewer than 23 words in the headline (subhead not included).

A study conducted by Schwartz Research Group in Boston last fall revealed that the average headline length is 123 characters. The firm analyzed over 1,600 press releases over a one month period and found that 22% of online press releases were completely ignored by Google News because the headlines were 24 words or more.

Clearly the lesson here is that while the content of releases should be the primary focus, overlooking headline length could mean limited exposure for a well-crafted release. If you want to avoid slamming the door on Google News, you might want to consider brief, keyword rich headlines for your news releases. - Maria Loscerbo