In this infobesity era, it seems that Internet users looking for news have never had more choice than ever: between search engines, news web portals, RSS feeds, digital assistants, social networks or dedicated news curation apps, we’re pretty sure that a big part of our audience is used to combining several of these tools to get their news fix. But how can traditional search engines such as Bing stay relevant today as we are spending more and more time on mobile devices where apps are key to the experience?
“In the era of push notifications and shared posts, publishers face constant pressure to get their content discovered and in front of as many readers as possible,” acknowledges the Bing team in a blog post today. While Bing currently claims more than 20 percent of the U.S. desktop search market share, the Bing team wants to remind publishers that the search engine is still helping millions of users get the most comprehensive and relevant news:
“In addition to the browser, Bing also gets in front of millions of Windows 10 users through Cortana and in front of Outlook users through Outlook News Connector. News is also available inside the Bing search app on both iOS and Android. When publishers submit their content through the Bing Publisher Network, they’ve just expanded their reach significantly, giving their stories and outlets even greater exposure.”
To help publishers struggling to get their content discovered in the digital world, Microsoft is announcing today that it is launching the Bing News PubHub, a new web portal that will allow more publishers to submit their news websites. “Verified publishers—big or small, international or local—will reach Bing users with their fresh, relevant, and diverse content,” adds the Bing Team in the blog post.
To get started with the new hub, Microsoft explains that news publishers first have to make sure that they are following the Bing Webmaster Guidelines, and they will also need to verify ownership of their news website with Bing Webmaster Tools. Once that’s done, the Bing News PubHub works as a straightforward online form to submit a news website for consideration by the Bing Team.
However, publishers need to be aware that Microsoft will use the following criteria to evaluate the news websites:
- Newsworthiness – Report on timely events and topics that are interesting to users. Content that doesn’t focus on reporting, such as how-to articles, job postings, advice columns, product promotions, is not considered newsworthy. Similarly, content that consists strictly of information without including original reporting or analysis, such as stock data and weather forecasts, is not considered newsworthy.
- Originality – Provide unique facts or points of view. Faced with numerous sources frequently reporting similar or identical content, originality or uniqueness becomes a critical way to determine the value to a user of an individual story.
- Authority – Identify sources, authors, and attribution of all content. News sites with authority maintain the highest level of trust and respect from our users.
- Readability – Create content with correct grammar and spelling, and keep site design easy for users to navigate. Advertising should never interfere with the user experience.
As Microsoft is aiming for 1 billion devices running Windows 10 while also making sure that Bing and Cortana are valuable options on iOS and Android devices, the Bing PubHub could well help publishers to expand their reach. Let us know in the comments if you rely on Bing or Cortana to get the latest news.