On December 31, Google News contacted me to tell me, well… great news…
Travelbinger has been accepted as a publication for Google News!!!
Travelbinger, a source for travel news, tips and features, is now one of very few travel publications featured on the Google News platform, sharing the same space as respectable publications like Conde Nast Traveler, Fodor’s and Travel + Leisure.
Right now, if you click Travelbinger through Google News, you won’t see all our content, as it takes a while for the stories to index and crawl on Google News. In fact, Google is indexing all Travelbinger YouTube videos now (which, honestly, you should be clicking anyway!), and you may see an older story or two pop up in your search. This is normal.
Being a part of Google News is a huge deal for me, and I’m incredibly honored. It’s not easy being accepted as a publisher since Google is extremely selective. There’s a long list of criteria and standards a publication has to meet, and it’s pretty strict, but here are the main ones.
1. The publication has to publish daily, original content.
2. The content must be high quality (original, thoughtful reporting) with sufficient expertise and credible sources on the subject.
3. Pages have to load fast. (I know this is more on the technical side, but oh my goodness, this was an uphill battle for me… launching my own website was already a huge feat considering I had zero experience. A website generally has a team of minimum 5 to 8 people, and I’ve been wearing all hats working between 12 to 15 hours a day for three months. Through trial and error, and finally hiring someone to help me, we got the loading time down to less than 2 seconds. In the end, I had to sacrifice a great ad partner that was slowing my speed, as well as my pop-up newsletter sign-up form, but it was worth it).
What I love about Google News is that Google can now send Travelbinger stories through push notifications to users who have the app, which you can download here (and people generally prefer the Google News app over Apple News, but I honestly love both). The AI-powered Google News app was redesigned in 2018, and readers are presented with the top news stories from the most recent, credible and trustworthy sources on the web.
The great thing about Google News is that it’s intuitively customized to the user’s preferences, meaning you’l see stories that appeal to you specifically. Stories that appear in your feed will be similar to the ones you clicked over time. That’s the AI algorithm part. So for example, let’s say I’m a big fan of celebrity real estate. The more I click stories on celebrity real estate, the more the app will “understand” that’s what I enjoy, so it will curate my feed automatically, and I’ll always get the most relevant celebrity real estate news. You don’t have to tweak any settings; it does it for you. You can also “follow” certain topics or news sources, like Travelbinger, which helps bring relevant news to you in the “For You” tab.
Also, you can now find Travelbinger stories in the “News” tab on Google. For instance, I recently wrote a review of Paradise by Sirene at JW Marriott Marco Island. In Google search, my story is already ranked on the second page.
However, if you click the “News” tab, it’s the first story to come up since it’s the latest story from a credible source.
I also wrote about the Uber and Lyft ban at LAX. As you can see, my story is the first to come up in Google News.
On a desktop, Google News considers Travelbinger a “blog,” which is fine with me, and since that’s the case, Travelbinger is the *only* general travel blog currently featured on Google News.
So what exactly does this mean for Travelbinger?
It means that all my hard work is paying off. I love what I do, and I love travel, so this means a lot to me. I aim to write meaningful, important and news-worthy travel content, and knowing Google is a fan helps motivate me.. and yes, it feels validating. I’m incredibly excited, especially since I was accepted right at the new year.
With that said, here’s to a great 2020! And if you haven’t already, follow Travelbinger on Google News!
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please do! I’m a one-man team for this website, so any help is sincerely appreciated.