Telapost broke the news of “Top Stories” in Google Search earlier in 2016. Since then, I have been paying closer attention to the “Top Stories” section and how it behaves.
The previous “In The News” section of Hoogle has historically been limited to websites which were accepted in to Google News, which has a strict sign up process, and has also become increasingly difficult to obtain over the years.
However, in “top stories” I have seen websites appearing in that section which are not part of Google News. The most recent example I have of this is from today, when this website showed up in “Top Stories”, while I was doing an answer box experiment (more on those coming soon).
Here’s a screenshot:
Telapost is a very powerful, high ranking, trusted website. Maybe that has something to do with it, or maybe it was the fact that only a handful of websites were covering this specific “story”. No clue.
The results of this were short lived, however, as a site which was accepted in to Google News wrote about a dozen articles on the same topic, pushing me out of “top stories”. Intentional? Who knows.
I may reach out to them and ask if I have time.
Creating content around a hot topic when news sites haven’t touched it yet may be the rare key to showing up in Google’s “Top Stories” section.
One thing is for certain, though, your website does not need to be accepted in to Google News to display in “Top Stories”. Today is December 29, 2016, and I believe we will see even more of this in 2017.