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Google News Releases Standout, A Way To Flag Your Best Work

BOSTON — Google News unveiled a major new feature at the Online News Association Conference on Saturday, which will allow publishers to mark their top content as well as give credit to others who have a major scoop.

The new feature is called standout, and it’s a tag that goes into the “head” element of a website’s HTML code. The basic syntax is:
<link rel="standout" href="LINK TO STORY" />

Content that is found to “standout” will be displayed with a “featured” label on the Google News homepage and in search results.

Google’s presenters said that using the standout tag to credit others will help your news organization build trust and credibility.

“Linking out to other sites is well recognized as a best practice on the web, and we believing that citing others’ standout content is important for earning trust as you also promote your own standout work,” Google News Product Specialist David Smydra wrote in a blog post published after the session.

The overall goal of standout, they said, was to reward the best, most original journalism on the Web.

Smydra wrote that publishers should use the new standout tag no more than seven times a week to cite their own work. The algorithm will begin to ignore the tags if they’re used more than seven times a week. There is no limit to using the standout tag to cite the work of others.

The standout tag is now live on Google News, and documentation for it is available on the Google News help section.

Saturday’s surprise launch was the first-such in-person feature launch for Google News, Smydra said.

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