Google News Surfaces: Terminology, Impact on Traffic and More

When it comes to News on Google, I have heard many ways where SEOs refer to the different surfaces in correct and incorrect terminology. There is also a confusion on the importance of each news surface. 

Below you will find a infographic that simplifies and explains each news surface to remove the confusion. We also highlight the importance of each surface, what type of news, display, analytics tracking, performance tracking and its impact on Google Organic Search traffic. Continue scrolling beyond the infographic for more details.

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Google Search Top Stories (News Box / News carousel)

  • Importance: Primary (Most Important)

  • Type: Search Engine (displayed results are based on search query)

  • Site Traffic: 40-60% of organic search traffic is Top Stories traffic. This by large depends on how much News vs. Evergreen content is published at the site. For hard news sites with little evergreen 40-60% is average. 

  • Display: In desktop, it is anywhere from 3-7 News articles. While in Mobile it is 10-30 stories. Mobile is way important than desktop for the majority of publishers as 80-90% of site traffic nowadays is Mobile for many publishers.

  • Analytics: Unfortunately you can't segment Top Stories traffic from the rest of Organic Search traffic a publisher site gets. There is no analytics for Top Stories in Google Analytics, Google Search Console or any other tools.

  • Performance TrackingNewzDash is the only tool that can report on News Search Visibility which reflect organic traffic share, and track News Trends Rankings every 15 minutes. Traditional SEO tools can’t track Search Visibility or full rankings in Top Stories. 

  • Optimization: Google News Top Stories SEO & Optimization


Can we help you get more traffic from Google News Surfaces?

  • Google Search Top Stories Visibility
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    Google Discover

    • Importance: Secondary - For some sites Google Discover could be the primary source of traffic which is a very dangerous situation. Google Discover is a tactic not a strategy. Google Discover is extremely volatile and can go away anyday. 

    • Type: Recommendation Engine - Social Feed is customized per user based on their interests, past search history, location, and more. 

    • Site Traffic: 20-40% of Organic Search Traffic

    • Display: Infinite scroll of news articles videos, cards, and evergreen content in MOBILE only

    • Analytics: Clicks in Google Search Console. Inaccurate data in analytics, the majority of traffic is classified as Direct.

    • Performance Tracking: GDdash by NewzDash is the ONLY tool that analyzes and Optimize Google Discover performance.

    • Optimization: Google Discover Optimization


    Google News (

    • Importance: Tertiary 3rd Most Important. It is an important indicator of News Authority - sites that perform well in a news section in Google News, most likely will perform well for that section related news keywords. Google Discover also highly correlates with Google Discover.

    • Type: Mainly recommendation Engine (+ Search Capabilities) - Users interested in "Sports" will see almost the same feed.

    • Site Traffic: 2-4% of Organic Search Traffic. Some publishers get 14-18% based on high visibility in Google News main homepage

    • Display: News organized in sections and topics

    • Analytics: Clicks in Google Search Console under "Google News" , and in Google Analytics as “” referral.

    • Performance Tracking: NewzDash is the ONLY tool that tracks visibility in Google News every 15 minutes.


    Google Search News Tab

    • Importance: Least important    

    • Type: Search Engine - extension of the Top Stories module.

    • Site Traffic: 0.5-2% of Organic Search Traffic

    • Display: 10 Blue Links along images, in addition to segmented blocks of news articles on related searches

    • Analytics: Clicks in Google Search Console under Search Results >> filter by Search Type "News"

    • Performance Tracking: mainly Google Search Console.


    Please note that the importance and traffic contribution may vary based on specific industries and websites. The information provided above is a general overview to compare the different Google Surfaces featuring news. For more accurate data, it is recommended to use NewzDash, which is the only tool that can track News Search Visibility and Rankings for these Google Surfaces, especially Google Search Top Stories and Google News, every 15 minutes.


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