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Does the Age of your Article Affect its News Box Visibility?

Getting a news article into Google’s News Box is the main goal for many publishers. FYI: News Boxes are the boxes on SERPs labeled ‘Top Stories” or other titles where only news publishers rank. But what time has to pass after publishing an article before it has a chance to even be included in a News Box? A second? An hour? A day? And are there any remarkable differences between mobile and desktop News Boxes?

With the help of our News Dashboard data, we were able to find out just that!


The data

Let’s start off with the basics, a.k.a., the data we examined:

The foundation of the analysis were the total number of News-Box-rankings in 2022. That entails all articles that at one point in 2022 had a spot in a News Box both on mobile and desktop. Based off of that, we looked at the ages of those articles and calculated their respective percentage of the absolute number of articles that had a News-Box-ranking. The (rounded) age of the article is:

  • one second,
  • one minute,
  • one hour,
  • one day,
  • one week,
  • one month and
  • one year.

Before looking at the results of our analysis, take a guess at which of the articles’ ages were most successful.

Here’s what News SEO expert Barry Adams said in an interview with RankRanger about his take on article age and ranking: “24 to 36 hours is more or less the maximum you can expect for an article to show up in those Top Stories boxes.”


The results

Alright, let’s now have a look at what we were able to find out!

At the outset we can say that the data from mobile and desktop News Boxes were so similar that we were able to simply analyze them as one unit of News Boxes.

Here’s a pie-chart showing the distribution of the articles’ ages that were ranking in 2022’s News Boxes:

This pie chart shows the temporal gradation of a published article and their share in News Box rankings for mobile and desktop News Boxes. The gradations are: 1 second, 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month and 1 year. Articles that are around one hour old have by far the largest share of News Box rankings at 65.53%.

One look and it’s easy to spot which one’s the clear winner: articles that were an hour old made up a whooping 65% of the total. No other age comes even close to that number. One-day-old articles made up about 27% of the total, ones that were a minute old around 6%, and one-week- and one-month-old ones did not even reach one percent of the total number. Articles that were published or updated a second ago did not immediately get a spot in the News Boxes, no surprise here, and articles aged one year could not be found in one either. We’re still talking about news here, after all.



What can you take away from this for your future News Box rankings?

If you’ve published an article very recently and you’re frustrated by it not ranking in a News Box, maybe you have to be a little more patient. An hour-old ones have the highest chance of being included, after all – and if your article has already passed that mark, the articles that were one-day-old seem to still have quite the chance to snatch a spot in a News Box.

Note, however, that those results may not apply to every kind of news-coverage. In the context of live-coverages that are being constantly updated, for example, these suggestions are unlikely to be effective. If you are interested in how articles with a ‘live’-label can influence your News Box ranking, check out our live label analysis.

You’re not yet part of the News Dashboard family? Request your FREE demo today and find out what publishing-strategy works best for you!