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How Many Rankings Have a Live Label in News Boxes?

Some topics are so-called evergreen topics, such as the Oscars or the Olympic Games. Other topics are of the highest urgency. These include the war in Ukraine, for example. Live tickers are often created as articles for such developing topics. This is because they can always be updated as soon as there is news. In the News Box, they are designated with a live label, also called a live flag. A News Box is a box on the search engine result pages (SERPs), where only news publishers can rank and that is labeled as Top Stories or with other titles. The live flag can appear as a feature to the Google news ranking types.


The basis for this analysis is the data from mobile and Desktop News Boxes. With this data, we examined how many rankings there were in total in the year 2022, which were a lot. Therefore we go a bit deeper in the data and asked ourselves how big the difference between the News-Box-rankings with a live flag on the mobile and on the Desktop Search Engine Result Page (SERP) would be and when there were the fewest as well as the most rankings with live label in the News Box.

News Boxes with live flag

The Live flag shows that this is a live article.

If the article is one that will be continuously updated, it’s marked with a Live flag.

When an article is written about a current event and it is updated again and again, it is called a live ticker/live article. When Google recognizes an article as such, a live label appears on the search result. In a News Box, for example, it is in the upper left corner.

Findings of 2022

Progress of the news boxes with live flag

News Boxes with live label in 2022 on mobile and Desktop SERPs.

In total, there were nearly 190 million News Boxes (188,375,195) on the Desktop SERP in 2022 and of these, 1.9 percent were with a live flag. The ratio of live flag on the Desktop SERP looks similar on the mobile SERP. Here, there were a total of over 120 million News Boxes (120,525,067) in 2022. Of these, an average of 1.1 percent had a live label. Furthermore, on both SERPs — desktop and mobile — there were similar proportions of live flags in the News Boxes. Thus, both the Desktop News Boxes and the mobile News Boxes had the lowest proportion of live flags in January: The year 2022 started with only 0.4 percent live flag on over 15,6 million News Boxes (15,637,580) on the Desktop SERP. Also on the mobile SERP, the ratio with live label started low at about 0.3 percent to over 10 million News Boxes (10,110,837). Likewise, the highest proportion of live flags in both the Desktop News Boxes and the mobile News Boxes was in November: The share of live flags increased in November to a high of 1.7 percent with over 14 million News Boxes (14,295,348) on the Desktop SERP. On the mobile SERP, the share of live flags also peaks in November at 1.5 percent at 9,6 million News Boxes (9,625,348).


Looking at the data from 2022, our findings are:

☞ In general, there are very few News Boxes with a live label. However, this is also due to the fact that there are only a few topics that are worth reporting about so frequently.

☞ The spread of News Boxes with live flags is stable and more or less the same on both the Desktop and Mobile SERP.

          ☞ Seeking more insights on news SEO? Check out our ongoing news SEO analysis series.


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