Google announced a new link rel attribute during the Online News Association conferenceon Saturday. The “Standout” tag will improve how news organizations and major news blogs  highlight their best featured stories. The Standout tag lives up to its title which gives news organizations and active news publishers a great tool to make their best news more prominent on Google's news results. As the world becomes more social now, credit to news organizations and journalists who dedicate time and effort to deliver exclusive news and investigative work should be given credit accordingly. Investigative journalism and original reporting is not a stroll in the park, which is why the Standout tag was made available –  to give credit where credit is due.The Standout tag can only be used seven times every calendar week. News publishers should be wary in using the Standout tag, if it exceeds the limit, all news items carrying the Standout tag will be completely ignored. From a standpoint, it's a good idea Google set a limit for using the tag because it complements the goal of Google Panda to only generate original content and eliminate the proliferations of content farms. The Standout tag will be found in the HTML header of articles that will only be seen by automated systems like Google News. Google News may show the article carrying a “feature” label on the News Search results.

This is the syntax for the Standout tag:

<link rel=”standout” href=“” />

Furthermore, the Standout tag is also beneficial to other news publishers. Original contributions can be cited using the Standout tag, as well as, linking to the sites containing the original news or content. As we all know, linking to the original publisher of a specific content is one of the best practices on the Web.

David Smydra announced other news bits during a workshop at the National Press Club last week:
  • Google News includes around 50,000 publishers
  • Google searchers click on news stories 4 billion times a month — 1 billion from and 3 billion from news results in web search
  • When searchers skip a result and click the result below it, that is a signal that the clicked result is more trusted, which may boost its ranking in the future
  • If you embed a YouTube video on a page of a site that’s part of Google News, that video could appear in Google News results even if the channel that it comes from isn’t a Google News publisher