A top story is a block feature that appears within Google Search when a news-oriented query is searched.
Google detects this and matches the search with relevant news content to display. Below the articles is a “more news” button that links to more related articles on the News tab.
Here’s what top stories look like on desktop results:
And on mobile results:
How to Rank for a Top Story
To maximize your chance of ranking for a top story feature, focus on the following:
- Produce high-quality content and comply with Google News content policies.
- Implement schema.org News markup.
- Improve page experience by measuring the Core Web Vitals page metrics.
Refer to Google’s article: Understanding page experience in Google Search results to gain more insights on how to improve page experience signals.
How Semrush Collects Data About Top Stories
We crawl Google’s SERPs to collect the URLs linked to top stories. This allows you to see if a keyword ranks for the SERP feature in our Organic Research toolkit.
- When we scan a keyword’s SERP, we identify whether or not a top story feature is present anywhere on the results page.
- If a top story feature is present on the results page, but the domain you entered doesn’t appear for a top story feature: its icon will appear gray in the SERP Features column.
- If the queried domain ranks for a top story feature: you’ll see a stand-alone blue icon listed in the Positions column. This will allow you to see estimated traffic coming from the top story. You’ll also see another row in the same table with the URL’s organic ranking and estimated traffic.
To learn more about this SERP feature and others, read our SERP Features Guide.