Google wants publishers to flag up work they're proudest of in a bid to improve the search giant's news relevance.
The company is calling for publishers and news sites to include a new "standout tag" in the HTML header of articles if they feel the work is especially original or exclusive and worth a higher ranking in the search engine's listings.
“If you put the tag in the HTML header of one of your articles, Google News may show the article with a ‘Featured’ label on the Google News homepage and News Search results,” said product specialist David Smydra and product manager Justin Kosslyn in a joint blog post.
Sites can use the tag to seek appreciation for exclusive or ground-breaking stories that might otherwise be swamped by derivitive stories based on their articles.
However, to avoid being bombarded publishers will be limited to a handful of pitches a week.
“At this point, we ask news organisations to use the Standout tag to cite their own content at most seven times in each calendar week,” Google said.
“If a site exceeds that limit, it may find that its tags are less recognised, or ignored altogether. A news organisation may cite standout stories from other news sources any number of times each week.”
Google said the standout tags would help give credit where it was due, but stressed they were “just one signal among the many signals that algorithmically determine prominence on Google News.”
The service is set to launch in the US, but is expected to appear in other markets if it proves a success.