This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Standout Stories


This plugin works with Google’s September 2011 announcement of the standout tag to help news sites inform Google about their best content.

The plugin has two separate actions:

  1. Label your own current story a Standout. This is done on the right rail with a click. This will add a link in your post’s header that’s invisible to your readers but visible to web spiders. Since Google advises sites not to use this more than 7 times a week, the plugin keeps a running tally and tells you how many you have left.

  2. Give other’s credit when it’s due. If you are re-blogging or referencing a great post from another publication, you can signal this to Google News and win yourself some Karma. This can be done as often as you like. To add this link, simply use the black and red S button on the Visual Editor when you want to link to that other story in the body of your post. When you publish your post, the plugin will add a link in your post’s header that Google News can use.

The plugin is the work of Contextly, a related links service and more for sites that care about their content. Currently Contextly is an invite-only beta, but if you are interested, please sign up on our site or e-mail us at

About Contextly

Contextly creates tools for sites that care about their content. Contextly was founded in 2010 by veteran online journalist Ryan Singel, a longtime writer and editor for Wired, Our flagship product is a related links tool that helps readers find interesting stories to read and puts stories into context. The tool helps publishers get more page views, demonstrate their authority, get more page views, and get more revenue. All without poor quality links to low-quality content on other sites.


  • This button on the right rail lets you compliment your own stories and keeps track of how many you have left this week.
  • This shows how you can give credit to other stories by clicking the red S button, next to Wordpress’s link buttons in the Visual Editor, to create a link to the other site’s story both in your post and in your header.


  1. Upload contextly-standout.php, along with the css, img and js folder, to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress


How does it work?

When you select one of your posts as a standout story, the plugin puts a special link in the header of the story, which your readers won’t see, but Google News will. If you re-blog or reference a great story someone else wrote, you can use the special standout link button on the Visual Editor bar to give them credit. The links in your post’s header look like this: <link rel='standout' href='' />

When I press the Standout Story button in WordPress’s Visual Editor, nothing happens? Why not?

The Standout Story button works just like the Link button. First, you must highlight the text you want to link to in the body of your post, then hit the Standout link button. Then you will be able to link to someone else’s great story in the body of your post, and the plugin will add the special link into your post’s header.

What will Google News do with the links?

Google says it will use the standout story links as part of its determination of which stories to feature on its popular news page.

So this is Google only? What about Yahoo News?

The tags are visible to any search spider so if it’s a useful signal, expect other aggregation sites will use it as well.


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Contributors & Developers

“Standout Stories” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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