Google (news, site) loves original content and it lends a hand to these publishers, who publish original content. However, sometimes it is not easy to see who the original source of content is. This is especially problematic with news where once the story breaks, hundreds of sites start reporting it, frequently without naming, or even knowing for sure, who the original source is.
This way, if a small site breaks a story and the big fish catches it, soon the story by the big fish ranks well in Google News, while the story at the original site is buried deeply in search results and nobody sees it. This feels really unfair and now Google News has experimentally introduced two new tags -- syndication-source and original-source -- to help publishers easily identify the source of original news.
Great, The New Tags Will Help Deal With Duplicate Content!
No, they won't. The new tags are not intended to deal with duplicate content at all. They are intended to deal with original sources of news, which is different from duplicate content. This might sound very confusing but it isn't.
Let me explain the difference. When you use duplicate content, you use texts that are very similar, if not an exact match, to one another in terms of wording, structure, etc. When you get an idea about a news piece, you write it in your own words, so both pieces don't have wording and structure in common and they aren't duplicate content.
You just get the facts from a news piece and this is what Google News wants to protect. If you are the first to break a story, then you get credit for this. Hunting for news IS work and this is what these tags want to reward.
News has shorter lifespan than evergreen articles and this is why it is especially important to get as much traffic to your news piece as soon as possible -- i.e. while it is still fresh. When your content is marked as an original story, this hopefully will drive you the traffic you deserve.
How to Apply the New syndication-source and original-source Tags
Applying the new tags is very easy -- you just need to add them as metatags in the <head> of your news story and the crawler will pick them. For more detailed instructions on how exactly to use them and what not to do with them, visit Google Help Center.
Google has taken measures to prevent abuse -- i.e. groundless claiming that you are the original source when you aren't, so use the new tags wisely.