Yesterday Google News Stacie Chan and Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller hosted a Google News Publisher hangout on Google+, which was filled with great information.One question that many Google News publishers do not know, which I've heard before but personally do not practice myself, is that the title tag and your headline (H1) should be consistent and the same. If you do not have the same title and H1 tag, it can confuse Google News and give it a hard time understanding what your article/story is about.
With web search SEO, it is often good to slightly change up the title tag and H1 so you can rank for slight variations but maybe not for Google News SEO.
The question was asked by Jane Sanderson:
Is it better to have the Title and H1 content different? Google News rules indicate no, but some SEO's say yes. Is this just a matter that the algorithm is different for Google Search and Google News?
Stacie Chan from Google responded:
Consistency is key. One thing we always try to get right is extracting your headline. And if there are different places on the page that point to different headlines, that’s very confusing for the bot.Here is the video where she answered this about 46 minutes into the hangout:
And that is why we get publishers sometimes writing in - "oh, you guys got my headline wrong!" And we say, "well, there are different parts of your page that say different things."
So really try to be consistent, it is the best way for us to correctly index your headline, index that snippet below.