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If you have a website which is regularly publishing news items, then getting indexed by Google News is a crucial source of traffic.

First of all you need to make a request to have Google News index your content, but there are other requirements. So what else is Google looking for?

Technical requirements

These technical requirements need to be met for Google to consider your site for inclusion:

  • Pages that display the full text of news articles need to have unique URLs so that the Google crawler is able to index it. URLs with more than one article cannot be included on Google News.
  • The URL for each article must contain a unique number consisting of at least three digits, and should not resemble a date. Aim for more than six digits to be on the safe side.
  • Google News cannot index sites for which the main page URL contains a date, as these dates often change regularly so the crawler cannot identify the most recent version.

Website / content

Some of the things Google is looking for include:

  • Content on your news site needs to be original, which makes sense, though a quick search through Google News uncovers plenty of less than original content. And press releases, come to think of it.
  • Your site should have more than one author, as well as a page listing them all, with bios. It's a dealbreaker if you don't do this. Articles should also include the writer's name and timestamp.
  • Information about your company / organisation should be provided, in the form of 'contact us' and 'about us' pages.
  • Server response time; Google crawlers will look for pages that they can index quickly, and that will load quickly for users.
     

Ranking well in Google News

Once your site has been included in Google News, how can you improve your ranking / prominence in the news listings?

According to Google, many of the ranking factors that have been mentioned, such as including images in posts, are myths

Here are a few factors that may improve ranking:  

  • Post frequently; adding news articles three times or more daily will increase your chances of getting coverage on Google News.
  • Google looking to filter out duplicate content so making the titles of your news articles unique will help to get it ranked. Also, a unique title is more likely to be clicked on by users of Google News.
  • Get news out quickly; being the first, or one of the first, to get your news article published should ensure a prominent listing.

We also asked Guava Director Edward Cowell for his tips:

Firstly, don't edit posts once published:

"Google News only grabs a news article once. This is very important because changes to a news article once published and indexed wont then get reflected in Google News. This means publish once and don't go back and edit the title for instance, it will appear with the new title in web search, but not news search."

Also, a news-specific sitemap is recommended:

"Google news sitemaps are different to Google web search sitemaps. They only support 1,000 items per feed (as opposed to 50,000 for web search), so big sites may well need to use more the one news sitemap, and an index sitemap. They also contain  <publication_date> and <keywords> tags."

Related articles:
Are social news sites like Digg 'better' than Google News?
SEO benefits of publishing news on your site 

Graham Charlton

Published 23 September, 2008 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (19)

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Sharon Hinton, Web Project Manager at World Archipelago

Thanks for the article we are in the process of getting our site listed on google news.

I have a question when you say

"Google News cannot index sites for which the main page contains a date, as these dates often change regularly so the crawler cannot identify the most recent version."

do you mean the date that the article is published should never appear on the homepage (this is my homepage) a few of the articles have the dates that we published the article - should we take these off ?

http://www.fleetstreetinvest.co.uk/

If anyone knows please can you let me know

Thanks

Sharon

almost 8 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Sharon,

I should have made that sentence clearer. It actually refers to dates in URLs, not on the main page itself. Having dates on the homepage as on yours is fine, and actually helps Google to determine how recent the news article is.

If you have a four digit number in the URL which resembles a date, that is when Google may not be able to crawl it.

See the Google News help section for more on this: http://www.google.com/support/news_pub/bin/answer.py?answer=68323&topic=11665

almost 8 years ago

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Sharon Hinton, Web Project Manager at World Archipelago

Thanks Graham

almost 8 years ago

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SEO-PRO

Does anyone have any statistical evidence to show the increase in traffic that Google News has had on their site? I know very targeted news sites like Sphinn can generate serious traffic to relevant sites (Online Marketing sites with Sphinn) but as Google News is just "general news", does it still bring in the traffic for smaller sites? Or is it just the bigger news sites that benefit most?

almost 8 years ago

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Ed

"Your site should have more than one author, as well as a page listing them all, with bios. It's a dealbreaker if you don't do this."

Obviously i can see that having a list of author bios is probably a good idea from a content point of view however i've never heard of it being of any relevance to whether you appear on Google News. I have a number of sites successfully appearing on Google News and none have author bios.

I also can't find anything related to author bios on Google News help for publishers. Could you expand on why it's important to have them?

Also is it necessary to link through to their bio everytime an author publishes?

Any thoughts much appreciated!

- Ed

almost 8 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Hi Ed,

I've seen this in an email from Google, so I don't know when your sites were submitted but maybe they've recently introduced multiple authors as a factor for inclusion.

I don't think every page needs to link to the author's bio, but multiple authors and a page listing them all is certainly something that can make or break your chances.

There's a bit more discussion here:
http://groups.google.com/group/news-HelpPublishers/browse_thread/thread/860853cab57aa24/18383e2e219ef6a6?lnk=gst&q=%22multiple+authors%22#18383e2e219ef6a6

Chris

almost 8 years ago

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Ed

Ok great thanks for the link. Yep, i get the multiple authors thing, i think that's always been the case. My sites have multiple authors.

It's just i don't have bios for any of them and i was just wondering whether this was a big factor in news aggregation. As far as i can tell from that Google group, the bios just help Google to be sure you do have multiple authors. Obviously when i submitted they must have just taken my word for it when i told them i had multiple authors.

No reason not to have bios though, they have a benefit outside SEO, they just don't seem to be a make or break issue. Multiple authors, yes. Bios, no.

almost 8 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

I pretty much agree with that Ed. I think the multiple authors thing is also about showing that you have an editing process / capabililty, as much as anything. Yet some of the world's best bloggers are essentially one man bands, and have very good writing skills.

Anyway, this is straight from the horse's mouth:

"We currently only include articles from sources that could be considered organizations, generally characterized by multiple writers and editors, availability of organizational information, and accessible contact information."

Cheers,

c.

almost 8 years ago

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George

Do you also upload the educational institutions website info and news flashes on the home page. Please let me know.
thanks
George

over 7 years ago

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Aaron

i think the tip is so awsome that it really works.

over 7 years ago

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Allan Cleghorn

Hi thanks for the information.  I would like my site to be listed with Google News.  If it is included do they (GN) include the time next to your listing ie - 15 mins ago etc?  It would be good to emphasizethe 'freshness' for page content.

Allan

http://www.medicarefinance.com

over 6 years ago

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TOny ROmo

This is an amazing article, but i do not get the entirety of it yet

over 6 years ago

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How To Get Back Your Ex

I am wondering how important a site map or h1 tag would be for your website to be indexed? would sitemap help google crawl better? or am i completely miinterpreting this

over 6 years ago

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Dr. Sk. Faruque Ahmed

Home page

over 6 years ago

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snowylee

I have a website news and could get indexed in google news despite having more than 1 author.

over 6 years ago

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sanjay

Published url in google.
Thanks

about 5 years ago

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damien auksorius

hi my names damien auksorius apperently these news sites will rank very high on google ,so theres a positive their.

almost 4 years ago

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Malpractice attorney Tampa

Your web site seems to be having some
compatibilty issues in my chrome
browser. The wording appears to be running off the
webpage pretty bad. If you want you can email me at:
merrillharry@yahoo.de and I'll shoot you over a screen grab of the
problem.

over 3 years ago

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Bradley

Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your
webpage? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would really benefit from some of the information you present here.
Please let me know if this okay with you. Many thanks!

over 3 years ago

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