Google is the largest search engine of them all. And that search engine has more than what meets the eyes.
Besides the section where the search results show general website pages, there is also the 'News' section. Google News is an aggregator service that presents a continuous flow of links to articles organized from thousands of publishers and online magazines.
Besides on Google Search, Google News content can also appear on several different other Google products, including the Google News app itself, Google Assistant, YouTube, and Discover.
For publishers, being included as publishers for Google News can drive them huge traffic.
But to be among the elite publishers, the ways to do that have always confused them.
Attempting to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions from publishers, Danny Sullivan, the public liaison for Google Search, explained how a website can be eligible to appear in Google News.
He also gave publishers some suggestions to know if their site is showing in Google News, and explaining how to improve visibility for websites, as well as some other tips.
In a blog post, Danny Sullivan said that:
Previously, Google allowed publishers to apply for inclusion.
This was a manual process, and those who applied would later get an email from Google, telling them that they are accepted, or rejected.
But since Google launched a tweaked Google News Publisher Center in 2019, Google discontinued the application process.
Since then, Google changed the process to be completely automated, without human intervention.
Google can “automatically considered” if a site should show up in Google News, “no application required.”
With automation, Google said that it allows it to "identify more eligible news content across the entire web, including from sites perhaps overlooked in the past, because they didn’t know they needed to apply.”
Shifting from manual application to automation caused confusion.
This is where Sullivan explained the three main points that make a website eligible to appear in Google News:
- Having high levels of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
- Having a consistent history of producing original news-related content.
- Complying with Google News policies.
And in order to know whether or not a website has been included in Google News, Sullivan said that publishers can look at the performance reports on Search Console for Google News and Google Search (filtered to the News search type) in Search Console.
"These reports indicate if your site is receiving traffic from Google News and news surfaces within Google Search. If so, you know that your content is eligible and relevant to appear," Sullivan explained.
And to improve visibility, Sullivan said that the automation for inclusion looks for things like relevancy of content, prominence, authoritativeness, freshness, location, and language.
In all, Sullivan advised publishers to make their site easier for Google to index.
"Make sure you're regularly producing original news content and are high in expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Our systems run regularly and will automatically detect if a site has risen to better meet the criteria," Sullivan added.
"No system is perfect, and we're always looking at ways to improve our automated system."