Should Your Website Be in Google’s News Index?

When you search at Google.com, Google will suggest more specific kinds of searches. Depending on the word or phrase you search for, Google thinks that you might want to see images, videos, shopping options, flights, or even personal results. (Yeah, I had also never tried this option. You’ll see your Google photos, gmail, browsing history, and the like.) Nearly every search offers you News as an option.

If your website can show up under News, you’ll broaden your chances of showing up in searches. Nowadays, when successful marketers are usual publishers, you might be providing news on your company or practice website. In fact, Google includes Blogs as a subset of News.

So can you show up in the News index?

Are you a news site?

Your site is not a news site if you write mostly about your company. You might not be a news site if you write about timeless information rather than current events. You’re certainly not a news site if you primarily show products.

However, if you take the responsibility of providing news and analysis on your company or organization website, you should get credit. Say your physical therapy office consistently provides updates on news about physical therapy. You explain new research studies, FDA rulings, and innovative techniques, as well as providing basic information and specific news about your own practice. To the extent that you help your readers keep up to date on important news in your field, you’re a news source.

Look over your blog or news section and see whether you could make a case that your website provides news.

Prepare to submit your site for indexing

If you decide that you have a news site, you should submit it to Google.

First, make sure that you meet the technical requirements. Google wants these things to be true about your website before you submit it:

  • You need permanent, unique titles for all your articles. You should have these whether you’re a news site or not.
  • Links to sources in your articles should use HTML — the normal language of the web. They shouldn’t be Java script or embedded in images or i-frames.
  • Google also doesn’t plan to crawl PDFs, videos, audio files, and the like. You can have them, but you should have also text for the search engines.
  • You must also allow robots to crawl your website. If you have metatags or robot.txt files discouraging search engines, you can’t expect Google to crawl your website.

These aren’t special requirements. These things are true for websites in general. If you need to spiff up your website to meet these requirements, do it.

Next, make sure you meet the content requirements:

  • Clean up any grammatical errors and make sure your content is clear.
  • Limit ads. Google doesn’t expect you to be completely ad-free, but you must have strong content with some ads, not the other way around.
  • Do not post sponsored content or advertorials — any article that looks like news but is really advertising.
  • News sources must have datelines, bylines, and clear contact information. Anonymous postings with no “About us” or author information is not transparent enough to count as news.
  • Make sure you’re not copying content from other sources. Google doesn’t like plagiarism and duplicate content.
  • Don’t include private information such as health data or financial records.
  • Keep out hateful, bullying speech, violent or sexually explicit content, or articles promoting unwholesome behavior such as self-mutilation or drug abuse.
  • News sites also must not misrepresent themselves (for example, falsely claiming to represent an individual or an organization) or use spam or malware.

These criteria are a bit stricter than general requirements, but they’re a good idea.

You will also need to verify your website at the Google Search Console.

Submit your site as News

Once you’ve checked off everything on those lists and tidied up your website if you need to, it’s time to submit the site.

Open the News Publisher Center. You will find a list of the sites you’ve verified at your Search Console. Next to each property will be a button labeled “Request inclusion in News index.” Click the button for the site you want to include in Google News. You’ll see a form to fill out, asking for details about your website. Once you fill out the form and submit it, you’ll see confirmation that your request has been submitted.

Within one to three weeks, you’ll see that your website has been included in the News index, or that it has been rejected.

Google will not tell you any specific reason for a rejection, but you can resubmit in 60 days. If you need support, we can help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.