Changes coming to Google News to help publishers ‘find their sites’

November 5, 2018

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Google has confirmed it will be making changes to Google News to help publishers find their sites and articles in Google News.

This confirmation came in the help forums from Lisa Wang of Google after months of complaints from news publishers that their content is not showing up in Google News for relevant queries.

Google News issue confirmed. “We are working on an update which should help resolve some of the issues that publishers have raised around finding their sites or particular articles in Google News,” Wang wrote. “We estimate this will be ready in the next few weeks and will provide another update at that time.”

No details on what the issue is. Google wouldn’t clarify with Search Engine Land when we asked them what this update is fixing. Was there an indexing bug with a specific format of news publishers that hurt their chances of ranking in Google News? Was there a ranking bug with a niche of websites in Google News? Was there a bug with Google News preventing some publishers from not showing up in Google News?

Google would not give us any additional information on what is changing.

No patterns. There don’t appear to be any patterns among the sites that have complained about Google News visibility in the help thread. The publishers are using a multitude of CMS (content management systems) to publish content and write on diverse topics, so it does not seem to impact a specific category of news. None of the publishers seem to have any specific characteristics between them that one could guess would be an issue among them all.

Why it matters. Google News is often a considerable traffic driver for publishers. Not showing up can have negative repercussions, particularly for publishers that monetize traffic with advertising. We expect Google to provide an update when the update rolls out. It is unlikely that the Google messaging will contain specifics, however, we will keep an eye on these changes and report on anything we find.

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