Google Addresses Sitemaps Issues for News Publishers

    August 5, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has acknowledged some issues that Google News publishers have encountered with Webmaster Tools. The company posted to the Google News blog to let publishers know what the issues were and that they are working on fixing them.

Abe Epton"While there may be some sawdust and loose nails lying around at the moment, it won’t be long before a sturdy new edifice has been completed, and we think publishers will agree that the hard work will have been worth it," says Abe Epton of the Publsiher Support Team. Epton points out the following two issues:

– Webmaster Tools may report an incorrect "Last downloaded" date for News sitemaps, display a strange number of articles indexed, or display a News sitemap as "Pending" () even though Google News is already crawling the sitemap. The best way to determine if we’re crawling a sitemap or not is to check your server logs for Googlebot.

– From time to time, it may become necessary to resubmit your sitemap (for example, if the Type switches from News to Web). In order to do so, don’t click the "Resubmit" button at the bottom of your sitemap list; instead, click the "Submit a Sitemap" link, select Google News from the Type dropdown box, and give us your sitemap’s URL.

A couple months ago, Google posted a Frequently Asked Questions Page for publishers who either have their content currently picked up by Google News or are looking to do so. This is a good resource for publishers to keep bookmarked in case they have issues. Keeping an eye on the Google News blog is also a good idea.

Earlier this year, it was discovered that Gooogle had added over 20,000 publishers to Google News in a year’s time. There’s no telling how much that will increase in another year’s time.