Tips For Getting Your Content Crawled by Google News

    February 11, 2009
    Chris Crum

Getting you site’s content crawled by Google News is not the easiest thing in the world. Luckily, Google has a number of guidelines that can help you get your content in. Furthermore, today, on the Google News Blog, Abe Epton of the News Online Operations Team posted 8 tips to help Google News better crawl your site. These are:

1. Keep the article body clean
2. Make sure article URLs are permanent and unique
3. Take advantage of stock tickers in Sitemaps
4. Check your encoding
5. Make your article publication dates explicit
6. Keep original content separate from press releases
7. Format your images properly
8. Article titles in Google News

Most of these are pretty self-explanatory. He does elaborate on each of them in the post, but I’ll clear a few up here. When he talks about cleaning up the body, he’s referring to formatting as well as HTML.

"If your article body is broken up by tags, ads, sidebars or other non-article content, we may not be able to detect the actual article body, and reject your article as a result," explains Epton. "In addition, if you place the beginning of your article’s body near the title in the HTML, we’ll be more likely to extract the correct title and snippet."

With regards to the stock tickers, they simply help Google better determine the subjects of articles. On encoding, Epton notes, "We occasionally see articles that declare themselves to be encoded in one format (say, UTF-8) and are actually encoded in another (say, ISO 8859-1)."

As for the "article titles in Google News" tip, I’m admittedly a little hazy myself. At the time of this writing, Epton’s explanation cuts off.

Google News Technical Requirements

Beyond these tips though, there are plenty more to be obtained fairly easily by perusing the Google News help center. For example, a look through the technical requirements section for publishers will give you precise details about URLs, domains, drop-down menus, dynamic content, javascript, flash, forums, frames, languages, etc. The resources are there. Use them.