Thursday, November 5, 2009 2:13 PM Posted by Andy Golding, Google News Software Engineer
Given the feedback we get from publishers, we've redesigned our interface to make Google News Sitemaps more flexible and easier to submit. [As a reminder, a Google News Sitemap is a file created by publishers which gives you even more control over the content you submit to Google News].
We're currently in the midst of an exciting transition period and need your help to avoid interruption in crawling your content.
To facilitate this transition, we'll have a six-month grandfather period during which you can continue to use the old format for any existing Sitemap that was originally submitted using the old format. Any new Sitemap submission must follow the new format. Please take a few minutes to make the shift. If no change is made by the end of the grandfather period, you'll no longer receive the benefits of having your articles crawled via a Google News Sitemap.
If your site is already included in Google News and you haven't submitted a Google News Sitemap yet, we encourage you to do so in order to manage your news content. Please visit our updated instructions for details on how to start using the new format.
Main changes in this release:
Publication Label Pulldown Menu: The publication label pulldown menu no longer exists in Webmaster Tools. Instead, you should now attach the equivalent information to each individual article in your Sitemap, as described below.
Note: For previously-submitted Sitemaps in the old format, we will "remember" the last publication label you selected from the pulldown menu and use that; however, please update to the new format as soon as you can.
New tags: In place of the publication menu, there are now three tags that you can attach to each article in your Sitemap giving the equivalent information:
<publication>: Specifies the name and language of the publication that the article occurs in. Required.
<genres>: Specifies the nature of the article as a comma-separated list chosen from: PressRelease, Satire, Blog, OpEd, Opinion, and UserGenerated. Required whenever any of these properties applies to the article.
<access>: Specifies the accessibility of the article. Choices: Subscription or Registration. Required whenever either of the choices applies.
Please visit this help article for a complete description of the new News Sitemap format.
Title tags: Article titles can be added using the <title> tag to help us identify the right title for your articles.
More options to resubmit your sitemap: In addition to re-submitting your Google News Sitemap through your Webmaster Tools account, you can now resubmit it two other ways: robots.txt or ping. Note: The first time you submit your Sitemap, always use Webmaster Tools.
Check out this page for more details on the transition process, and please let us know if you have questions about your Google News Sitemap. Publishers can also visit the Sitemaps section of our User Help Forum, a place to ask questions, and interact with other users and Google guides.