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Making your video news more discoverable: best practices for news publishers
Monday, May 24, 2010 9:20 AM
Posted by Benoit Lafortune, Sr. Strategist Google News, and Olivia Ma, YouTube News Manager

Video has always been a unique storytelling tool, especially useful when reporting the news. From raw, citizen-reported videos from the streets of Tehran, to student documentaries highlighting under-reported issues in local communities, or investigative reporting done by professional news outlets, just about every type of news video can now be found on YouTube. Video is also tightly integrated into the Google News experience, providing users different ways to consume and enjoy news, while giving news publishers the opportunity to reach a greater and more diverse audience.

We are working to make it easier to get your video content indexed in Google News, but ensuring it’s found in a timely fashion is another matter. So we thought we’d share six best practices for how news publishers can increase the discoverability of their news videos.

1. Timely uploads
Videos should be uploaded as quickly as possible -- this will help them reach the news homepage faster and be grouped with the most recent articles.

2. One story per video
Instead of having one video that contains multiple segments covering several different stories of the day, it's a better user experience (and easier for us to index), when there is one story per video, and the video title is specific (not something generic like “Breaking News”). At the very least, the description of the video should match the first story in the video.

3. Categorization
If you are providing general news coverage, select YouTube category “News & Politics” (which is youtube_category_id 25) when uploading your video. If you have multiple channels, clearly identify each category (politics, business, entertainment, sports, etc.).

4. More detailed descriptions
Similar to the first paragraph of a news article, descriptions of the news video should convey the who, what, when, where, and why of the story in a few sentences -- the more detail you can supply, the better.

5. Rich tags
Another way to convey the content of the video is using the keyword tags. Providing keywords that might not be in the description gives us more knowledge of what the video is about. Especially helpful are proper nouns: the names of the people, places, companies, etc. mentioned in the video.

6. Make it Embeddable
Be sure your video is embeddable on other sites since this is currently a technical requirement for being displayed in Google News. Additionally, if your videos are geo-blocked in certain regions, they will not appear in Google News.

If your news organization isn’t already making its video content available on YouTube and Google News, we encourage you to get started. More information on how to submit your news videos to Google News can also be found in the News Publishers Help Center, and you can watch this video for additional tips on news search engine optimization.
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Labels: help for publishers
Same Protocol, More Options for News Publishers
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 8:10 AM
Posted by Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager

There are more than 25,000 publishers from around the world in Google News today. That's because Google News is a great source of readers, sending publishers about 1 billion clicks every month. Each of those clicks is an opportunity for publishers, allowing them to show ads, sell subscriptions and introduce readers to the great content they produce every day. While we think this offers a tremendous opportunity for any publisher who wants new readers, publishers are the ones who create the content and they're in control of it. If they decide they don't want to be in Google, it's easy to do. Today, we're making it even easier with a web crawler specifically for Google News.

Publishers have always had the ability to block Google from including their content in Google's index. How? With something called Robots Exclusion Protocol (or REP) - a web-wide standard supported by all major search engines and any reputable company that crawls the web. When our crawler arrives at any site, it checks to see if there's a robots.txt file to make sure we have permission to crawl the site. With this file, or similar REP directives on specific pages, publishers can block their entire site, certain sections or individual pages. They can also give instructions on how they want us to index their content, such as telling us to exclude images or snippets of text. Furthermore, they can apply different instructions to different crawlers, giving access to some while blocking others.

The new Google News web crawler extends these controls to Google News. If they wanted to, it's always been easy for publishers to keep their content out of Google News and still remain in Google Search. They just had to fill out a simple contact form in our Help Center. Now, with the news-specific crawler, if a publisher wants to opt out of Google News, they don't even have to contact us - they can put instructions just for user-agent Googlebot-News in the same robots.txt file they have today. In addition, once this change is fully in place, it will allow publishers to do more than just allow/disallow access to Google News. They'll also be able to apply the full range of REP directives just to Google News. Want to block images from Google News, but not from Web Search? Go ahead. Want to include snippets in Google News, but not in Web Search? Feel free. All this will soon be possible with the same standard protocol that is REP.

Our users shouldn't notice any difference. Google News will keep helping people discover the news they're looking for, different perspectives from across the world and new sources of information they might not otherwise have found.

While this means even more control for publishers, the effect of opting out of News is the same as it's always been. It means that content won't be in Google News or in the parts of Google that are powered by the News index. For example, if a publisher opts out of Google News, but stays in Web Search, their content will still show up as natural web search results, but they won't appear in the block of news results that sometimes shows up in Web Search, called Universal search, since those come from the Google News index.

Most people put their content on the web because they want it to be found, so very few choose to exclude their material from Google. But we respect publishers' wishes. If publishers don't want their websites to appear in web search results or in Google News, we want to give them easy ways to remove it. We're excited about this change and will start rolling it out today. You can learn more about the details of this change on our Webmaster Central blog. If you see any problems or have any questions, please let us know.
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Labels: announcements, help for publishers
Google News Tips for Publishers
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 4:27 PM
Posted by Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead
[cross-posted from the Google Webmaster Central Blog]

During my stint on the "How Google Works Tour: Seattle", I heard plenty of questions regarding News Search from esteemed members of the press, such as The Stranger, The Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly. After careful note-taking throughout our conversations, the News team and I compiled this presentation to provide background and FAQs for all publishers interested in Google News:

Along with the FAQs about News Sitemaps and PageRank in the video above, here's additional Q&A to get you started:

Would adding a city name to my paper—for example, changing our name from "The Times" to "The San Francisco Bay Area Times"—help me target my local audience in News Search?
No, this won't help News rankings. We extract geography and location information from the article itself (see video). Changing your name to include relevant keywords or adding a local address in your footer won't help you target a specific audience in our News rankings.
What happens if I accidentally include URLs in my News Sitemap that are older than 72 hours?
We want only the most recently added URLs in your News Sitemap, as it directs Googlebot to your breaking information. If you include older URLs, no worries (there's no penalty unless you're perceived as maliciously spamming -- this case would be rare, so again, no worries); we just won't include those URLs in our next News crawl.
To get the full scoop, check out the video (filmed by Michael Wyszomierski of our Search Quality Team) or the Google News Forum Publisher FAQ!
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Labels: help for publishers
Pardon Our Dust: Temporary Issues with Webmaster Tools
Tuesday, August 4, 2009 7:06 PM
Posted by Abe Epton, Publisher Support Team

Google News publishers have long made use of Webmaster Tools to submit and update their News sitemaps, as well as learn more about how Google is crawling their site. Recently, the Webmaster Tools site underwent a major makeover designed to make it easier for publishers to use. As part of this process, Google News is working to improve our interaction with Webmaster Tools and help news publishers take advantage of some of WMT's helpful new features.

Unfortunately, this also means that there are currently a few issues that publishers are seeing. We wanted to let you know what they were, and reassure you that we're working on them. 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. For the moment, however:
We apologize for the inconvenience these issues may be causing you. We're working hard to improve the sitemap submission experience, and think you'll be pleased with the results.
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Labels: help for publishers
Working with News Publishers
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:46 AM
Posted by Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager

We're constantly talking with web publishers, including those in the news industry, about how their content is indexed by search engines. Last week in Europe, a group of newspaper and magazine publishers signed a declaration stating that "Universal access to websites does not necessarily mean access at no cost," and that they "no longer wish to be forced to give away property without having granted permission." We agree, and that's how things stand today.

More than 25,000 news organizations across the globe choose to make their content available in Google News and other web search engines. They do so because they want their work to be found and read -- Google delivers more than a billion consumer visits to newspaper web sites each month. If at any point a web publisher feels as though we're not delivering value to them and wants us to stop indexing their content, they're able to do so quickly and effectively. To read more on this issue, see our post on the European Public Policy blog.
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Labels: help for publishers
A Call to News Publishers: How to Share Your Video
Sunday, June 28, 2009 9:00 PM
Posted by Olivia Ma, YouTube News Manager

We're always looking for ways to enhance the way people consume the news, and we have some improvements planned over the next few months. To get things started, Google News and YouTube are teaming up to help news publishers build a bigger audience for their video content.

Today we are inviting any professional news outlet that is already included as one of the 25,000+ sources in Google News to become an official partner on YouTube and more easily share your news videos on both YouTube and Google News. Not already included in Google News? Just submit your site here for review.

Here are some of the benefits for News publishers who join the YouTube Partner Program:
Featured Premium Placement. YouTube news partners receive featured placement on the YouTube news page, youtube.com/news, where we feature news videos from partners related to the top news stories on Google News. In addition, if you allow your videos to be embedded, they'll be eligible to appear on Google News, which means additional exposure to all Google News users.
Cut Costs, Generate Revenue. YouTube offers free hosting for all of your video content and allows you to embed your videos anywhere on the web for free. And as an official YouTube partner, you're eligible to participate in an advertising revenue share program.
Viewership Analysis. Learn more about the people viewing and interacting with your videos. Use YouTube's Insight tool to easily discover troves of useful demographic information and understand what parts of your videos people liked or didn't like. Geographic information provided can help you focus your marketing efforts.
Wider Audience. YouTube and Google News have millions of visitors every day searching for the latest news and information. Raise awareness around your brand and reach new audiences by making your video content available on YouTube and Google News. As a YouTube partner, you can maintain your brand's look-and-feel with your own customized YouTube channel, and you can also drive traffic back to your own website.
Community. At its core, YouTube is a rich social environment that includes thousands of micro-communities. Build one around your content by encouraging people to interact through comments and video responses. Take advantage of YouTube as a social platform.
To get started, apply to the YouTube Partner Program. Don't forget to include the website of your news organization in the "Company Web Site" field on your application form -- this is critical to having your application approved. If you don't already have a YouTube account, make sure to use an email address with the same domain as your website (e.g. johndoe@newswebsite.com) when registering.

Once your application has been reviewed, you will receive an email confirming whether you are included in the YouTube Partner Program. If you are included, you will have the option to participate in revenue sharing and customize your branded channel.

The Google News team will do a separate review and follow-up about including your videos in Google News.

For more details on becoming a YouTube partner, please visit our Partner Benefits page. For a more in-depth explanation of submitting your video content for inclusion on Google News, take a look at our Help Center article: Video and other multimedia content. Please submit any questions through our Help Center.
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Labels: features, help for publishers
Eight Ways to Help Google News Better Crawl Your Site
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:57 AM
Posted by Abe Epton, News Online Operations Team

From time to time, publishers ask us what they can do to improve their listings in Google News. The following are eight of the most frequent, and useful, pieces of advice we give out. Why eight? Because at Google, we love powers of 2.

* Keep the article body clean

For various reasons, when crawling an article, Google News checks to make sure it can find the article body. 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. 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.

* Make sure article URLs are permanent and unique

If you reuse article URLs, our system may have difficulty crawling and categorizing your stories. In addition, make sure your article URLs have at least three digits that don't resemble a year (for example, 5232 is ok, but 2008 is not.) You can get around this requirement by submitting your articles in News Sitemaps. Also, please note that session IDs can confuse our crawler, and we may not realize that two distinct URLs actually point to the same page. You can learn more about some of these requirements here.

* Take advantage of stock tickers in Sitemaps

Google News Sitemaps allow publishers to specify stock ticker symbols for companies mentioned in individual articles. Using these symbols helps us better identify the subjects of your articles. You can read more about the format we use for this data here.

* Check your encoding

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). Don't do this. It hurts us.

* Make your article publication dates explicit

In order to help our crawler determine the correct date, please make the actual publication date of your articles explicit. You can do this by placing the article date and time in the HTML, between the title and the body. Also, you can remove other dates from the HTML of the article page, and add the required tag to articles in your News Sitemap. Dates on article pages can be in most common formats, but for sitemaps, we ask that you use the W3C format; e.g. 2008-12-29T06:30:00Z.

Note that the article times and dates displayed on Google News reflect the time at which we originally crawled the articles, and may not be the same as the publication date.

* Keep original content separate from press releases

If your site produces original content and distributes press releases that you'd like us to crawl, make sure to separate your original news content from your press releases by creating two different sections on your site. As you may know, Google News labels press releases distinctly in order to alert our users that the article they're about to read is a press release. If your original news sections have links to press releases, adding the rel="nofollow" attribute to all links that point to your press release articles will ensure that they're labeled correctly. You can learn more about this attribute here.

* Format your images properly

To help Google News identify your images and crawl them along with your articles, use fairly large images with reasonable aspect ratios and descriptive captions. Make sure to place them near their respective article titles on the page and make the images inline and non-clickable. Images in the JPEG format are more likely to be crawled correctly.

* Article Titles in Google News

In order for Google News to crawl the correct titles for your articles, make sure the title you want appears in both the title tag and as the headline on the article page. In addition, don't hyperlink the headline on the article page - after all, your reader is already there! And it's always a good idea to have links that point to your articles use the article title as anchor text.

If you found these suggestions helpful, you might also want to check out our more general Webmaster Guidelines. The Webmaster Guidelines aren't necessarily specific to Google News, but much of the wisdom you'll find there can help make your site Google News-friendly. Our Publisher Help Center contains lots more information about many of these topics. And you can always check out the Google News Help Forum to give us feedback on these suggestions, and share other tips and advice with webmasters and News users.
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Labels: help for publishers
Adding Google News to Your Site
Tuesday, February 3, 2009 10:07 AM
Posted by Adam Feldman, Product Manager

Today we are launching a Google News-based element for the Google Search API.
With this element, you can embed a news slideshow on your page, showing headlines and previews of Google News Search results based on queries that you've selected. Here is an example of the NewsShow in action:

Adding this element to your site or blog is easy using our wizard. You select the size of the frame you want, the topics you're interested in, and the number of articles you want to show, and we'll build the code for you. Check out the documentation for more details.
If you are a webmaster or developer and have questions or feedback on using this and other APIs on your site, please join the conversation over at the Google AJAX API developer forum. You can also check out our post on the Ajax Search API Blog.

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Labels: features, help for publishers
Got questions? Got answers? Check out our new Help Forum.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009 11:28 AM
Posted by Abe Epton, News Support Team

Today we're launching the new version of the Google News Help Forum (formerly known as the Help Group), and we encourage you to check it out and post a question or two. The new forum incorporates a number of features we've heard requested, and we think the new format will make it even easier for questions to find answers. If you'd like to view a post from the previous version of the Forum, you can still search the Help Center for it, and the old URLs will still work. We really appreciate all the great discussions our users and publishers have participated in in our old Group, and we encourage everyone who used the old Group to check out the new Forum.
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Labels: help for publishers
Need Help? Contact our Support Team!
Friday, April 4, 2008 9:51 AM
Posted by Greta Ghizzo, News Support Team

Last week we launched a new form that will make it easier for users around the world to report an issue with Google News. With the Report an Issue page you’ll be able to send us a quick note to inform us about the problem you’re having with your edition of Google News.

Simply browse the page and look for the specific issue you’d like to report. Then click on the “View Details & Report” and enter the information required. In most cases, you won’t be asked to enter any personal information. Say for instance that you’d like to report a mismatched image in Google News. All you need to do is enter the title of the article associated to that image and the link to our results using our “site:” operator and then click on the “Report it” button. This will ensure that someone on our team will look into the issue and take appropriate actions.

Along with this form we launched an informational page on some of the channels currently available to contact our support team. Keep contacting our team with your suggestions on how we can improve Google News.
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Labels: help for publishers
Psst...secrets of Google News exposed!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 2:43 PM
Posted by Andy Golding, Software Engineer

Often publishers ask us why Google News didn't include one of their articles, or skipped the image associated with an article. In the search for answers, we've noticed that there's a lot of confusion about how we include and rank articles. We'd like to share some of the facts, and debunk the myths.

We've enumerated some of truths and myths below, and invite you to visit the Truths & Myths post on the support group for more extensive followup discussion about your experiences with Google News. User Guides Marcela and Abe will be reading and responding to posts over the next few days. We hope that this post and the corresponding support group thread will help many of you improve your content coverage in Google News.

So without further delay, on to truths and myths:

Having an image next to your article improves your rankingMYTH
While having a good image with your article does improve your chance to get your picture shown, it has no impact on the ranking of the article itself. There are some tips in our help center designed to help us include more of your images in Google News. We encourage you to check those out if you have had problems getting images included in the past.

Updating an article after posting it will create problems with Google News TRUE
Currently, the Google News crawler only visits each article URL once. If you make updates to the article after we've crawled it, they won't be reflected on our site. We hope that soon we'll have the ability to re-crawl your articles to make sure we have the latest version displayed on our site, but for now this is not the case.

Timing the publication of your article improves your article ranking MYTH
Google News is constantly looking for the most recent developments in a story. Making sure we get the latest, breaking news articles is very important. However, whether you publish before, after, or in the midst of when other publishers post articles won't affect your article ranking. Our algorithms take a number of factors into account when choosing the best articles in a cluster. Simply publishing the same story after another publisher won't help. Additionally, our system is set up to detect duplicate content and promote the original source of a story. If we detect that a source is constantly rewriting stories in order to game the system, we will flag the source in our system.

Articles that are just images or video won't be included TRUE
While we will include articles that contain multimedia content, if our crawler cannot find accompanying text content, it won't include the article. The bottom line here is that our crawler is looking for text articles, so if some of your content isn't text-based, it won't be included in Google News. In the meantime, we're working to find ways to add more multimedia content such as our recent integration with video news from YouTube.

There's no way to see why my articles weren't included in Google News MYTH
As you've seen above, there are a number of reasons that your articles may not be included in Google News. To help you analyze your coverage, we have Webmaster Tools for news. If your site is currently included in Google News, you can create an account that will show you errors on specific articles.

Publishing a sitemap helps my rankings MYTH
Creating a sitemap for your news articles helps us find your content; if we can't find your content, we can't rank it. Creating a sitemap does not affect your article rankings; but there are still several reasons that creating a sitemap is a good idea. First, sitemaps give you greater control over which of your articles appear on Google News; they tell us specifically which articles to crawl. Second, sitemaps allow you to specify meta-information about individual articles, such as their publication date, or keywords that help inform which section of Google News the articles should appear in.

Redesigning my site may affect my coverage in Google NewsTRUE
Our crawler has been carefully tuned to scour the web for news content. If you drastically change the structure of your site or your page layout, the crawler may have trouble navigating the new design. In such cases, the Support team may need to update the crawler so that it can find your new content. When in doubt, check out the section in our publisher help center about changes to your site or contact the Support team.

If I put AdSense on my site, my article rankings will improveMYTH
Using AdSense doesn't have any impact upon our ability to crawl or rank your articles. We try to stay as objective as possible, and giving sites with our ads product a boost, well, that wouldn't be very objective!

We hope this information has been eye-opening, and encourage you to let us know what else you've heard on our Truth & Myths thread.
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Labels: help for publishers
Would you like help with that?
Friday, March 14, 2008 10:34 AM
Posted by Inbal Drukker, News Support Team

The Google News Support team works with news publishers and with people who use Google News. We're proud to be the group that can address your concerns and questions, and help get your feedback implemented into the product. We're constantly working to improve how we support you, which is why I'm excited to announce our new Help Center. We've made many changes to it, both to share information and to gather your feedback and suggestions. Here are some of the major updates:
Scannable topics: We've replaced long questions with short headers, so it's easier to find what you're looking for by scanning the topics pages. Reviewing usage of our Help content, we've learned that you prefer to browse topics rather than search for answers using our Search box. Scannable topics are much easier to browse so you'll get the fastest answer.
More content: We've aggregated (pun intended) and added many of the questions we've received over the past few months that weren't on the Help Center, which means we're now more likely to have the answer to your question. If you don't see it, visit our Help Group to search for a similar question which may have been asked, or to ask it yourself.
All-in-one: To keep the flow of communication going between you and us, we'll soon be directing you to a page which lists all the currently available resources you may need to get answers, and how to contact us. We value your ever-helpful feedback, so we encourage you to report issues you may come across with Google News and to keep sending us suggestions for features.

Last but not least, to improve support for our news providers (editors, contributors, news site webmasters), our support group is busy preparing to launch a new and improved Publisher Help Center. Stay tuned for that!
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Labels: help for publishers
We want to hear from you!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 1:18 PM
Posted by Greta Ghizzo Van Everen, News Support Team

If you're looking for an easy way to let us know what new features you'd like in Google News, look no further. Today, we're launching a new feature request form that will make this process a lot easier. We tried to include many of the most popular and interesting features that people have suggested. Whether it's a new standard section or new search functionality, we want to know what's important to you when you're using Google News. You can select up to 5 choices from this form and if the feature you want is not listed, suggest it with the "I have another idea" box at the bottom of the page. We'll use your ideas to help inform us about what changes to make to News in the coming months.

And for the entire News team, I'd like to thank you for all the feedback you've given us over the years. We hope the form will make this process easier for you to send in your suggestions. Stay tuned to find out which new features are coming soon.
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Labels: help for publishers
New Advanced News search
Monday, December 17, 2007 4:22 PM
Posted by Sheng Yu and Sean Wan, Software Engineers

Want to find articles from a specific news source? You may not know of some tricks to make Google News do the work for you. Try using our site operator along with a keyword, like this: [site:iht.com Paris]. Or you can also use our advanced news search page. Just type the source name into the news source box and click the search button, and you'll get stories from the source you want.

And if you've ever forgotten some or all of the name of a news source, in the past, you'd have to rack your brain to figure out the complete name first. We kept this in mind when we improved our advanced search. You don't need to spend time trying to remember the complete name of a news source any more. Just tell us the words you know: [source:"new york"]. Then we will return articles from those sources whose name contains these specific words.

You can also use the new, smarter advanced news search page. When you are typing the source name into the source box, suggestions will be shown in a drop-down list. If you select one of the suggested sources, your search results will include only articles from the source. If you just type in some keywords, articles from those sources containing the specific words will be returned.

One more thing: you can also do operator searches and use the advanced search page in all editions now. We hope you enjoy these new features, and we'd love to hear your feedback.
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Labels: features, help for publishers
Easier-to-use news sitemaps
Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:47 PM
Posted by Andy Golding, News Engineering Team

Hey news publishers, have you checked out Google's Webmaster Tools lately? Did you know that you can submit a sitemap listing specific articles you would like us to include in Google News? Recently, we announced that this capability is available to all publishers in all Google News editions.

Today, we're excited to tell you about a change that makes it easier for publishers to create sitemaps: you can now include articles from multiple hosts in the same sitemap. For example, if you own world.mynews.com, business.mynews.com, and sports.mynews.com, you can submit a single sitemap containing articles from all three hosts; it is no longer necessary to maintain a separate sitemap for each. The sitemap itself can reside on any of the hosts. The only requirement is that all articles in the sitemap be for the same news publication. This was announced on the Webmaster Central blog last month, and we're excited to make it possible for news publishers. This should simplify the process of sitemap submission for many of you.

Going forward, stay tuned for innovations both small and large to help make it easier for you to include your content in Google News. If you have feedback or suggestions for us, please visit our News Help group.
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Labels: help for publishers
Add Google News to Your Site
Monday, November 5, 2007 2:58 PM
Posted by Mark Lucovsky, Software Engineer

If you are a web site owner, a blogger, or a professional site designer, take a look at the latest creation from the AJAX Search API team. With just a few clicks, anyone can configure and add a sleek looking Google NewsBar to their site.

The NewsBar is designed with your needs in mind. It can be configured in a horizontal mode where it delivers a continuous stream of news headlines to your site. The vertical mode delivers both news headlines and snippets. The NewsBar is perfect for your topical sites or blogs. For instance, if you are following the Barack Obama vs. Hillary Clinton race, try this NewsBar.

If you are a professional developer and want to use some of the more advanced features of the NewsBar, there is a complete developer guide that will walk you through all of the options. If you run a blog on Blogger, the NewsBar is already built in. To add it to your blog, just edit your blog's layout, and add the "Newsreel" page element.

A few controls that might complement your use of the NewsBar are, The YouTube VideoBar, The LocalSearch Control for Google Maps, the Slideshow Control, and the Dynamic Feed Control.
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Labels: features, help for publishers
News sitemaps for publishers around the world
Friday, September 28, 2007 4:56 PM
Posted by Benoit Lafortune, News Support Team

If you're a news publisher and want greater control over how your articles get included in Google News, we've got a great opportunity for you: Today we made Google News sitemaps available globally. If your site is currently included in Google News, you can now directly submit your most recent articles via News sitemaps in all the languages we support. You can also specify keywords for each article to tell us more about them so we can better place them in the appropriate news section. You'll get error reports specific to Google News explaining any problems we experienced crawling or extracting articles from your site. And you'll receive additional information on the types of queries that lead Google News users to your site.

Why should I use News sitemaps? So that you can tell us which articles you'd like us to crawl.

When should I submit my articles? As early as possible. You can submit your articles as soon as you upload them on your site. The earlier you submit, the sooner we can crawl and extract them. The result is that you'll boost your publishing power, and we'll process your most recent articles more quickly, since we recrawl all News sitemaps frequently.

How do I submit a News sitemap? Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools. Verify your site. If your site is currently included in Google News, the presence of the News Crawl link on the left indicates that the news features are enabled. If your site isn't included in Google News, you can request inclusion.

Sounds good. How do I check the status of my submitted News sitemap? Once we've verified site ownership through your Webmaster Tools Account, you can view details about your site, including error reports, from the Dashboard by clicking on your site link in the Site column and then clicking the Sitemaps tab.

What if I don't use News Sitemaps? We don't favor sites that use a News sitemap over those that don't. We still crawl all news sites quickly. However, a News sitemap is a great tool to give you greater control over how your content appears in Google News and to alert you to any errors we might encounter when we try to crawl your site.

What if I have more questions about News sitemaps? Take advantage of all these benefits by submitting your articles today by visiting our Help Center for Publishers.

In case you can't tell, we're pretty excited about this new feature. We think News sitemaps can be a real help to publishers and we're glad we can make them available to more publishers. Let us know what you think -- we'd love to hear from you.
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Labels: help for publishers
Would you like video with that?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007 11:10 AM
Posted by Lucy Zhang, News Engineering Team

One of our goals at Google News is to offer as many different perspectives on the news as possible. That means bringing content from multiple sources together in a way we hope you find to be organized and relevant. Now we're adding video to the mix: we're showing related news videos along with our news articles to give you a broader spectrum of info available. You'll see the prefix "Video" next to story titles, and clicking on these video links will open a video player directly on the page so you can watch the video right there.

Today, viewing news videos or other content types on the web can be a frustrating experience. You often get videos that don't play, sites that require different video player downloads, or have misleading descriptions of the content. That's why we're working with YouTube so you can easily view online videos without any downloads required and regardless of what browser you're using.

For our initial launch, we have included several top news sources such as CBS, Reuters, and a number of local Hearst TV stations. Over the next few months, we'll continue to add new sources as fast as we can. Right now we're just offering this addition in the U.S., the UK, and Ireland; we hope to make it available in other languages and editions soon.

We're excited to add this to your Google News experience, so give it a try and let us know what you think.
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Labels: features, help for publishers
Empowering publishers with a new Help Center
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:22 AM
Posted by Tanya Keen, News Support Team

How do you keep thousands of Google News publishers informed about getting their content included in Google News? In September 2006 we launched our first version of a Help Center for Publishers. Since then, Google webmaster tools expanded their offerings to enable news publishers who are already included in Google News to submit a News Sitemap. Not only does this allow publishers to control which articles go to Google News; it also allows them to get unique error reports detailing which articles were successfully crawled, and if they weren't included, why not.

So we've streamlined the way news publishers can make sure their content gets picked up by our crawlers.

Now we've adapted our Help Center for publishers to get better educated about Google webmaster tools. Publishers can now more easily let us know about changes they make to their site, including name, location or domain updates. We've also clarified how publishers go about removing an article or image from Google News, like in those cases when something has been published by mistake and the article has since been recanted. And if you were confused by our old contact forms (so what *do* I put in the state/province field of the "Send us your news site" form?), we think you'll like the ease-of-use of our new contact forms.

If you love our new Help Center, or if you don't, you can share your thoughts with us on each and every Help page you see. Just look for the "Was this helpful?" text at the bottom of the Help article to share your opinions with us. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
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Labels: help for publishers
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