Google published on the webmaster blog some tips and advice around doing well in Google News. All of the tips and advice are known and have been published in Google’s help docs – which makes you wonder, why is Google putting a new blog post out there that is near duplicate to what Google has published elsewhere? Maybe – this is a guess – Google is getting ready to penalize a set of publishers in Google News for violating some of their guidelines?
I wrote up a summary of what Google wrote at Search Engine Land. In short, Google said check out the news publisher center, make sure your headlines are clear and accurate, make sure your article timestamps are correct, the structured data is correct, etc. It also goes into saying do not “artificially freshening stories” or produce duplicate content, rewritten content, republished content, etc that doesn’t add any added value to the reader. Make sure to follow Google’s content policies and do not do stuff against the webmaster guidelines. There was just a lot of emphasis on doing the right thing, producing something unique, not tricking people, not stealing content, etc.
Then Danny Sullivan who posted this at the Google blog posted on Twitter “This is a reminder that these are important guidelines to follow, which is an important part of helping publishers in Google News with these issues. We do take action on violations.”
This is a reminder that these are important guidelines to follow, which is an important part of helping publishers in Google News with these issues. We do take action on violations.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 17, 2019
He actually posted this message twice. Sometimes, not always, when Google reminds publishers of specific guidelines, not too long after does Google roll out some sort of algorithmic change to hit these publishers and/or a boat load of manual actions around these guidelines that may have not been enforced as strongly as before.
As I said at Search Engine Land, recently there has been a nice number of complaints from Google News publishers not being indexed or ranking in Google News. Maybe – just maybe – this is to respond to those questions?
Forum discussion at Twitter.