Google News Deletes Manual Submission Option

Google removed their documentation on manually adding publications for review to be included Google News. An announcement via new documentation advises that publishers can no longer manually add their sites to be considered for Google News but existing publishers will continue to have access to customization features but that those too will be removed soon.

Google Publisher Center

The Google Publisher Center was a service that allows publishers to submit their site content to Google News. Publishers could also submit a constantly updated feed that would alert Google to newly published articles. Google could also use a sitemap to discover newly published news articles.

While Google offered publishers a way to submit webpages to Google for display in Google News, Google never promised to show those sites.

Google also has maintained that they had automated ways to include content into Google News.

Google News Inclusion System

Google removed the ability for publishers to manually submit websites to be considered for inclusion to Google News. The process is transitioning to a fully automated system of discovery and inclusion.

The new system will be rolling out later this year.

The “Submit your publication for review” documentation was removed and is replaced with a 404 response webpage.

Screenshot of 404 page not found displayed in publisher center help page

New Documentation

Google’s new documentation explains that publishers will be unable to do manual submissions and that current publishers will continue to have access to the submission tools but that those tools will be removed some time later in 2024.

From the new Publisher Center documentation:

“Starting today, publishers can no longer add publications to the Publisher Center. We are making this change as part of a transition to roll out automatically created publication pages later this year.”

The new documentation further explains that current publishers with access to the Publisher Center will continue to have access to customization features but that access will at some point be removed.

What’s next for publication pages?
By adding a publication to Publisher Center, publishers were able to manually create a source page for users to follow. Publishers with manually created publication pages will continue to have access to customization features until later this year, when pages will shift to being automatically created. Users will continue to be able to follow their favorite publications.”

SearchLiaison Explains Reasons For Change

Google SearchLiaison posted this explanation on X (formerly known as Twitter):

“To clarify (some people get this, I know — but others get confused)….

Content is automatically considered for Google News and news surfaces, as has been the case since Dec. 2019.  That hasn’t changed.

Publisher Center offered a way to create source pages manually, which did not somehow get content overall considered for Google News and news surfaces. Some who made these pages would get confused and think source page = content in Google News and news surfaces. We’ve tried to clarify this more over the years…

Despite that, some still get confused because … yeah, it’s confusing! So part of this change is eliminating that confusion. Sites small and big are still automatically considered…

Also, anticipating those who say we should do more to include more news sites — moving to automatic consideration has helped, versus the past where someone would actually have to know to apply.

That said, yes, there’s always more we can do — it’s something I push on (and I’m not alone) especially in cases where sites are not having their content appear at all in news queries but are referenced by other who do. I’d really like to see us improve with this.”

How Sites Can Be Included In Google News

Sites wishing to be included into Google News need to abide by Google’s Content policies. Google then uses algorithmic signals to determine eligibility for being shown in Google News as well as in additional Google News surfaces such as Top Stories and the News Tab in the Search Results.

Google News Ranking Signals

Understanding the ranking signals Google uses for Google News is more important now than ever before.

Google lists general factors as part of the Google News ranking signals and a separate group of factors for personalized news (this is the “For You” tab of Google News).

General Google News Ranking Factors

  • Relevance of content
  • Prominence
  • Authoritativeness
  • Freshness
  • Location
  • Language

Ranking Factors For Personalized News

  • Interests
  • Usability
  • User preferences for topics or publishers

That’s the extent of hints offered by Google on what to know about Google News ranking factors.

A statement reads:

“You can improve your site’s ranking by maintaining a Google-friendly website.

…While we’re happy to help you with technical issues in Google News, we can’t provide much feedback regarding ranking. We appreciate your understanding.”

Read Google’s newly updated documentation for eligibility for Google News:
An update on publication pages

Read Google News content policies:
Google News Content Policies

See an archive of the missing Publisher Center support page:
Archive.org – Submit your publication for review

Featured Image by Shutterstock/robuart

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