English Google News & Webmaster Central office hours hangout
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English Google News & Webmaster Central office hours hangout


STACIE CHAN: The
third now Hangout with Google News and
the Webmaster team– always thank the
team for letting Google News be a guest speaker. We think there’s a lot
of valuable information that crosses both products. So we just want to share
this with as many webmasters and publishers as possible. John could you go ahead
and present this slide that I’ve got prepared? JOHN MUELLER: Sure. Just let me find
the right screen. STACIE CHAN: And for
those who actually were able to join us in
the February Hangout, that was really focused on
the new Google News Publisher Center tool. And so I highly recommend
if you haven’t had a chance to watch that one,
please go ahead and review that because the
new Publisher Center is one of the most important, if
not the most important, tool for publishers to engage
with Google News now. It’s really the one-stop
shop for publishers to do everything in
regards to Google News, from managing and
editing their information as it appears in Google
News to implementing new features to better
distribute and optimize your content in Google News. Next slide, please. So that was just a recap
of the Publisher Center. These are the rest of
the topics that I’ll be covering briefly today. And then obviously after
all the topics are covered, we’ll have plenty
of time for Q&A. And I’ll do my best to
answer all of your questions. But a brief rundown– I wanted
to revisit the three-digit rule that Google News has. I’ll go over that. Google News Sitemaps is
another way we can crawl and index your content. What errors mean if
you find that you have errors on your site map. How you can use keywords in
your HTML to better signal what your articles are
about to Google News. If you do get crawl errors
on individual articles, what exactly do they mean
and how you can potentially fix them. And how to get more accurate
article dates and article titles. So a very packed
presentation– I’ll try to speed through these
so that we can get through to Q&A as well. Next slide, please. And like I had mentioned, this
was the Google News Publisher Center that I had referenced at
the beginning of this Hangout. For all webmasters, put this
high on your to-do list. Check out the Google
News Publisher Center. It’s really the
one-stop shop tool to do everything
in Google News now. It’s how we’re
processing inclusions– how you apply to Google News. It’s where you can submit
your Editor’s Picks feed. Everything is going to start
living in this Publisher Center. So that’s the link
there that you see on the screen and
the Hangout presentation that I did with the Webmaster
team back in February. So that’s the YouTube video
where you can rewatch it again after this one or
during your lunch break or whatever time you have. Next slide, please. So this is a unique
rule, I’ll say, that Google News has in
order for the Google News bot to crawl your articles. It’s a really great
measure for us to detect what is a news
article and what is spam. It’s a very general
rule, but it tends to work for us in that article
URLs must have a unique string of at least three digits. So I have listed
some bad examples and some good examples. So that second one
is a good example because two, three, four is a
unique string of three digits. The exception is if
you’ve got four digits and it leads off with 199
or 200, as you can see, those typically reflect a year. However, now that we’ve got
into the 2010 and beyond years, 201 actually works
for your article URLs. All this is said always
with an exception. If you decide that
your CMS doesn’t spit out these random three
digits, that’s fine as well. You can always submit
a Google News Sitemap. You submit that through
your webmaster account. And then you don’t have
to abide by Google News’s three-digit rule. And I’ve included
a Help Center link that further explains this
rule and what you can do, whether it’s creating
a Google News Sitemap or other
suggestions to bypass this. And that’ll be the
format of all the slides in this presentation. I’ll go over each of the topics. And then I try to include
a corresponding Help Center link so you can follow up and
do a little bit of research if anything I said wasn’t clear
or you had follow-up questions. Next slide, please. And so I did touch on
the Google News Sitemap– I referenced that. And to create one, you would
just use the same formatting as a regular sitemap. This one just has
a few– it just has a little difference
in the [INAUDIBLE]. So Google News Sitemaps
are not only helpful if you wanted to bypass
that three-digit rule that I had mentioned, but
it’s really great– I am just going to mute
someone because I hear an echo. Ah, OK. [INAUDIBLE] Thanks. Google News Sitemaps are
also helpful for the bot to more quickly find
your news articles. When you have a Sitemap,
you’re explicitly telling the Google News bot
here is my list of news articles rather than the Google News
bot looking through your news section pages and then
trying to extract what it thinks are your news articles. It improves the coverage of what
your news articles are and what your non-news articles aren’t. So you’re telling
the Google News bot these are my news
articles, but don’t crawl this other stuff. So Google News
Sitemaps really helps in improving that coverage. And then, finally,
the News Sitemap helps us correctly extract and
display your article’s titles, the date– all that
information that you want us to know rather than
sometimes leaving it up to the bot to guess
what your title may be or actually what time stamp
you want us to be showing. The natural follow-up question
we get a lot from publishers is, well, does it help if
I submit a News Sitemap? Or will I increase in ranking? There’s absolutely no
right or wrong way. We don’t favor any sites that
do submit a News Sitemap. There are added benefits that I
listed up above on this slide. But it won’t help in things like
ranking because the Google News bot will still crawl your
articles from your news sections and your
homepage as well. And there’s that
Help Center link if you have any
follow-up questions or you want to get
more information. Next slide, please. So when you submit your Google
News Sitemap to your Webmaster Tools account, you
can see whether or not the Sitemap has errors
and also warnings. I’ll go over some
example errors. But it’s good to check
up periodically on this. I believe you’ll
get a notification in the top of your
Webmaster Tools account saying like, oh,
there’s an error. If you see this, I would
address the error ASAP. You should save your
Sitemap and then resubmit it, because if you
don’t resubmit your Sitemap, these errors will persist
till the end of time. I don’t know if it’s that long. But it’ll remain
there for a while. And a lot of questions we
get from news publishers is how can I fix this error? And we’ll try to troubleshoot. And we’ll realize that this
error is actually months old. You just had to resubmit
your Sitemap to clear it. So hopefully that will
quell some concerns from news publishers, which
we get quite frequently in how to resolve these errors
when really all you have to do is resubmit your Sitemap. And, additionally,
just because there is an error on your
Sitemap, please keep in mind that we are crawling
your articles naturally from your news sections as well. So even if there’s an error
that you see on your Sitemap, it doesn’t mean that we
aren’t crawling your articles. We’re just defaulting back
to using your news sections to find those. Next slide, please. And this is a screenshot. I keep talking about
when you see errors. The way you do that is you
log into your Webmaster Tools account. In that left-hand side,
scroll down to Crawl. Expand that. Click on Sitemaps. And you have to click
over to that News tab. And then next slide, please. Then you’ll generally
see a list of errors. I couldn’t find a quick example. But there’s a variety of them. Here are some of the most
common ones that publishers see. You’ll get sometimes an
unknown news site error. This is often because
you’re hosting your Sitemap on www.abc/com/sitemaps.xml
or something like that. But the domain in our database–
the domain in the Publisher Center– doesn’t have the www. So that mismatch will actually
cause that unknown news site error. A second very common error is
the unresolved news source. So this happens when–
all of the URLs– whether it’s your Sitemap
URL and your article URLs– must match. They all must be consistent. They have to have
that leading www if that’s what it has in
your Publisher Center. So everything needs
to be consistent. If there’s even one
article URL in your Sitemap that isn’t consistent,
you’re going to generate this
unresolved news source error for your entire Sitemap. So I would just check
all the article URLs and try to find the one
that’s inconsistent with all the other ones. And then, finally,
unexpected publication name– so when you’re listing the name
of your site in your Sitemap, it has to match what we’ve
got in the Publisher Center. And the great news is now
that we have the Google News Publisher Center, you can
log in and double check exactly what the name
is, where previously, before the Publisher Center,
you had to write into my team. We had to double check for you. And then we had to resolve
it whether it would be you changing the name
in your Sitemap or us changing the name
in the Publisher Center. Now, this is something that is
entirely within your control. And you can resolve these
errors on your own now. And I mentioned the
same with language. For some reason, sometimes
a different language is listed in your Sitemap. If it’s in English,
you need to match that– you need to match
English in your Sitemap with the language that’s
listed in the Publisher Center. So if you’ve got Spanish listed
in your Publisher Center, you’re going to generate
that error as well. Next slide, please. So another type of error you
can get is at the article level. And this is often why we’re
not crawling specific articles. It’s one of the most
common questions we get emailed in to
us from publishers is why was this
article not crawled. Generally, we found
a technical reason that the article wasn’t crawled. And we’ll actually tell
you what that error is if you just log into your
Webmaster Tools account. Next slide, please. You can similarly
expand that Crawl tab in the left-hand side. Click on Crawl Errors. Then you’ll click on News. Next slide please. And then you’ll see
all the article URLs that have generated errors. And there is a
decent-sized list of them. The errors can range
from article too long, article too short,
article fragmented. And all of the errors have a
much more expansive definition than just article too long. We’ll provide quite
a few possibilities for why your article is
generating this error, and then a list of potential
suggestions to fix it. And I would say as a
general best practice, you try to resolve this error
as soon as possible because in Google News, the bot will
actually revisit your article periodically– I would
say throughout the day– the first day that you
publish your article. So there is a chance that even
though your article generated an error, we can still
revisit it and then index it into Google News. OK, next slide, please. And this is the Help
Center page with the list of all of the article errors
and then all the suggestions for how to potentially fix them. So definitely
bookmark this page. And every time you
see an article error, you can just go and look
through all the suggestions for how to fix this. OK, next slide, please. News keywords– I included
this in the presentation because in the
Hangout in February, someone had asked about this. And I wanted a little
bit of clarification. So the best place to
actually put your keywords are in your header. So you would use
metatags to highlight whether your article is about
the World Cup, or sports, or the 2016 elections. You get the idea. And the general
best practice is I think we suggest no
more than 12 keywords once you start
stuffing that many. You can only classify an
article in so many sections in keywords. So we recommend no more than 12. And these keywords are
really helpful if you decide to have greater
freedom with your headlines– greater creativity in
what you want to use as the title of your article. And I would say over the course
of the Google News product history, we’ve gotten
better at not mandating that you stuff your
headlines with keywords. I used to be a
former journalist. And that was sort of
the wisdom that I got. It was always, oh, load
your titles with keywords because then Google will know
what your article is about. There are many other ways
for the Google News bot to figure out what
your article is. There’s no need to
necessarily stuff your headline with keywords
just for SEO purposes. Google News is not in the
business of telling you how to write your
content because there are ways to do it through
HTML, through metatags to better signal to us
what your article is about. Next slide, please. And mentioning
article titles– this was a question I got from
the last Hangout as well. And I just wanted to reiterate
that the main point about this is that across your
article, everything should just be consistent. So the title of your
article page, whatever’s in the title tag should match
your h1 tag, which should also match your anchor text. This way you reduce the
chance of the Google News bot potentially extracting
what you didn’t intend to be your article title. Other little best
practices– we suggest avoiding hyperlinking your
title or including a date. That will signal
potentially to the bot that the date is actually
the date of your article not the date of
your article title. The title should also be
greater than 10 characters and between 2 to 22 words–
again, just a best practice, but use your editorial judgment. These are just
suggested guidelines. And then one of the
default suggestions– it sounds like a theme
from this presentation– is to create a
Google News Sitemap. If you want to make sure
we’re properly extracting and displaying
your title, tell us what that is in your
Google News Sitemap. And that’s a more
surefire way to make sure that we get your title correct. And last slide, I believe. Incorrect article
dates– you can also– it’s very easy to
tell us what the date is if you are submitting
a Google News Sitemap. The other ways to do this
are within your HTML code. So you should put the date
only between the title and your text. Putting it elsewhere on the
page is slightly confusing and can be inconsistent, causing
some confusion for the Google News bot. You can also put it in a metatag
using that YYYY-MM-DD format. And one last important
thing to note because a lot of publishers
will sometimes write into us and say, why is Google News
saying that this article was published three hours ago? It was actually published,
I don’t know, 12 hours ago. The date and time
that’s displayed is when the Google News bot
originally crawls the article. So that’s why you might see
a few hours discrepancy. So that was all I had
for my presentation. I wanted to make
sure that– I just want to give you a quick
plug for our resources, too. So I had a lot of links
there to the Help Center. That should be your
go-to source for help if you ever have any
Google News questions. Also the Google News Help
Forum is a great resource where you can ask questions. We have some wonderful
top contributors who oftentimes get to
the question before I do. And I would say their
technical expertise is far greater than mine. So the help forum is
also a great place to visit if you’ve
got questions. And with that, I guess we
can open it up for Q&A. JOHN MUELLER: All right. We have a bunch of questions
that were submitted. We can filter them out
for Google News questions. But maybe we can see
if one of you guys here has any new Google News
questions to start off with. BARUCH LABUNSKI: Yeah,
I have a question about the Google Publisher. In the Publisher
Center, there’s an area where, for instance, if I’m
running a business website, there is an option there for
the category to select Business, right? STACIE CHAN: Mhm. BARUCH LABUNSKI: Suppose
that business article is also about technology. So I want to add another
category– Technology. Can you add two– is it possible
to add Business and Technology at the same time? Or do you just leave it at one? STACIE CHAN: Good question. You can add more than one label. And this is where you need to
apply your editorial judgment, because if you’re looking
at the Google News homepage. [? You can ?] add
certain sections. And your article is only going
to be listed in one section. So, yes, you can apply two
labels to that certain section or to your entire
source as well, but I would avoid adding three,
four, or five because then it almost defeats the
purpose of having labels. I would say, as a general
best practice, two is fine. Any more than that, start
thinking about [INAUDIBLE]. BARUCH LABUNSKI:
I’m still worried about adding one more category. I want to stay
consistent with just one. So you’re saying it’s OK
to add one more, right? STACIE CHAN: Yeah,
and it’s funny because a lot of times
people will see articles in Tech or Business. And they’ll say,
oh, that article should be in vice versa. So we, just as users
and readers ourselves, we know that there isn’t a
very clear black-and-white line between those two categories. So I would say that’s fine. But just don’t be
surprised if you thought an article would have
ended up in a certain section, and then it ends up in the
other section [INAUDIBLE] that [INAUDIBLE]. BARUCH LABUNSKI: So
Stacie, just quickly, with the geo-targeting,
if the website is geo-targeted in
the United States, because that’s
originally [INAUDIBLE]. And so if you do target
at the United States, does that mean somebody in
Italy or whatever, Russia, would still see that article? STACIE CHAN: Yeah,
it’s possible. And I can see articles
and news sources from all over the world. It just really depends
on what I’m looking for. BARUCH LABUNSKI:
Thank you so much. STACIE CHAN: Sure. JOHN MUELLER: All right. Let’s grab one from
the Q&A. Here’s one that seems to be voted up. Maybe you covered this already. We’re using the
metaname=date tag, which Google News
doesn’t recommend, but which seems to work fine. If we switch to the recommended
metaname=dc.date.issue, could that be a
problem, an improvement, or what would that
be without impact? STACIE CHAN: My philosophy is
if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you found that we’re
properly crawling and indexing your articles with just about
the right date, keep it as is. A lot of these are suggestions. We try to give
publishers options because we know there are
so many different formats out there. But if you’re finding that
yours is working, fine. Keep at it. JOHN MUELLER: OK, here’s one
about the mobile-friendly changes that are happening. Is the mobile-friendly
change on April 21 also going to
affect Google News? Can we create a
mobile News Sitemap for new sites that have
different desktop and mobile pages? STACIE CHAN: I knew I was
going to get that question. As of now, Google
News is not committed to making that change just yet. We’re always
exploring because we think it’s awesome
that sites are trying to be more mobile friendly. Myself personally as
a user, I love that. And Google News
is very well aware that search is doing that. And kudos to you guys. That’s great. So we’re definitely exploring
that option as well. But we don’t have a set
timeline or anything like that, whether or not we’ll even
implement that into our product as well. JOHN MUELLER: Here’s one
about different platforms. Can someone create a News
Sitemap using Blogger? STACIE CHAN: That
is a good question. I am actually
googling it right now. In the Google News
Help Forum, someone asked how to create a
News Sitemap on Blogger. JOHN MUELLER: A news site. So not just a sitemap,
just [INAUDIBLE]. STACIE CHAN: Oh, yes,
you can absolutely create a news site on Blogger. There are so many
platforms out there. We’re platform agnostic. You can use Blogger. You can host it on your own
site– WordPress– anything, absolutely, yes. JOHN MUELLER: Awesome! OK, here’s one about
Google+ results. How does the Google News
homepage show Google+ results? What are the criteria? How can we as a webmaster
make sure that we also get the Google+ listings? STACIE CHAN: That’s also
done algorithmically. But, as you know, Google+ and
what’s trending on Google+, what’s popular, does factor into
some of the homepage rankings. I just opened up the Google
News homepage right now to see if I have any examples. But oftentimes you’ll
see before article URLs, you’ll see these
different labels. So in my homepage, I
actually see the story about the horrible plane crash
that happened over in Europe. I don’t see any trending
on Google+ labels there. But right now I see
from France– In-depth, Live Updating, Wikipedia. There is a tag that we have
that says trending on Google+. But yeah, it’s an article
that’s trending on Google+. There’s a variety of factors
that go into determining that and ultimately what story
gets on the homepage. But I guess to answer the
root of your question, yes. If your story is really popular
on Google+ and people are +1ing it and sharing it, that makes
you that much more qualified to appear on the homepage
with that label in front of your article. JOHN MUELLER: Are there any
localization optimization options for Google News? STACIE CHAN: Interesting. I would say there is
a huge opportunity to appear on the homepage
if you’ve got local content. In the right-hand side– I’m
in Mountain View right now. So I see Mountain
View, California. I see the “San
Jose Mercury News,” I see the “Contra Costa Times.” And I see “The San
Francisco Chronicle.” So there’s a huge opportunity
if you cover local events– local news — to appear directly
on user’s homepages based on their location. [INAUDIBLE] STACIE CHAN: I’m sorry,
someone was asking a question. I would say in the
Publisher Center, make sure to– if you’ve
got a local section. So if you’ve got
abc.com/sanfrancisco, make sure to add that section
to the Publisher Center because you’ve already done a
good job in signalling to us that you do have a
lot of local content. It’s really about the
organization of your page. I don’t have any
optimization suggestions, just that you’ve already
got great local content, just signal to us
that it’s there and hopefully the Google
News bot will better crawl it and then include that
in that local section on the Google News homepage. BARUCH LABUNSKI: But there’s
still like good thing– you can talk about what’s
happening in technology around the world, and so on. No? There’s still optimization. You can still rank well with
writing unique stuff about, for instance, like
Facebook is coming out with this F8 or whatever. So can we– is there
any optimization? STACIE CHAN: I think the
question was particularly about local. But in terms of
optimization in general, that’s such a large question. There are certain
things you can do in signaling more to Google
News what your content is about. I did mention keywords. So if you are signaling that
you’re writing about tech, or I think you
mentioned Facebook, that’s [? a way ?] to do that. I don’t remember if I mentioned
this in the last Hangout. But there is something
called the standout tag that you can use. So that’s what you would
put in your header. And just as the name denotes,
it’s for standout content. And you can use this no more
than seven times a week. We don’t want publishers saying
every article is a standout article. I’m sure it’s
really high quality, but we want publishers
to use this judiciously. I can definitely include
a link to that page in the notes from this
Hangout and for everyone to explore that standout tag. I love the standout tag
also because it’s not just for self-citations. It’s also a great way
to build this ecosystem amongst publishers. You can also use the
standout tag as many times as you want if you’re
referencing another publisher’s standout articles. And this way, it
really signals to us who’s a credible
source, who’s producing high-quality journalism,
and who really deserves credit when they do have
that standout or exclusive or scoop story. JOHN MUELLER: All right,
here’s one about live content. Are there any best practices
for Live Updating live blog content for Google News? STACIE CHAN: That’s
a good question. It’s definitely a
very common format that we see a lot of publishers
doing, especially when it comes to sporting
events or entertainment events like the Oscars. I always say keep doing
what you’re doing. Readers and users love
your live content. Don’t change your
scheduling or your reporting based on what you think
Google News would do. But, as I mentioned,
there is a label now on the homepage that
says Live Updating because we found that users do like that. This is not to say that every
article you should write should be a Live Update article. Many events don’t
lend itself to that. But keep in mind
that the Google News bot will continue visiting
your article every so often, probably for the first 24
hours looking for new updates. And it will do its
best to crawl and index your article with
those new updates. And then after 24 hours, it
doesn’t revisit your article as often, which is the natural
life cycle of an article anyway. So the follow-up
question that we get a lot is– when is
it best to then break out your article into a new URL? Just think of the
user perspective. If you’ve got like
a cricket match that you’re covering
for days, do you want all of that in one article? It depends. I don’t know what the best
reader experience would be. But that’s definitely
something you should consider in your editorial judgment. And the Google News
bot does its best to keep up with all of
those editorial changes that you’re making. JOHN MUELLER: Now
here’s one about HTTPS. We have both HTTP
and HTTPS pages. And I’m unsure whether to,
one, submit separate Sitemaps, or two, put them all in one. And if I put them
all in one, should I include HTTP or HTTPS
versions of the pages? Or both of them? STACIE CHAN: Good question. We mentioned this in
the last newsletter that we sent out– making a
quick plug for the Google News newsletter that we
send out quarterly. And we addressed HTTPS
because we do now crawl that. And, actually, the Google
News bot prefers HTTPS. So if we find your
HTTPS content, that’s what we’re
actually going to index. So there’s no need to submit
two of everything anymore. I would just start investing
in your HTTPS content because it’s more secure. We now want a secure internet. So I have made a note
to share the newsletter link as well because that’s got
some good information on HTTPS. JOHN MUELLER: All right, here’s
one about schema.org markup. Should they use
news article schema? Or just article
schema for news sites? STACIE CHAN: This is where
I can’t provide advice on this because, really, you
should be creating the best, most navigable articles, best
user experience, best interface designed articles
that you choose. Google News does not have
a preference either/or. There’s so many different
types of articles we’ve seen out there. The bot does its best to
crawl any and all of them. So there is no preference. JOHN MUELLER: Awesome! Crisan, I think you have
a question too, right? CRISAN: Hi, John, are there
any quality algorithms in Google News for people
trying to market services by Google News to penalize
these articles specifically? STACIE CHAN: You’re
cutting out a bit. Was your question does
the algorithm penalize– CRISAN: Are there any
quality algorithms in Google News to
penalize people that use Google News for marketing? STACIE CHAN: I can’t
speak specifically about the algorithm
penalizing marketing articles. But in Google News we don’t
allow marketing articles. We have a very clear
list of types of articles that we don’t allow
in Google News. And we’re really
working with publishers to make sure they
understand that. There are a lot of types
of content we don’t allow. And there’s many
ways you can ensure that we don’t index
those in Google News whether it’s robots–
using robots.txt file. You can use metatags
to do no index. And you can always create
a Google News Sitemap to make sure that
you’re only telling us what your news articles are
and that we don’t mistakenly crawl your non-news articles. Because if we do find that
certain publishers are including non-news articles,
there is potential for us to remove your site
from Google News. BARUCH LABUNSKI: When
you say you mean it, like in the guidelines– stick
to the news, and we mean it. And it’s totally understandable. But sometimes I guess what if- JOHN MUELLER: Somehow– STACIE CHAN: It muted us. JOHN MUELLER: It muted, yeah. STACIE CHAN: They didn’t
like what we had to say. JOHN MUELLER: They want to
publish marketing articles, I guess. This is a general problem,
I guess, with web search as well and with Google News. There is some quality
standards that we put out in the guidelines. And we expect people
to abide by them. And I assume that’s even more
so the case in Google News where it’s actually
a selection of sites that are actually shown there. All right, here’s one about
tracking the traffic they get. We’d like to get a precise
number of the traffic coming from Google News. Is there a risk for
the overall inclusion if we add something
like UTM source equals Google News parameters
to the URLs in the News Sitemap? STACIE CHAN: Is there
a risk for inclusion? JOHN MUELLER: I guess the
question is if these URLs would get dropped or not
included in Google News if they include some kind
of a tracking parameter. STACIE CHAN: No, not at all. You can put whatever
tracking parameters you want. I know a lot of people use
those for social media. That will not affect
your inclusion or getting kicked
out or anything like that from Google News. And we encourage people
to monitor their traffic. It’s important
for all publishers to know where they’re
getting their traffic from. JOHN MUELLER: All
right, let me see. We have a bunch of
submissions still, wow! Let me find something here. We have a separate mobile site. And we’re using
the canonical link from the mobile version
to the desktop version. Do we have to submit a separate
Sitemap for the mobile pages? Or how do you treat separate
mobile pages for Google News? STACIE CHAN: How
do we treat them? Are we going to index
all of our content? JOHN MUELLER: Yeah, I guess. STACIE CHAN: If you’re using
the [INAUDIBLE] to the desktop, that’s what we
should be indexing. You don’t need to create
separate Sitemaps. In fact, we always encourage
you to just create one Sitemap. It’s easier to have a place. You could have an
index of Sitemaps, and that’s what you submit
when it has multiple Sitemaps. But especially with
the [INAUDIBLE] tag, you should be fine
if you’re pointing to the desktop articles. That’s what we’ll be indexing. JOHN MUELLER: How to
avoid hyperlinking of a title of an
article on a media site, especially if you wan to list
related content articles. So if you’re looking
at one article and there are some related
articles on the bottom, you link to them with a title. Is that fine? STACIE CHAN: Yeah, so I
guess I wasn’t super-clear when I mentioned that. I meant you shouldn’t link
your main article’s title. So if the title was
“Earthquake in San Francisco,” you shouldn’t link
that to something else. But at the very
bottom of your article when you have related
articles, those are fine because
that’s not what you want to be indexed as the
article’s title in Google News. That’s what I meant by don’t
link the article title. JOHN MUELLER: All right, Google
News Publisher Newsletter seems to be available
to site owners only. Can you make it
available to anyone with manager-level permissions
in Webmaster Tools as well? STACIE CHAN: We’re hearing
you loud and clear. Good question. I would say the only– we
just want to make sure. The last thing we want
to do is spam anybody. For the most part,
I think it was like 99.9% of people who
received last quarter’s Newsletter loved it. But we always want to
err on the side of– we know your inboxes get flooded
with so many emails a day. We just want to make sure that
really the right audience gets these newsletters. And for the owners of
the sites, please forward to whoever in your
organization you think would benefit from it. We do have the
Newsletter available to anyone who can view
it on the Help Center– on the Help Forum. You can always set up
like an auto forwarding from the Google
News email address. As far as I know, I think
this is the only email we’ve ever sent to publishers. So if you forward any email
from Google News-noreply to people in your
organization, you will only get the
Google News newsletter. I know that’s one more
step that you have to do. But I appreciate the comment. And we’ll definitely consider
that for the next go around. But I think, at least for
the second newsletter, we’re probably going to be
sending it to owners only. So I guess for
number three, we’ll look into some of the
privacy requirements about sending it to
managers of sites. JOHN MUELLER: All right,
here’s one about the markup. Which HTML5 elements can I use
safely in my article template? I have seen a lot of
article fragmented errors in Webmaster Tools
when using valid HTML5 markup. STACIE CHAN: That’s interesting. I don’t know too
much about HTML5. John, do you have
any comments on that? I can always look
more into it and cover that in the next Hangout. JOHN MUELLER: I don’t know. I’m just guessing. I don’t know how it’s handled
on the Google News side. But I imagine you try
to figure out where the main article is on a page. And depending on the type
of markup that you use, it might be easier or harder. Because with HTML5,
for example, you can have multiple h1
headings on a page. And I could imagine that
maybe that makes it harder to parse the actual article. STACIE CHAN: That makes sense. I will definitely look
into that, though. That’s a good
technical question. JOHN MUELLER: Why didn’t
my Google News site not get indexed? It’s stuck on 48
submitted, but none are shown as being indexed. So I guess in Webmaster tools. STACIE CHAN: OK, so that’s the
indexed count of the articles. A lot of publishers
do ask about that. And I’m glad you asked that. So that count–
that indexed count that you see in your
Webmaster Tools account– isn’t always the most accurate
number of the articles that we’ve indexed
from your Sitemap. A lot of times I just tell
publishers do a site search. That’s the most accurate way. You can see the
articles directly there on your screen, which ones that
were indexed in Google News. And John and I and
the Webmaster team have actually been
talking about this. And we’re trying to look into
updating this number more regularly. JOHN MUELLER: I think this is
specific to the Google News Sitemaps, because
within Google News, you always have to be
submitting the most recent URLs. And that’s a bit different
from the web search side where you basically submit
everything from your website. The churn in the
Google News site– that makes it hard to
keep up with the index count because you
keep submitting News Sitemaps for Google News. And they have
different counts there. And then we have to
recalculate the index counts. So it’s really hard to
show an actionable number. On the web search side,
it’s a bit easier because we see you submitted 50,000 URLs. And out of those at
the moment, this many are actually live in our index. So that’s a difference there. But I know that
the team is working on finding a way
to show something more actionable there. STACIE CHAN: Exactly,
and then it’s hard because not only are
you all constantly producing articles every
minute or so, there are also then articles that
drop out because we only keep articles for about 30 days. So then it’s really
keeping track of the churn, as John said. And that number
is– we want to make sure we get it right before
we start showing a number because we would hate to show
like an estimate or something. We want it to be as
accurate as possible. So we’re working on how to
best present that number. JOHN MUELLER: OK, here’s
one about the logo. If our logo for the
Editors’ Picks is rejected, how can we find out why? I submitted a question to
Google News Help Forum. STACIE CHAN: A logo wouldn’t get
rejected for any other reason than it doesn’t
follow the size specs. Oh, goodness, I can’t remember
off the top of my head. I think it’s got to be like
if the height is 40 pixels, than the width needs to be
between a certain number of pixels. The general default
that I see is 250 by 40. I’ll follow up on those
exact measurements. But we don’t care what
your logo looks like. It’s really just
all about the size. So when you submit your Editors’
Picks feed within the Publisher Center and it tells you
it’s because the logo didn’t follow our requirements, it’s
really just about the size. So go ahead and resubmit it. You can submit it
as many times as you want until it gets right. And then, voila. Then you should have
your Editors’ Picks feed added to the Publisher Center. But if you’re still having
trouble, please write into us. Or I’m sure someone will respond
to your question on the Help Form very shortly. JOHN MUELLER: OK, here’s
one about pop-ups. How does a pop-up box, or
I guess an interstitial, affect Google News inclusion? STACIE CHAN: So there’s
like a pop-up on your site? I’ll say this. If we’re trying to review
your site for inclusion, and we can’t access
any of your content, I would guess there’s a very
likely chance your site’s not going to get included
in Google News because we don’t have
access to your content. It obviously varies
case by case. I don’t know what your site is. But that’s the first general
rule of thumb, I would say. JOHN MUELLER:
We’re offering news in local languages on
a separate news site. But our referral traffic
from Google News homepage isn’t very impressive. If we compare our English
versus the local language, there’s a huge gap. How can we increase
this traffic? STACIE CHAN: Interesting. So to keep in mind, one rule
that we have in Google News is that if you’ve
got separate sections on your site in
different languages, you do need to apply
separately for that section as an entire separate entry
in the Google News database. I try not to provide
traffic advice, but that might be why
you’re not getting any clicks to your articles
because, say you’ve got your main site
in English, and then you’ve launched a Spanish
and French section, the Google News bot is not going
to service Spanish and French articles to a US user. Because we’re assuming
that this user wants their news in English
and not in Spanish and French because they can’t
read those languages. So the first thing
you need to do is actually apply for inclusion
for those separate sections so we can correctly create a
separate entry in our database for your sections so
then we can correctly categorize and classify your
separate language articles into the right
Google News edition. So then the Spanish
Google News readers will be able to see
your Spanish articles. And the French
Google News readers will be able to read
your French articles. And the way to do
that– I’m actually glad you brought that up. The inclusion now lives
within the Culture Center. So if you’ve already proven
ownership of your site in the Google News
Publisher Center, you can go ahead
and verify ownership of the separate sections, these
separate language sections, and then request inclusion
for those in Google News. You’ll see that
large button directly on the Publisher
Center homepage. JOHN MUELLER: Here’s one
about getting included. In the guidelines for acceptance
as a Google News source, there’s a strong
implication that you’re looking for real organizations
or companies versus loosely organized solo news publishers. Can you comment on the
type of organization that you’re looking for? STACIE CHAN: I forget
what the exact verbiage is in our guidelines. But you don’t have to
belong to a big organization to be accepted in Google News. We’ve got individual bloggers
whose sites are in Google News. There’s so many ways to get
news and information these days. And we’ve seen that being
part of a big news publication often isn’t the
predominant method anymore for news publication. And that’s totally fine by us. It doesn’t help you. It doesn’t hurt you. It’s just part of
your organization. And that is not a preference
for Google News at all. We do value authority
and credibility. But that doesn’t– just
because you belong to a big organization doesn’t
automatically mean yes or no that you have that
credibility or authority. So if you’re an
individual blogger or if you’re one
solo journalist, please apply to
Google News as well. JOHN MUELLER: Are
there any plans to provide greater
insight into how content is performing in universal
search versus Google News homepage? STACIE CHAN: That might be more
of a Google Analytics question. Currently at Google
News, we don’t have anything posted
within the Publisher Center or within our product that
will tell you traffic. So that might be
something I would take up with the Google Analytics team. I don’t know if you had
any more comments on that. JOHN MUELLER: I
don’t really know. STACIE CHAN: Google
Analytics is your best bet. I guess I’m passing it
on to our sister product. JOHN MUELLER: OK, here is
one about a radio station. Is a community radio station
able to post reusable content? STACIE CHAN: Able to
post reusable content? I am not quite sure
what that means. But I know we do have a lot
of radio sites in Google News because a lot of their content
will have enough text for us to be able to crawl it. One of the requirements
is that you need to have 80 words
in each article. So even if you got an
audio file or a podcast but you’ve got 80 words, we’d
love to include that content. We know radio stations
produce– or many radio stations produce high-quality content. Absolutely put that
in Google News. I am not sure what you
mean by reusable content, maybe like evergreen content? Yes, but if you’re a radio
station, apply to Google News. Check out our guidelines. And just try to
adhere as much to that as possible with what you think
is your best news content. BARUCH LABUNSKI:
And transitioning into that, like YouTube videos,
are you guys working on that? STACIE CHAN: Yes. So if you look at
the homepage, you’ll actually see the
giant media strip under all the article URLs. We definitely include
YouTube videos. At the moment, you
can’t add the YouTube– your own YouTube
channel yourself to the Publisher Center. You still have to
write in to our team because it doesn’t match. YouTube.com obviously
doesn’t match the domain that’s listed
in your Publisher Center. But we do encourage
every single publisher, if you’ve got a YouTube
channel, to submit that to your Publisher
Center account. We just ask that it actually
is your YouTube channel and you’re not submitting
some other publisher’s YouTube channel. We do check for that. JOHN MUELLER: All
right, maybe we can open up for other
questions around Google News from the people
here in the room. Is there anything left that
you all would like to ask? MALE SPEAKER: Hi,
Stacie, [INAUDIBLE]. So we have this website for
basically a publisher in India. So we are just doing stories
around India– maybe politics and maybe sports. Each and every
category is there. But the thing is like,
we are not really getting highlighted in
the Google News homepage. We are one of the top, most
trusted sources for the news in India. But we hardly see our listing
at the Google News homepage. What is the reason
behind this thing? STACIE CHAN: That’s
a tough question. I would categorize that as
a general ranking question. And without knowing
what your site is or what your content is,
it’s really hard to comment. And, also, it’s important
to know the distinction. Everyone says the
Google News homepage. It’s important to keep in mind
that every user sees something different on their homepage. It depends what
edition you are in. It depends what a user’s
customized preferences are. So if a user has customized
their homepage and said, I want to read more of
yoursite.com’s articles, they will see a lot more
of yoursite.com’s articles on their homepage. But it’s hard to provide general
advice on why is my site not ranking higher in Google News? MALE SPEAKER: So, that’s fine. I hardly see– I don’t
know if you can see, most of the publishers
are not there. I just see two to three
publishers always ranking for all of the feeds, basically,
even for the top stories or for the other categories. So they are ranking from the one
or two publishers and nothing from the other publishers. So I am just curious to
understand this thing, why just rank to just
two or three publishers and not for the
other publishers? STACIE CHAN: In
general, Google News tries to provide a
diversity of publishers. So if you’re really only
seeing two to three publishers, that is not our intent. I’m sure there are
quite a diversity if you start to dig
further, especially into different sections. The News Suggested For
You section actually does an even greater job. It tries to actually
show more of the medium and long-tail publishers,
because as users start to say that they
like more nuanced topics. For example, I
like scuba diving, digital media, local politics. I actually had started
seeing way more of a diversity of
different news sources that I wouldn’t see typically
in the top story section. But it’s a tough issue. I think every publisher has that
same question that you have. Why am I not showing
more in Google News? Why are there not
more XYZ sources? There’s only so much real
estate on the homepage. We have a finite
number of sources that we can list
for every story. And, unfortunately, not all
of our 60,000 plus publishers will get to be in
one of those spots. It’s a tough problem. And I realize that many
publishers have that question. MALE SPEAKER: Thank you. JOHN MUELLER: All right,
more questions from you in the audience? STACIE CHAN: Well, since
we’re at about time, I promise in the next Hangout,
if John will have me again, I’ll cover a few topics that
I wasn’t able to follow up on. And after this, I will post
some links to the newsletter, to all the resources that
you can use in Google News just so you can get more
and more information. BARUCH LABUNSKI: Just quickly
about the AdSense regarding advertisements on the news
sites– any last comments regarding that? For instance, if
you have it right on top of the head–
right in the header– is that OK in terms of AdSense? STACIE CHAN: I can’t comment
exactly on where your ads are. If you’re looking for
a is-that-OK response, absolutely you can have
ads on your articles. It’s how we know that a lot
of publishers make money. We would never say
you can only have adless articles in Google News. That’s absolutely false. One thing to keep
in mind, though. What do your
readers want to see? If your article has 20 ads
before you get to any content, [INAUDIBLE] reader experience. So just keep them
in mind as well. But Google News does not have
any preference or editorial guidance on ads
within your article. BARUCH LABUNSKI: Great! Thank you. JOHN MUELLER: All right, so with
that, let’s take a break here. Thank you very much for
your presentation and all the answers, Stacie. It’s been really helpful. I hope we find time to
have you join us again. STACIE CHAN: Oh, I would love
to if you guys aren’t sick of me yet. JOHN MUELLER: No,
definitely not. STACIE CHAN: Thanks
so much, John. Thanks, everyone. JOHN MUELLER: Thanks
so much and maybe see you in one of
the future Hangouts. STACIE CHAN: Bye. JOHN MUELLER: Have a great week. Bye everyone.

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