English Google News & Webmaster Central Hangout: How to manage your site in Google News

English Google News & Webmaster Central Hangout: How to manage your site in Google News

JOHN MUELLER: OK. Welcome everyone to today’s
Google Webmaster Central and Google News
office hours Hangouts. We have Stacie with us, who’s
going to present something to you and help answer your
Google News specific questions. STACIE CHAN: OK. Great. Thanks so much, John. Good morning, good afternoon,
good evening, everyone, depending on where
in the world you are. The Google News team is
very excited that all of you are joining us. And again, we thank the
Webmaster Tools team for letting us be a guest
appearance again in your Office Hours. For those of you who did
join the first one where Google News presented,
that was much more of an introductory overview. Today’s presentation
is primarily going to focus on the new Google
News Publisher Center, which is a very exciting tool for
our team to enable publishers to glean a lot more information
about how their information is being used by our
Google News team. So John, could you bring
up the presentation? Excellent. All right. So like I said,
today we’re going to be focusing on how to use the
Google News Publisher Center. I’m Stacie Chan. I’m the community
manager for Google News. And there’s my Twitter handle
if you feel so inclined to tweet during this presentation. OK. Great. Next slide, please, John. All right. So what is the Google
News Publisher Center? We developed this
tool back in August because we had heard
from publishers that they felt that we weren’t
being as transparent as we possibly could. So this tool is really
the one-stop shop for publishers to manage
their accounts in Google News. So you can do things like
quickly and easily updating your site’s
information, and we felt that this tool is
extremely important to help us better improve the
discovery and classification of your news content. Barry’s saying that you guys
can’t see the presentation. OK. You guys can see it now. Great. Thumbs up from Barry. So largely since August when
the Google News Publisher Center launch, we’ve gotten
really great feedback. We’ve seen a lot of usage from
over 60,000 publishers who are in the Google News database,
because the Publisher Center is now available in every
language and country that Google News is in. So one testimonial
from a publisher was, “Before the
Publisher Center I had no idea what new sections
Google News was crawling from. Now I’m assured that
my articles are crawled and in the proper place.” And that’s a sentiment we
hope that every publisher has. If you haven’t checked out the
Google News Publisher Center, please do. I will go over those
steps and how to do so in the following slides. Next slide, please. So here’s the URL. Hopefully you guys are
watching on a browser where you can open another tab. Please check it out. This is the screenshot
that you’ll first see when you open up
this link, whether or not you’re in Google News. So as you can see, I am the
owner of staciechan.com, for example. This is the
screenshot that I see. I have been a verified
owner of staciechan.com. However, because that site
is not in Google News, it’s clearly not a
news site, you’ll see that there’s a button
where I can actually request inclusion in Google News. And you’ll see
more than one site if you own more than one
site in Webmaster Tools. And if your site
is in Google News, you’ll actually see different
buttons under that Details and Sections column. So next slide, please? This is what you see
actually when you click on the Details button. That image on the left will show
various pieces of information. The four most
important components to be a site in Google News
are your name, your site URL, your country, and your language. And the country and
language are really important for us to
determine which edition in Google News you should be. So, for example, an edition is
the Canadian-French edition, or the Canadian-English edition. It’s always a combo of your
site’s country and language. Now moving to the
right side, this is what you see when you
click on the Sections button in the Publisher Center. Your News sections
are the different URLs where your news content lives. Usually those are just
subdomains of your main site. Next slide, please? Another thing you can do
in the Publisher Center is apply relevant labels
at the source level and at the section level. What the source
level labels tell us is what type of site as
a whole your new site is. So, for example, if
your site is a blog you’ll usually see
a blog label there, or if you’re a satire
site like “The Onion,” that would get applied
to your whole site. Over on the right side,
your section labels start getting a
little more granular. You apply labels to
your news sections. So you tell us if
that FIFA World Cup site is a sports site. So it can help us better
classify your news articles within the sections
in Google News. And if you see at the
top of that image, there’s a little button
that said Add Editors’ Pick. I’ll go over what
that new feature is. Next slide, please? So Editors’ Picks is a
very, very cool feature, we think, on the
Google News home page. It’s actually my
favorite section because it’s the one
widget on the home page where editors have complete
control over what articles appear in their Editors’ Picks. So that’s why we call Editors’
Picks your can’t miss stories. Our team doesn’t provide
any editorial judgment on what appears in that widget. Those are completely selected
by your publications. And it’s up to five
articles that you think deserve to be there. What we’ve heard
from publishers is that these stories tend to
be the Evergreen stories, or the stories that
you thought would have gotten a lot more
traffic yesterday, and you want to get more
clicks out of that story. So you put that in
your Editors’ Picks. And we say potentially can
appear on the home page because every home page, for
every user, looks different. Especially as more
and more users start to personalize
their home pages. So, for example, this
is a screenshot of mine. “The New Yorker,” for
me, is a preferred source because I love reading them. And so as a user I’ve made “The
New Yorker” a preferred source, so I’m much more
likely to see “The New Yorker’s” Editors’ Picks
on my personal home page. Next slide, please? So now that I’ve explained
what Editors’ Picks feeds are. How do you go
about creating one? And how do you go
about submitting one through the Publisher Center? So it’s a very simple. It’s just a standard RSS feed
to create this Editors’ Picks feed. We even have a template
in our Help Center that you can just copy
and paste, and then substitute out those five
links to your articles. And again, it’s five
handpicked stories. The only requirement
that we ask is that they’re
journalistic articles, that they’re not ads
or spammy articles, or anything like that. And so I don’t know if you
can copy and paste that link from a slide, but there it is. Or you can just visit the
Google News Help Center and just search for Editors’ Picks feed. And you can take a look at the
standard RSS feed template. OK. Next slide, please? So how to submit this. So, again, going
back to that screen shot from within
the Publisher Center you would just click on the
Add Editors’ Pick button. And you’ll get either one of
two messages after you copy and paste your RSS feed’s URL. You’ll get, congratulations,
your Editors’ Picks feed has been submitted successfully. And there’s really nothing more
you have to do on your end. You’ll see your Editors’
Picks feed listed as one of your news sections. Or if you submit your
RSS feed and there are errors you’ll
get the message, unfortunately, there
are errors which will prevent your Editors’
Picks feed from displaying. And then below you’ll see
a list of various errors that could possibly be wrong. OK. Next slide, please? And so I just wanted
to share a case study from one publisher who did
implement Editors’ Picks. The Gawker Team owns
nine different properties and the created an
Editors’ Picks feed from “Gizmodo” to “Gawker” to
all their other publications. And you can read
the article there. I included the link, but
the most intriguing thing for our team after
they did this case study completely independently. They just shared it with us and
we thought it was really neat. There was an obvious
increase in traffic, so quantitatively that
was a huge benefit. But also in the
quality side they said that the traffic they were
getting from the Editors’ Picks was much better. They found that a
lot of these readers were new readers to their site. And that these readers spent 60%
longer reading their articles than their other
readers who did not come through Editors’ Picks. And the way we do that is once
you create the Editors’ Picks we’ll actually append
the CGI parameter for you at the end of all your
Editors’ Picks article URLs. You’ll see the direct traffic
coming from these five stories. Thank you, Barry, for listing
the help [INAUDIBLE] link to, I can’t remember which
article I just mentioned, to the Editors’ Picks feed. OK. Next slide, please? So the second part
of the presentation is now that I’ve told you
all these great things you can do within the Publisher
Center, how do you access this? So you go to that
link, like I had mentioned in the other
slide, check it out. And the first step,
next slide, please, is to make sure your
site is in Google News. You can still access that
link, as I showed you. I, as a personal individually,
I’m not in Google News, but I could request
inclusion for staciechan.com if I wanted to. If you’re not in Google
News, go ahead and apply. The second step is,
next slide, please? You to verify ownership of
your site in Webmaster Tools. You just go to that link
google.com/webmasters/tools and you’ll see the different
sites that you own. So you can see there,
that would be a screen shot if I hadn’t verified
ownership of staciechan.com. There’s a neat little blue
link and the Webmaster team is very great about walking
you through all the steps to verify ownership. The two methods that
Google News prefers are one, the domain
name provider method, or secondly, the HTML
file verification method. BARUCH LABUNSKI:
But just the HTML verification, it’s not the
same as the first one, right? Because when you submit
your original websites in the Webmaster tools you
get that HTML verification. It won’t override the other one
that I have in the FTP, right? STACIE CHAN: That’s a
good question, Barry. So we prefer the domain
name provider method because, in a sense, we
want you to prove ownership at the highest level. So you can prove ownership
of www.staciechan.com, but we really
prefer you to prove ownership of
http://staciechan.com and then everything that falls
below that a subdomain level, you would then have access to. So, yes, those aren’t
exactly the same. We prefer in order that first
one, the domain name provider method. BARUCH LABUNSKI: OK. Thank you. STACIE CHAN: Mhmm. OK. And number three. And then you just have to log
in with the same email account that you used to prove
ownership of your site in Webmaster Tools. So please check out
the Publisher Center and for the most part it’s
a very self-serve tool. We hope to start overlaying
many, many more features in the Publisher Center. It’s really the
foundation of how we view our communications
with all the publishers that are in Google News. So we have more features
coming down the pipeline. Nothing I can announce publicly
yet, but stay tuned for more. And I believe I have
one more slide, John. Ah, OK. And there’s a few
more help resources in case you guys have
any further questions, or you want to do a little
more light bedtime reading. The Help Center is a treasure
trove of information. I highlighted those two
sections that have information specifically about the Publisher
Center that you can read more. The Google News help forum. You can find me
on there, as well as our Google News
top contributors, who are our experts. They’re daily answering
many of your questions, as well as just having
lively discussions, too. Feel free to post anything
about Google News. You can suggest product
improvements, or feature suggestions, pretty
much anything. And then finally,
last slide, I believe. Just want to give a quick plug
for our Google News Newsletter. We actually sent out the
inaugural newsletter last month in January, which featured an
introduction to the Publisher Center, much of the same
information that is actually in this presentation,
but also product updates, like, we’ll actually crawl
your off domain images now. We talked about Editors’ Picks. And we’re actually getting
ready for our second Google News Newsletter, which we’re
sending out probably in Q2, early April, around there. So we highly suggest
that you read it. There are a few ways you
can get it in your inbox. The first one is to,
one, make sure your site is on Google News, and to
actually get it to your inbox you have to prove ownership of
your site in Webmaster Tools, similar to the step that I
detailed about getting access to your Publisher Center. And don’t worry. Even if your site is
not in Google News we post the Newsletter in the
Help Center and the forum, so you can still read
all of that information. The last Newsletter that
we sent out in January was only in English,
French, Italian, and German. This newsletter,
we’re going to try to translate into many,
many more languages so we can reach as many of our
publishers as we possibly can. [INAUDIBLE], you
want it in Russian. All right. We’ll try to do Russian as well. OK. So that about wraps up
the presentation portion, so we can open it
up to questions, but I did get a great question
from a publisher in Vancouver that I quickly
wanted to go over. She was asking, and John can
probably help me out with this, she was asking about the errors
that you see in your Webmaster Tools account. This is probably the go
to place to determine if one of your news
articles wasn’t crawled. We’ll actually list the
specific URL and what error it generates. And she was asking if we
could surface those errors in a more timely matter. But, in reality, those errors
are surfaced in pretty much as real time as it gets. We generate those errors
based on the articles that you submit
in your site map. So we really can’t get
those errors much faster. John, did you have any other
comment about those errors? JOHN MUELLER: Yeah. I think the Site
Maps team this is really good at processing
the Site Maps files and finding errors in
the Site Map files. And bringing that up,
essentially as quickly as possible. So that’s kind of a great
place to get that information. STACIE CHAN: Oh, and John
actually mentioned a good point to me and our Google News team. You could have an error on every
single one of your articles. That doesn’t penalize
or do anything of that sort to your site
as a whole, right, John? JOHN MUELLER: Yeah. So this is a common
question we get from Webmasters, in particular,
is I have 10,000 crawl errors on my website. Is this a problem or not? And in general, if these
are crawl errors for URLs that you don’t want
to have indexed, then that’s perfectly fine. And that won’t negatively
affect the rest of your website’s ranking. So just because you have some
parts of your site with errors, those are specific to
those individual URLs. They wouldn’t be affecting the
rest of your site’s ranking. STACIE CHAN: Great. Thanks, John. OK. So I think that was the
only question that I got personally ahead of time. So happy to open it up. I think, John, that’s where
you manage the questions. JOHN MUELLER: All right. I think there were some
Google News questions that were submitted in the Q&A. Let
me try to run through them. I don’t know if I will
surprise you with these. We’ll see. Does Google News use
schema.org markup in any way? STACIE CHAN: How do you mean? Can you clarify that
question in any way? During the extraction
and crawl process? JOHN MUELLER: Yeah. So Let’s see. The rest of the question here,
is my observations indicate that it doesn’t. I see article two long errors
and news box crawl errors even though the title, headline,
actual article body are marked by schema.org/articlemarkup. So using structured data markup
to essentially define which part of the page the article. STACIE CHAN: That’s
a very good question. I think it really varies
article by article. I’m not sure who
asked that question, but happy to take that offline
and work with you individually, and take a look at your site. JOHN MUELLER: That might
also be something, I guess, that he could post
in the forum and– STACIE CHAN: Yes. I would actually be great. Thanks for the reminder, John. BARRY: There’s also
content, specifically my site, that I
specifically do not include in the site
map for the news feed because I don’t
like getting recaps. And they also come up in
the Google News site errors, crawl errors as RO fragmented or
have problems with the article. I specifically do not want them
to be included in Google News, but the Google Webmaster
crawl errors page shows news errors for it when
it shouldn’t be included. Is there a way to
exclude content from Google News where
it doesn’t show up in Google Webmaster tools? STACIE CHAN: Is there a way
to exclude Google News content so it doesn’t show up
on Webmaster Tools? So really where
we’re crawling from are those new sections that you
list in the Publisher Center. I think what
publishers sometimes forget is that we’ll crawl
almost everything on the page. So a lot of publishers
think that, well, I listed the home URL
on xyz.com/business, but there’s a lot of other links
on that xyz.com/business that may not be a news article
that we’ll attempt to extract. So I think publishers
should be very careful about what articles they
include in each section, but that’s why you
can also use robots, because we realize
a news section isn’t going to be 100% news articles. We want the page
to be very robust with all sorts of content. And we completely get that. So robots is a very safe way to
exclude that non-news content that you don’t want
showing up in Google News. Or you could always use
site map only crawl, which is also equally accepted. BARRY: Site map only crawl? STACIE CHAN: Yes. Instead of listing all
of your news sections in the Publisher
Center you can tell us that you only want us to
crawl articles from your site map, not news sections at all. And you can actually do that
through the Publisher Center by contacting us
because then we’ll have to then note
that you want to only be crawled from your site map. You can submit a site map
through your Webmaster Tools account I we’ll crawl that in
addition to your news sections, but if you’re really
concerned that we’re crawling non-news
content, I would suggest submitting a
site map and letting us know that you want us
to only crawl the articles from that site map. AUDIENCE: Will do. Thank you. JOHN MUELLER: OK. Can a press release be
picked up by Google News? STACIE CHAN: Yes, a
press release can, but only if the press
releases lives on a site that is in Google News. And we do accept
press release sites. You even saw from a
screenshot on a slide during the presentation. That is a label that
we have for sources. So the short answer is yes. We don’t allow individual
articles to be crawled though. So if you’re a PR
agency that is trying to get a press release
circulated on Google News you have to actually have a
website that is first accepted. JOHN MUELLER: OK. Here’s one about the site maps. The unknown new site error
in news XTML Site Maps tab keeps popping up for
several of my sites and disappears when I resubmit. All the site names are
matched to their names in the Google News database. Is this a known bug? STACIE CHAN: No,
it’s not a known bug. We do get this error a lot
of times from publishers. I would have to take a
look at your exact site, but we did address
the main cause of this for most publishers is that
the name doesn’t match the name that we have in our database. But the great news is
with the Publisher Center it’s so much easier for you now
as a publisher to check what name we have on file for you. You log into the
Publisher Center. You make sure that the
name in our database matches the name
on your site map. The URL also has
to match exactly. The URL of your site map
also has to match exactly. So even a discrepancy in the
www will make a difference. And it’ll say that the
name on your site map doesn’t match the name that
we have in our database. The other two things that
have to match exactly are your language and country. So those four
criteria have to match exactly what’s on your site
map and what’s in our database. That’s the most common error. Other than that, if you’re
still finding the error, please write in to our team
and we can take a look at that. JOHN MUELLER: OK. Let’s see. We have one here. In the Google News
Publisher Help it suggested that publishers
don’t use date or time in their headlines. Is this referring to numeric
digits or an actual date/time? Is a year or a monetary
digit in the title OK? Is the issue with
digits to the URL? STACIE CHAN: Interesting. I’m trying to pull up that
page to see the exact verbiage. We don’t have any
editorial guidelines. The last thing we
want to do is tell you how to write your headlines. From a user perspective, I
see the year in headlines all the time. “The Top
Stories of 2014,” I’ve seen that in Google
News hundreds of times. So that’s definitely
not a problem. Having years or dates
in the URL should not be a problem in terms
of article extraction. In fact, we do
require that you have a unique set of at least three
digits in your article URLs in order for us to crawl it. That’s what we call
the three digit rule. So if you wanted to ping,
I think I closed the chat. Where did it go? If you would like to add the
URL to that Help Center article I can take a look at it. Or again, write in to
me, write into our team, and I can provide some
further details on that. JOHN MUELLER: All right. That kind of leads
into the next question. Here we go. How do you write in to
the Google News team? How do you contact you guys? STACIE CHAN: Excellent question. So within the Help
Center there’s a tiny Contact Us button
in the top right corner. And then it just leads
through a series of drop-downs so we can help
categorize your issue. And myself, or a member of
our team will get back to you. But really the quickest
way to get an answer is through the forum. Our TCs, shout out to our
wonderful top contributors who are our product experts,
will probably get back to you a lot faster than my team or
I would in absolute candor. So you can also try the
Google News Help Forum. Let me actually just put a
link in the Hangout chat box. OK. So that’s the Google
News Forum link. JOHN MUELLER: OK. I’ll copy the URLs into the
video description afterwards. STACIE CHAN: Oh, great. Thank, John. JOHN MUELLER: So that they’re
kind of visible there. Oh, wow. The questions keep
bumping around. Could you please clarify why
my website coinspeaker.com was rejected in Google News? We’re working very hard to make
it one of the best bitcoin news websites of the world. Where can I get help? STACIE CHAN: The old, why was
my site rejected question. Obviously, it’s very much
a case by case basis. And just as the news
industry is involving in what it considers a news site. Google News is closely
monitoring that, making some really tough
decisions on what sites are included and which sites aren’t. Probably not the exact venue
to go over your specific site, but for those specific
questions actually, the forum is really the best
spot to get specific advice. For kind of policy reasons,
the Google News Team doesn’t provide
very specific advice because we found that
in the past publishers would latch on to the little
details that we suggest and then say, OK, well I
fixed that or edited that. Now I can be accepted
into Google News? It’s a ton of
different criteria that goes into accepting or
rejecting a Google News site. But in the forum the top
contributors and anyone really can chime in and
provide some really, really detailed
solid advice for how to improve the quality of
your site, and possibly get it accepted into Google News. BARUCH LABUNSKI: But
brands can get accepted if they want to, right? If they have some really
serious journalistic authors, or, let’s say, helping
small businesses and so on. Would that be something? I mean, can a site
like that get accepted? STACIE CHAN: Did you say brands? I missed the first
part of your question. BARUCH LABUNSKI: Let’s say
a brand has a blog, right, which you can accept. Can a brand also be accepted? [INAUDIBLE] STACIE CHAN: Right. And a lot of times
we find that there are companies or brands
that are very much experts in certain fields or industries. And that they do provide
fantastic quality news content. So what we’ll do is we’ll
accept their news sections. And we really ask
that publishers respect that, that
they don’t add their, I don’t know, sales page,
or other non-news sections to the Publisher Center. And there is frequent
checks to make sure that only news content
is crawled and indexed in Google News. BARUCH LABUNSKI: OK. I mean, it’s news,
but at the same time I’m still seeing some news
kind of act like blogs. I mean, it’s not
necessarily news. STACIE CHAN: Baruch, this
is a fun back and forth. I think you ask every single
person in this Hangout what is news, and
whether a certain site should be accepted
into Google News, you’ll probably get
11 different opinions. And that’s what makes my job
so interesting but also really challenging. We accept blogs in Google News. We think they’re great
sources of information. They may not be defined
as a news site for you, or for me, or for another
member on my team, but blogs, we found
in this day and age, in this stage of
Google News, that they provide valuable information
to readers [INAUDIBLE] Google News. BARUCH LABUNSKI: Thank you
so much for the question. Thanks. STACIE CHAN: Sure. JOHN MUELLER: All right. Barry, you had a question. BARRY: Yeah. So on that topic about
sites that might not consider to be news, using
the Editors’ Picks for that, I’m always cautious
about ever even using it because I don’t think that the
average people are interested in if John’s saying that
link building should be dead, or alive, or whatever,
I don’t think, even though it’s a huge topic
for the search engine marketing community, it’s something that
average people don’t really care about when ISIS is out
there and stuff like that. So what do publishers that are
covering a very niche topic, should they stay away from
using the Editors’ Pick? Or what do you recommend? STACIE CHAN: I always hesitate
to give editorial advice, but I can speak more on
the quantitative side, what we see in terms of traffic,
if you want potentially more traffic to your site, we
recommend using Editors’ Picks. If you like potentially
converting new users to your site, we recommend
using Editors’ Picks. And that’s why I wanted to
use the case study of Gawker. They’re a pretty big
media organization. They still found a lot of new
users coming to their site. And what we tell
publishers is that the best way to get in front of new
users is to do Editors’ Picks. The best way to build
a more loyal following amongst your existing users
is to create an Editors’ Picks and then educate people on
how they see the publishers Editors’ Picks more often. How you do that is you
personalize your Google News homepage. So I used myself as an example. I love “The New Yorker” so
I personalized my homepage to make “The New Yorker”
a preferred source. So that every time I log into
Google News on my home page, I am much more likely
to see “The New Yorker’s” Editors’ Picks widget. So it’s really another
feature you can add to your editorial strategy. We know there’s a lot of
those out there, not even from Google or
Google News, but we think that it really does
provide a lot of value to our publishers. BARRY: Thank you. JOHN MUELLER: All right. Mihai, I think you had
a question, too, right? MIHAI APERGHIS: Yeah. Hey, Stacie. I’m working with a fairly big
publisher in the United States and before the Google
News, the dashboard, basically the publisher has
a news section and a reviews section. And although the
reviews are usually of products in their
niche that are a review, so they cover a review of
products recently bought, for example. They decided not to implement
those in the news site map, just to be sure there weren’t
any issues with Google not accepting them. So we only added the news
section covering events and such relevant to the niche. So when the– what
was it called? The dashboard, the Google News– STACIE CHAN: The
Publisher Center. MIHAI APERGHIS:
Publisher Center. OK. So when the Publisher
Center was launched I noticed that the
website was included and the news section
was the one that was featured in the section. Well, not really an
issue, but what I noticed was that the Google
News bot was also crawling some of
the reviews articles and featuring them
in Google News. So those were outside
the news section. And I really didn’t
know what to do exactly. I asked on the help forum. So I decided in the end
to also add the reviews as a section in the
Publishers Center. I guess this also is related
to what is action news, but since most of the reviews
are related to new products, so it’s basically op-ed pieces. Is that fine? And what’s also, as a
separate different question, would it be necessary to
include a separate site map for each section, or would
a single site map be sufficient. STACIE CHAN: That’s
a great question. So the first part, the reviews
question is very tricky. Again, I think if you
asked every single person, is a review news, I think it
depends on a lot of factors. I think if it’s a very timely
review of the iPhone 6, I think a lot of us would
agree that that is news. I actually just found
a link to the forum discussing this very topic. And I think for the
most part people agreed that reviews,
if timely, are news. It’s a very tough question. You did mention the op-ed tag. I think if it’s a review,
that would definitely be an opinion piece. And applying the
op-ed label would be very appropriate to that. To your second question, can
you submit a site map, yes. You can submit as many
news site maps as you like. You would just do that
through your Webmaster Tools. But keep in mind if you want
us to do a site map only crawl, where we only pull
articles from your site map– I have to
see if we would be able to crawl more than one
site map if it is a site map only crawl. But you can submit
as many site maps to your Webmaster Tools account. MIHAI APERGHIS:
Well, currently we added reviews section
in the site map as well. But my question was really
if a publisher notices that some of the articles that
weren’t included in the news site map were featured
on Google News, should he go ahead usually
in Publisher Center and add that part of his
website as a section? If he notices that
Google already features some of the
[INAUDIBLE] from that section. STACIE CHAN: Yes. You can add that section. I think unless you
find that there’s so many articles on that
section that are not news, don’t add that. But you should add that
section and appropriately apply the op-ed label. And that’s where we really
do use those labels. A question that we get
from publishers is, well, didn’t Google News already know
how to classify my articles? Yes and no. I think adding that section
to the Publisher Center and applying that op-ed
label to your review section will really help the product
better classify your news articles. MIHAI APERGHIS: OK. ROBERT: Stacie, does
Google follow the RSS feeds to find some of that news? STACIE CHAN: Yes and
you can add RSS feeds. I haven’t thought about
those in a long time. But yes. You can add RSS feeds to
your Publisher Center. ROBERT: OK. JOHN MUELLER: All right. There’s still some
Google News questions. Does a text versus HTML code
ratio affect Google News? Like if you have more text
or more HTML code on a page, does that change
anything for Google News? STACIE CHAN: Versus images
or things like that? Sorry, I don’t where the
questions are appearing. JOHN MUELLER: So
more like if you have a lot of markup on your
pages, and very little text, or if you have a lot of text
and very minimalistic markup, does that change anything? STACIE CHAN: I can only
speak in terms of extraction. That’s hard to
say, more or less. We do have certain rules for
the minimum amount of text that you should have
and the maximum amount. That is listed in
our Help Center. Let me just ping the
page on the chat window. It’s such an
ambiguous definition of more or less than I
probably can’t quantify it, but I will ping some
definitions that’ll be helpful in answering
that question. JOHN MUELLER: OK, here’s
another one from India. Recently I get approval
for our tech news website. Since its country is
India, but our team also covers US tech updates,
but our website never gets ranked in the US
edition of Google News. So is there something
that they could do there, or that they’re
basically stuck in India. STACIE CHAN: Very good question. I went over in the
presentation two criteria that are very important
for us to determine which edition your site is
in, the country and language. If you do feel that
you have a very big US audience, or a big
French audience and you want to
change that country, you would actually have
to apply for inclusion for that specific site. And you would have to have
a separate URL for that because we can’t
extract articles and say, oh, this should
go in the US edition, or this should go in
the India edition. So your site could be
xyz.com/us and xyz.com/india. And you would have to
have two separate accounts in Google News with us. MIHAI APERGHIS: And does your
targeting in Webmaster Tools affect that in any
way, or is it just useful for normal
search results? STACIE CHAN: Mihai, are
you asking would you have to do anything
differently in Webmaster Tools if you were to do
that in Google News? JOHN MUELLER: I think the
geo-targeting setting is only for web search, not
for Google News. So it doesn’t
select which edition it’s shown in Google News. MIHAI APERGHIS: Since you talked
about the minimum and maximum amount of text required for
inclusion in Google News, talking about those op-ed
pieces or reviews, some of them can usually go fairly
long, so what’s your recommendation about that? Should we maybe break it
up into multiple articles or just not bother with it? STACIE CHAN: I’m just
looking at our page. We actually don’t have a
word count limit for article too long. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen
an op-ed piece that was so long that we couldn’t– I can imagine
op-ed piece just as a reader being that long where Google
News couldn’t extract and index it. You could break
it up into pieces. As a former journalist
I often do that with a lot of my articles, just
because it was a better reader experience. Without seeing a
specific article I can’t really comment
on a max word length, if or if not it
could be crawled. We do have a word count
minimum, that you do need. Yeah. Your articles have to
be more than 80 words, but that’s really our
only concrete word count requirement. BARUCH LABUNSKI: Last time I
checked, the NASA articles, they’re around 600, 700, so. MIHAI APERGHIS: I
was asking because I think I did get a few errors
that the article, there was too much text on that page. That the article was too long. And it wasn’t the
news site map, and I think I got the
error displayed right there, if I remember correctly. So can see that [INAUDIBLE]. The article was too long. STACIE CHAN: One
thing that we do see is that the article
too long error will often get generated
because of user comments. It’s not necessarily the words,
or the text that’s too long, but it thinks the
whole page is too long, not necessarily the
content of your article. And so there are a few
things that you could do. You could isolate
your user comments. You could put them in an iframe. That’s the easiest
recommendation that we have, but most of the
time, it really isn’t about the text of your
article that’s too long. MIHAI APERGHIS: So the
Disqus commenting system, would you have
recommendations for that? I’m not sure how Google
manages crawling. STACIE CHAN: That’s
a good question because I know a lot of
publishers do you Disqus. I would have to
take a look at that. I haven’t seen an
article recently that generated that error
from Disqus comments, but good question. I’ll get back to you on that. JOHN MUELLER: All right. Olaf has a question. OLAF: Hi, thanks. My question is about
dates in articles. There’s a recommendation
in the Help Center that it says you shouldn’t have
more than one date in the HTML code. It’s here. And now our editors
are more and more often update the information
in articles. Maybe something
like a live blog, where you are live blogging the
whole day or longer about very special events. And so they want to make
visible for our readers when they published it,
and when they edited it. Is that a problem
for Google News? STACIE CHAN: I see
what you’re saying. So now it’s actually
in the HTML code. Just quickly scanning
that article. We really ask publishers
to include the date when the article
was first published. I do see what you’re
saying because in this day and age with internet you can
constantly update information to that article. And so we get a
lot of questions, should we put the date
of the most recent edit? We’re still asking to put the
date when the article first appeared on your site. Putting more than one date
really does confuse the bot and that’s why people will ask
us, why does my article say, crawled two, three hours ago. It’s not exactly when my
article was first published. It’s just a very
tricky thing to get exactly right because the
life cycle of an article is constantly changing. So to reduce
confusion for the bot we ask to include the date
of when the article was first published. OLAF: OK. Thanks. STACIE CHAN: Usually, I remember
what I did as a journalist. I would just put it in
the text of the article, like updated at this
time and this date, but really messing with
the HTML code or editing it can potentially get
confusing for the bot. OLAF: By HTML code, do you
then meet what’s in the header? STACIE CHAN: Yes. OLAF: OK. So it’s not regarding the body. STACIE CHAN: I mean, that’s more
of an editorial thing, right? We will never tell you when
you should write, and update, or edit in the body article. But in your header
you should really put when the article
was first published. OLAF: Sure. JOHN MUELLER: OK. We have a question from Jane. Is it better to have the
title and the H1 content be different, so the H1 heading? Google News indicated no,
but some SEOs yes, they should be different. Is this just a matter of the
algorithm being different for Google Search
and Google News? STACIE CHAN: I can only
speak to Google News. John, you might be able to
speak more about Google Search. Consistency is key. One thing we always
try to get right is extracting your headline. And if there are
different places on the page that point
to different headlines, that’s very confusing
for the bot. And that’s why we get publishers
sometimes writing in, like, oh, you guys got
my headline wrong. And we’ll say, well,
because there’s different parts of your page
that say different things. So really trying
to be consistent is the best way for us to
correctly index your headline. And then that snippet below. I can’t comment
on the SEO stuff, but if you’re trying to signal
to us that your article is about certain things, I
believe we have things you can add in the meta tag. Is it key words? I believe you can still
use the keywords tag if you wanted to signal other topics
that you article was about, but please for
consistency’s sake, I would ask that the
titles and the headlines remain the same wherever you’re
pointing to on your page. JOHN MUELLER: All right. That kind of leads
to the next question. Can you provide any
additional guidance on using the news
keywords tag, specifically is it used for direct
query matching, or is it also used
for classification? Any advice around that? STACIE CHAN: And I
mentioned the keywords tag. And I probably shouldn’t
have because I’m not super expert on that. We do have a Help
Center page about that. Let’s see. We don’t explain explicitly. I can actually
dig more into that and see if there are any updates
to the key words Help Center page, and then I’ll
post that as a comment to this recording
of the Hangout. JOHN MUELLER: All right. We have one about duplicate
content, which we always kind of have. I’m concerned about duplicate
content, both cross-channel between our subdomains and
external as applied by news agencies such as Reuters, AFP. At this point a rel canonical
is not feasible to pull off, so what would you recommend
in a situation like that. STACIE CHAN: Darn it. Stole my suggestion. That’s a very complex question. We get that from
publishers a lot, but it’s such a complex
network now with news now living on the internet. Really the rel canonical tag
is what our team currently believes is the best
way to handle all that. And I don’t know what
contractual agreements you sometimes have with
your syndication partners. It really depends,
but the best way is just to pick that main
publication that should deserve the credit for their
reporting or their article, and point to that news site. JOHN MUELLER: All right. Another one about news. Is it necessary to occasionally
use third-party standouts in order for your own
standouts to carry any weight? STACIE CHAN: Oh, great question. Yes. The standout tag is built on
the ecosystem of publishers using the standout tag. So in a sense you can
build up credibility using a standout tag
and referring to xyz.com rather than always referring
to your site abc.com. The only thing we ask is
that you use the standout tags for your own site
only seven times per week, but really you can link out to
as many other third-party sites with a standout tag as
frequently as you would like. In fact, we encourage it. JOHN MUELLER: All right. There’s a bunch of
stuff in the chat here. I don’t know. Do any of you guys have any
news-related questions left? MIHAI APERGHIS: I have
one about news site maps. Can you clarify if you use
news site maps on anything other than allowing Webmaster
to check for any errors? Since I noticed you sometimes
crawl outside the news site maps. So is it used for anything else
than updating the Webmaster if it has any issues? STACIE CHAN: Not
that I can think of. John, if you wanted
to add anything, but it’s acts like
another news section, at least to the Google News bot. The only time it’s
very important is if you decide to do
a site map only crawl. Then that’s exclusively where
we’re pulling articles from. JOHN MUELLER: So I guess just
from the site map side, that’s almost the fastest way to get
content to Google, in the sense that if we see it in a
site map, you tell us about the change in your site
map, and we pick that up, then we can jump and
go to the server. And pick that up directly
and see what happened there. What changed, which pages
are new, and follow that up directly. So I’ve seen situations where
Webmasters submit a site map file, and after
two, three minutes the URLs are already indexed. So that’s really fast track
way into Google’s index almost. STACIE CHAN: Gotcha. OK. That’s [INAUDIBLE] speed. Yeah, that is a big benefit
of submitting a site map. BARUCH LABUNSKI: Are
we allowed to talk about [INAUDIBLE] for a minute? It’s about mobile. JOHN MUELLER: I have the next
normal Webmasters Central Hangouts lined up next. So I’d recommend
deferring it until there because we don’t
have much time left. And I think there’s still
some questions here. [INAUDIBLE] has a question about
company press release sites, English and French. Do they need to register twice? STACIE CHAN: Yes,
if by registering you mean apply to Google News. So again, if at any point your
country or language is not just one country or one
language, then yes. You do need to apply
to Google News. MALE SPEAKER: But the
URL is the same for both. STACIE CHAN: Was that a comment
or a question that I heard. ROBERT: Stacie I just
wanted to add just for the viewers on the
keywords you mentioned a while ago, the tag
for the meta tag, don’t get them confused with
the old meta keywords tag. It’s a News keywords tag. STACIE CHAN: Robert. I just saw your– Robert,
I appreciate that. Yes. I’ll provide some education
and language about that when I get up to date. Oh, OK. So the clarifying
question was the URL’s the same for both countries. Yes. So we’ll actually need
then a separate URL. So, again, you’ll need
xyz.com/fr and xyz.com/en. JOHN MUELLER: OK. Here’s a quick question
about site map index files. Chris uses a site map index
file that has a Google News site map within it. It shows on Google
News as submitted and the website
submitted, but it doesn’t show them as
indexed, though they show up in Google News. So if the index count in
Webmaster Tools for Google News site map doesn’t show
up, is that a problem? STACIE CHAN: John and I
were just discussing this before the Hangout actually. The index count isn’t always
accurate for Google News specifically. It’s just a different
beast, I would say. News articles are
being indexed so much faster than a lot
of regular sites that it’s very hard to
accurately capture that. So the best way that we
recommend to see which articles are being indexed is just a
simple site search in Google News, and then you’ll see which
articles are being crawled and which ones aren’t. BARRY: I have a question
about the video channels sections in Google
News Publisher Center. For some reason it
says that I have a YouTube channel in my source. And the only way I could change
it is to contact support. Do you guys handle YouTube
URLs for sources for– STACIE CHAN: Good question. Yeah. So because YouTube.com
is not technically owned under your domain, you
can’t add that section to your Publisher Center. So to add a YouTube
channel you still need to write in to our team. BARRY: And that would link my
site to that YouTube channel, and it’ll be on
the same publisher? That’s how it works? STACIE CHAN: Yeah. So it would show
search and round table for any videos that
appear in Google News once your YouTube channel
is linked to your account. BARRY: Cool. Thanks. BARUCH LABUNSKI:
So then it would be treated like a blog,
or whatever, right? So if you– STACIE CHAN: No. I mean, it wouldn’t be
treated any differently than an article on your site. The placement
would be different. So your videos would likely
appear in the media strip below the text articles, but
you would get the same name. We don’t have a label because
it appears in the media strip. And it wouldn’t say anything
like blog by the video. It would just be the
name of your publication. BARUCH LABUNSKI: OK. JOHN MUELLER: All right. Looks like we’re out of time. I bet we could go on for hours. Lots of good Google
News questions here. Thank you all for
your time so far. And thank you, Stacie,
for all of the details, and answers, and
the presentation. STACIE CHAN: Absolutely. And to hold me
accountable, I would love to host another one soon. So I’ll work with
John to hopefully get another guest appearance spot
on your guys’ Office Hours. These are really
fun and, I think, hopefully informational
and educational. JOHN MUELLER: All right. Thanks a lot. And with that, I wish
you all a great day. And maybe we’ll see you
again next time, Stacie, or another time. STACIE CHAN: All right. Thanks, everyone. Bye. JOHN MUELLER: Bye. MIHAI APERGHIS: Bye.


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