Media

Google News now lets publishers specify how to crawl news sites for better referral traffic

Publishing
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Google launched a new “Publisher Center” today that will enable news organizations to specify how the search engine should crawl their sites for the latest news.

Google News typically drives a lot of traffic to well-researched, highly cited, and timely news content — which is key for any publisher that generates a significant portion of its revenue through online advertising sales. (The more pageviews or visitors a site generates, the more money a news organization can generally make from selling advertising on that site.)

The new Publisher Center should receive positive marks from news organizations, who often suffer a decline in Google News visitor referrals whenever a drastic (or sometimes even minor) change is made to their websites. In the past, trying to contact Google directly about the aggregation service not properly crawling a website has been difficult. Presumably, this will now be less of an issue.

“Ultimately, our goal is to make this a platform where news publishers and Google News can work together to provide readers with the best, most diverse news on the web,” said Google software engineer Eric Weigle in a blog post.

More specifically, the Google News Publisher Center outlines the following things publishers will be able to do:

  • Update your news site details, including changing your site name and labeling your publication with any relevant source labels (e.g., “Blog,” “Satire,” or “Opinion”),
  • Update your section URLs when you change your site structure (e.g., when you add a new section such as http://example.com/2014commonwealthgames or http://example.com/elections2014),
  • Label your sections with a specific topic (e.g., “Technology” or “Politics”),

Right now, the Publisher Center is only available to news organizations within the U.S., but the company is planning to open it up to other regions in the near future.

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