Thursday, January 17, 2019
With the New Year now underway, we'd like to offer some best practices and advice we hope will lead publishers to more success within Google News in 2019.
Headlines and dates
- Present clear headlines: Google News looks at a variety of signals to determine the headline of an article, including within your HTML title tag and for the most prominent text on the page. Review our headline tips.
- Provide accurate times and dates: Google News tries to determine the time and date to display for an article in a variety of ways. You can help ensure we get it right by using the following methods:
- Show one clear date and time: As per our date guidelines, show a clear, visible date and time between the headline and the article text. Prevent other dates from appearing on the page whenever possible, such as for related stories.
Use structured data:
dateModifiedschema and use the correct time zone designator for AMP or non-AMP pages.
- Avoid artificially freshening stories: If an article has been substantially changed, it can make sense to give it a fresh date and time. However, don't artificially freshen a story without adding significant information or some other compelling reason for the freshening. Also, do not create a very slightly updated story from one previously published, then delete the old story and redirect to the new one. That's against our article URLs guidelines.
Google News seeks to reward independent, original journalistic content by giving credit to the originating publisher, as both users and publishers would prefer. This means we try not to allow duplicate content—which includes scraped, rewritten, or republished material—to perform better than the original content. In line with this, these are guidelines publishers should follow:
- Block scraped content: Scraping commonly refers to taking material from another site, often on an automated basis. Sites that scrape content must block scraped content from Google News.
Block rewritten content: Rewriting refers to taking material from another site, then rewriting that material so that it is not identical. Sites that rewrite content in a way that provides no substantial or clear added value must block that rewritten content from Google News. This includes, but is not limited to, rewrites that make only very slight changes or those that make many word replacements but still keep the original article's overall meaning.
Block or consider canonical for republished content: Republishing refers to when a publisher has permission from another publisher or author to republish an original work, such as material from wire services or in partnership with other publications.
Google News also encourages those that republish material to consider proactively blocking such content or making use of the canonical, so that we can better identify the original content and credit it appropriately.
Avoid duplicate content: If you operate a network of news sites that share content, the advice above about republishing is applicable to your network. Select what you consider to be the original article and consider blocking duplicates or making use of the canonical to point to the original.
- Be transparent: Visitors to your site want to trust and understand who publishes it and information about those who have written articles. That's why our content guidelines stress that content should have posts with clear bylines, information about authors, and contact information for the publication.
- Don't be deceptive: Our content policies do not allow sites or accounts that impersonate any person or organization, or that misrepresent or conceal their ownership or primary purpose. We do not allow sites or accounts that engage in coordinated activity to mislead users. This includes, but isn't limited to, sites or accounts that misrepresent or conceal their country of origin or that direct content at users in another country under false premises.
- Avoid taking part in link schemes: Don't participate in link schemes, which can include large-scale article marketing programs or selling links that pass PageRank. Review our page on link schemes for more information.
- Use structured data for rich presentation: Both those using AMP and non-AMP pages can make use of structured data to optimize your content for rich results or carousel-like presentations.
- Protect your users and their data: Consider securing every page of your website with HTTPS to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the data users exchange on your site. You can find more useful tips in our best practices on how to implement HTTPS.
Here's to a great 2019!
We hope these tips help publishers succeed in Google News over the coming year. For those who have more questions about Google News, we are unable to do one-to-one support. However, we do monitor our Google News Publisher Forum —which has been newly-revamped—and try to provide guidance on questions that might help a number of publishers all at once. The forum is also a great resource where publishers share tips and advice with each other.