Google News, inclusion changes: goodbye subscription request

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Unpredicted ending year surprise for Google News, the news search engine that Google launched back in 2006 and that – excluding some controversies, such as the one about Google France a few months ago – exists almost all over the world. Some days ago, in fact, its policies of inclusion to the service changed and now publishers of any kind of informational site do not have to forward any subscription request, anymore! esiste quasi in tutto il mondo. Da qualche giorno sono infatti cambiate le policy di inclusione al servizio, perché gli editori di siti informativi non devono più fare richiesta di iscrizione!

Goodbye request of inclusion to Google News

The news made its debut during the launch of the updated version of the Publisher Center, that combines its previous features with the ones of the Producer tool, precisely designed to help publishers to better manage the modalities of contents display on Google News.

At the same time and for the same reasons, service guidelines have also been modified, and indeed we can now read that “editors are no longer required to send their personal site in order to be eligible for Google News app and website”.

If you try and search for “Google News subscription” on the search engine, in fact, we directly land on an error page, as you can see in the picture below.

Messaggio di errore su Google News

How does Google News work with the new system

In the past few days, then, “publishers are automatically being took into account for the main News section or the News tab of the Research”, so the old system made of forms and requests that could also end to be dismissed by Google News is not a thing anymore.

Inclusion to Google News

In the past, as you surely remember, it was necessary to comply with several specific parameters to even hope to be actually included in the system, between both technical and editorial requirements, and then forward a subscription request to the service, which was accurately assessed by Google News team. Not every site application was accepted and, frankly, the rejection was not even clearly justified, leaving then to the editor’s interpretation the job to fully understand where the problem was (and how to possibly fix it).

All of this is behind us now, given the fact that the new policies simplify the inclusion for all editorial sites, that “all they have to do is to produce high quality contents and comply with the normatives in referral to Google News contents”.

Hot to appear on Google News

And is the Publisher Center page itself to highlight which guidelines sites must now follow in order to appear among Google News results:

  • To publish original, fresh and meaningful contents.
  • To always value the quality of the contents to avoid getting caught up in spam or malware problems.
  • To provide clear and transparent information (on authors, as well).
  • To avoid the publishing of adverts and other sponsored materials in higher quantity compared to pure contents.
  • To comply with the copyright, privacy rights and other norms on topics. For instance, it is not allowed to publish contents with sexually explicit images or exalting violence and hate, nor those sites mainly designed for medical advice or supporting dangerous and straight illegal activities.

Google News ranking

What instead did not actually change were the information related to the way Google determines Google News ranking, calculated on a six-factors algorithmic basis, a.k.a.

  1. Content relevance
  2. Prominence
  3. Authority
  4. Freshness
  5. Location
  6. Language

Furthermore, sites also have a chance to be featured among the “For you” tab results, a customized section tailored on the user, by succeeding to match people’s interests with their contents and supply a service with fair usability.

What is Google News for

The news search engine allow people to “find out about current events, news from all over the globe and contents of different publishers”, but also to read articles when offline, to sign up for online newspapers or specific topics, to share those texts that sparked their curiosity and to customize contents of the “For you” section, as we previously mentioned.

To sites, instead, Google News benefits can be summed up in an increase of online visibility and readings: the service is a true and proper (free) opportunity to attract new traffic on the site and widen our audience. si possono sintetizzare in un aumento della visibilità online e delle letture: il servizio è una opportunità (gratuita) per attrarre nuovo traffico sul sito e aumentare il proprio bacino di visitatori.

More competitors with the new inclusion policies?

With the new subscription policy, though, there could be some negative little surprise brought to you by competitors increase: if before Google News inclusion was indeed on voluntary basis and followed a rather uncertain path, now is Google itself to decide which sites and pages to show among news search results, according to the prior described criteria. A little of a pain in the neck for whoever previously succeeded, over the years, to build a small “niche” by frequently appearing in the top section of Google News.