There has been recent interest in how a site can be included into Google News. Ben covered a thread at DigitalPoint Forums a few weeks ago on the topic. I thought I would revisit it with my own personal experience on how I was accepted into Google News.
(1) It took me a long time to get included. I was rejected a couple times prior and I had to make a good case for me to be included.
(2) Technical requirements:
- In order for the Google crawler to correctly gather articles, each page that displays an article's full text needs to have a unique URL that does not change. Google cannot include sites in Google News that display multiple articles at the same URL.
- The URL for each article must contain a unique number consisting of at least three digits.
- Keep in mind that Google cannot include sites for which the URL of the main page includes a date. URLs with dates in them often change on a daily or weekly basis. This prevents Google from crawling the site for new content, as Google is unable to detect the most current URL to be crawled.
- Provide a good historical background of the site
- Show awards the site received
- Give stats on the site
- Tell them about your editors and authors
- Tell them about who links to your site (if the Google blog links to you, that is a good thing)
- Make sure you are news related or mostly news related.
- Make sure your site complies with the technical requirements, and show them that is does.
Update: To clarify the URL aspect of the Google News inclusion requirements... The URL has to be unique, but the numbers within the URLs do not have to be unique. I new Google Groups thread clarifies this more:
As long as you have at least three digits in your URLs (and the digits don't resemble years), they can be anywhere - not necessarily at the very end.
The thing is, many sites are included using digits that do in fact resemble years. I am still trying to get to the bottom of this.
Update #2 A Google News representative said that you do not need digits in your URLs if you submit content to Google News in the Sitemaps format. You can find out more on the technical requirements of the URLs at this document and more on Google News Sitemaps.