The Google News Team recently blogged about the "secrets" of achieving rank in Google News. They dispelled many myths and clarified other facts. Some of the interesting facts include the following:
- Having an image next to your article improves your ranking: MYTH
- Updating an article after posting it will create problems with Google News: TRUE
- Timing the publication of your article improves your article ranking: MYTH
- Articles that are just images or video won't be included: TRUE
- There's no way to see why my articles weren't included in Google News: MYTH
- Publishing a sitemap helps my rankings: MYTH
- Redesigning my site may affect my coverage in Google News: TRUE
- If I put AdSense on my site, my article rankings will improve: MYTH
Surprised? The post goes into greater detail about every myth and fact so that you can ensure that your news articles get the right coverage.
Over at Search Engine Land, Barry has a few takeaways: Google will be looking at your articles for updates and some images may actually bring you good traffic on Google News.
In 2006, we covered how to get included in Google News. If you fit the minimum criteria, it's about time you apply those tips and these to get the best coverage.
Forum discussion continues at Google Groups.
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.