Blocking Googlebot-News Does Not Prevent Content From Being In Search? Oops.

Dec 18, 2019 • 8:11 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Blocking Google News

Glenn Gabe noticed that if you try to block Google from showing your news stories in just Google News by blocking Googlebot-News, it no longer works. So if you want to follow the old advice (I do not see new advice) to block Google News, you can no longer use the feature to block Googlebot-News. Just to be clear, this is specific to using noindex for Googlebot-News.

Here is Glenn's tweet:

The specific help document does say "To prevent your site from appearing in Google News, block access to Googlebot-News using a robots.txt file." But this is not working in practice. Last time Google changed this was in 2011 but the docs still communicate that messaging from back then.

As Glenn said, it might be related to the news that Google News is indexing content from web now and not requiring submission. So maybe this is another overlooked repercussion of that change, including the site command breaking. I am not sure.

Danny Sullivan from Google acknowledge he received this complaint and will pass it along:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: Danny said this should still work to block this content. Here are his tweets:

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