Google News is a service provided by Google that automatically aggregates news and current affairs articles from a variety of web-based news sources. Google News is launched at first in April 2002, in more than 20 countries.

Google News

It is only in 2009 that the French part is launched in its beta version. Some figures to illustrate what is currently Google News around the world:

1 billion users each week
55,000 indexed sources
6 billion clicks to different sources of information

This service is an aggregator of news content previously selected according to several criteria of relevance and notoriety, which we will develop later. Google’s news search engine has its own algorithm allowing it to rank hundreds of thousands of news according to several themes:

Science / High-Tech

How does Google News really work? How to optimize your Google SEO? What are the subtleties and methods to appear in Google news?

What is Google News?

Google’s news search engine is similar to Google’s classic search engine. He explores via google bot, he indexes the eligible press articles and then ranks according to a certain number of defined criteria. In the first place, the content must be exclusively dedicated to news. The site must therefore include a section devoted to news. For Google news quality guidelines are also essential under penalty of manual or algorithmic sanction and see a final withdrawal of the site concerned index. A little reminder about the general instructions:

Avoid any technique to mislead the user in any way; content automation, cloacking, text or hidden links and diverted content.
Avoid any technique to boost your Google News SEO; artificial links, misleading redirects, satellite pages or keyword stuffing.
Your website and your content must be intended primarily for users and not for search engines, so ban any deceptive technique such as hidden content or other manipulation to deceive the visitor.

Collection and dissemination of information via Google news. In order to offer original and quality content, the Google News engine has set up a well-established information collection and dissemination system.

Collection of information

In order to be visible you must first apply to Google news via a form if you feel that your site meets all the guidelines above. Completing this form is a condition, it is subject to validation by Google news teams. In case of refusal you will receive an answer by email, you will then have 60 days to make a new request by having corrected the various negative points.

Attention, the teams of Google specify that they can not comment on each form in detail or in a personalized way. You will need to identify the different negatives of your request.

Of all the sources that were eligible for the previously completed form, Google News uses this “index” site to select the relevant articles through the crawl of its Google bot. Each source present in the “index” Google news is visited / scanned several times a day by the Google robot. Following this Google indexes the article and uses its algorithm to determine the theme to associate.

Dissemination of information

Once Google has captured the information and that it corresponds to a recent news, it will broadcast it. Google news lists more than 500 different sources of information, so a priority must be issued to have a clear and qualitative classification of news. For this Google sorts according to:

The degree of relevance of the news
The fame of the source; an article from around the world will have more chances to get back on hot news than a regional daily, for example
The degree of reactivity to hot news (time and date of posting)
Comparison of the flow of information according to the different articles of the same subject

Based on these different criteria, the Google news engine will more or less correctly classified the various articles on its search engine.

What is the classification of sites eligible for Google news?

To help robots classify your site and your articles, you can insert labels that correspond to common terms used to define the different types of news categories:


This label allows the Google bot to rank the news associated with a topic URL by subject. For example:

If you use the label “Freelancer” to your URL: the Google bot understands this heading and can classify the news accordingly


This label is used to describe the content of your site and thus improve the visibility and classification of this content.

If you use the wording “blog” at its classification will be facilitated.

What are the different eligible sites / sources? Here is an exhaustive list:

Press release
Content of opinion

Google’s general eligibility guidelines news

To be present on Google news must be adhered to so-called general instructions in order to be visible in one of the main categories of Google news. These rules concern three main areas: content, ethics and monetization. By following the rules outlined below, you will have all the cards in hand to be present on Google news.
Google News content
Priority to the news

As the search engine indicates, content on Google News is related to hot news, a recent event. In other words, you must process and analyze the information as soon as it is released so that your content is as fresh as possible and that it provides the most exclusive information. The Mountain View Giant refuses to include content such as tutorials, letters of readers, job offers or other real estate ads. The priority is therefore the news!

Readability and clarity

Readability is a very important criterion for Google to be in the index. For this there are fundamental points to respect: Spelling and grammar. Your content must be irreproachable on these points in order to improve the reading comfort of the user. The goal of Google news is to provide quality content, so fluency in French is essential, but not only. In order not to alter the user’s attention, Google recommends using advertising or ads sparingly. Your paid content should not take up more space than your main content.

Original and unique content

Like its classic search engine, Google is fighting for duplicate content. Your content must be original and any sources to the article must be cited. It is therefore forbidden to copy or compile information to make an article, if this is the case, it is advisable to separate these contents from your Google News articles. To do this, limit access to these “duplicate” or “compiled” contents via the robots.txt file.

To conclude, Google focuses on the reader and the user experience. Your content should be thought of in this way, so do not forget the following:

Content must be hot and exclusive news
An irreproachable spelling and grammar
Advertisements and ads should not occupy more space than your content
No duplication allowed

Google News Ethics

On its various search engines, Google places great importance on ethics and the quality of information offered to its users. Google News puts forward 3 extremely important points to be present on Google News. If these points are not respected you will have little chance to access the news search engine:

Publishers’ responsibility and transparency
Exclusion of deceptive sites
Advertisers and advertisers

Publishers’ responsibility

Google favors news sites with a real editorial team, for this it is advisable to offer a biography of the editors and their social networks. This is to demonstrate their activity and all the content they have written.

Google News Sitemap

In order to be eligible for Google news it is important to have this type of sitemap dedicated to Google news; Here are the main rules for this sitemap to be understood and taken into account by Google robots:

The sitemap must contain only Urls of articles published in the last 48 hours. We must therefore remove the Urls old articles, they will still remain in the index under 30 days, as expected.
It’s a good idea to update your sitemap after each post because it’s visited regularly by Google robots.
Google News Sitemap must not contain more than 1,000 Urls
Do not use your Google Sitemap Generator as it will include Urls that do not match the Google News sitemap. Tools can replace the Google tool, see here.

Examples of Google News site:

Deceptive sites

The quality of information is the pinnacle of Google news. Under no circumstances should a site disseminate false information or hide information about their owner and main purpose.

Privileged sites are therefore recognized information sites that have full transparency on their source of information as well as their editorial teams.
Advertisers and advertisers

Knowing that Google’s news priorities are quality information and the user’s reading comfort, the search engine wants to minimize ad space and other pop-ups that could alter the user experience of the visitor. . Advertising and other promotional content, Adsense and other promotional platforms are therefore to be used sparingly.

Your promotional content should not occupy more space than your textual information contents

Article structure to adopt on Google news

As for its main search engine, a site wishing to properly index Google News must adhere to the basic rules of page structure. There are therefore on-page criteria to be respected in order to be visible on the search engine news.
On-page criteria

The on-page criteria are very important because it is often the technical criteria that will take into account the different robots of the algorithm.

Each article must have its dedicated page

An article must therefore be available via a single URL that is not duplicated and understandable by the engines (no special characters).

IDs of at least 3 digits are no longer required in URLs, so you can have a clear and understandable standard URL for users. Some pages are to be banned for Google News, of the type:

  • Pages listing many news
  • Lists of articles not pointing to the page dedicated to each news
  • Pages compiling the full content of several articles
  • Each subdomain must be submitted independently to the Google News form
  • Privilege UTF-8 for encoding
  • The content must be online at least 30 days, beyond this deadline the article does not go back in the results
  • One language per page to specify in the search console and via the hreflang tag if your site is multilingual
  • Optimizing images to have a thumbnail next to your article in the Google search engine

For this last point you will have to make sure of the following points:

Image format: GIF or JPEG with the height, width and alt attributes specified. The PNG format does not allow to have a vignette illustrating your article
With an illustration, your article will logically have a higher click rate than without

The structure not to adopt

When your site has been validated by Google and you are eligible for the news search engine, Google reserves the right to publish or not the article. The structure of your text may be the cause, so here are some tips to improve it:

Avoid inserting media items that are too high in the article, such as videos, tweets, or computer graphics. Textual content is to be preferred
Avoid starting or inserting too high in the article a smart list
Favor long paragraphs (3-4 lines). Your chapo if you had one will have to respect this instruction.

Source Rank

It would seem that not all media are completely equal and that there is a notion of “source rank” which would classify the different articles. Press sites, radio or TV stations would benefit from a high source rank and would be strongly trusted.


  1. Publish a maximum of articles daily and regularly on hot topics
  2. Produce content with related topics but different angles of approach
  3. Publish content on “trending topics” (the sub-categories corresponding to current events)
  4. The notion of CTR and sharing on social networks is also very important

“GoogleNews is compiled entirely by a computer algorithm that analyzes all the sites present in our system. In order for your content to appear in GoogleNews, its layout and format must be easily readable and decrypable by our robot. In addition, we have implemented certain restrictions, so that our crawler only includes links to URLs that actually correspond to news articles. ”

The technical structure of a Google news article

We’ve already talked about it a bit before, but there are some prerequisites to be visible on Google news. These include the problem of URL duplication and access to Google Bot, as well as the implementation of a Google news sitemap.

URL and duplication

Each page must have its own URL and its content must be unique. News aggregators, pages containing multiple content of similar articles or content with a dynamic URL will be systematically rejected by Google News.

The Meta tag Keywords


Any SEO will tell you that this tag is no longer taken into account by Google and that it is even considered as Keyword stuffing. But for Google News, this tag helps to better understand your topic and possibly include you more easily in a “trending topics”.

The Standout tag

The “standout” tag is deployed in 2011 in the United States and allows sites on Google News to highlight some excellent quality articles:

The “standout” tag must be inserted in the “Head” part and it is possible to mention a maximum of 7 articles per week. You can also mention articles from external sources that have been used as a source of writing.

The robots.txt

Google news at its own crawler: Googlebot-News. In this case, the robots.txt allows you to direct the Google robot to the parts of your site that you want to appear in Google and in Google news:

To prevent your site from appearing in Google News, block access to Googlebot-News using a robots.txt file

You also have the option to block crawling and indexing to Googlebot-News via the following Meta tag:


Google actualité is a media in its own right, because of its capitalization of visit and its number of daily users. With the advent of mobile and the steady increase in visits to this device, Google is always looking to fully satisfy the user. The output of AMP in 2016 is the proof, because currently in the United States the results in AMP formats have gone from 30 to 70% of links returned by Google news.

This label will become essential to be present on Google news. News is heavily consumed via mobile, so it is logical that Google takes this turn and maximizes its search engine in this direction.