What to Do If Google News Isn't Indexing Your Site
I’m writing this because this recently happened to us here at BestTechie after we pushed our redesign live — all of the sudden our latest content stopped appearing on Google News. “What gives?” I thought. The weird thing to me was that for a few days after the redesign went live our articles were still being indexed, nonetheless, suddenly they just stopped showing up. Like any publisher, I was determined to fix it.
Below I’m going to outline various things I tried to get our content back into the Google News index. Now, as I type this, it appears I’ve resolved the issue as our latest posts are showing up now, but again, I tried various things to fix it so I’m not 100% sure which one of these actually fixed the issue.
First things first, check to make sure you’re still supposed to be included in Google News. You can do that from the Google News Partner Dashboard. When you open the dashboard you should see something like the screenshot below (notice the highlighted area, it should say Included under News):
Assuming it says that head over to the Sections page and make sure all of the categories you want included in Google News from your site are in there. If that’s also good, then you need to head over to Google Webmaster Tools, open your site, and head to the Crawl section. In the Crawl section, go to Crawl Errors, then select News and see if any errors are listed.
Depending upon the errors you see listed there (if any) may indicate why your content isn’t being indexed. You can get more details about a particular error by clicking on the listing. If the errors you see (or don’t see) don’t appear to be the root cause of the issue then you need to keep reading.
Next I would recommend going to the Fetch as Google page and having the Googlebot fetch your homepage. Assuming it’s able to fetch it successfully, I would then recommend you click the Submit to Index button which will bring up the following dialog box (select Crawl this URL and its direct links and click Go):
The last thing to check under the Crawl section is the Sitemaps page. Make sure Webmaster Tools isn’t showing any errors with reading your sitemap. If it is, you’ll want to try resubmitted the sitemap and see if it fixes the issue (it may take 24 hours or more for Google to process your resubmitted sitemap). I tried that. It didn’t work. I also tried completely deleting the sitemap from Webmaster Tools and then submitting a brand new one (that fixed the 1 error I had, but didn’t fix the Google News indexing issue).
Now you will notice I have two sitemaps for BestTechie listed. As of this morning I submitted a Google News specific sitemap (this is what I think fixed the issue).
How did I get a Google News specific sitemap? I bought the News SEO plugin for WordPress by Yoast. I bought this particular one because it integrates nicely with the WordPress SEO plugin that I use (also by Yoast). The News SEO plugin costs $69 (one-time fee) and if it gets you back in Google News is definitely worth every penny.
If all of this fails and you are still not seeing your new content appear in the Google News index you are going to want to contact the Google News team (Google buries this contact page so I have linked it here for you). You may also want to try asking for help in the Google News product support forum.
I hope this helps. I know how frustrating it can be to have issues with Google. If you have any questions, comments, or additional advice feel free to drop us a comment below.
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