Google has given Publishers more control over how it indexes their sites. This is exciting because publishers no longer have to relay on “hope and a prayer” that they’re structured their site well enough to be picked up by Google. This is exciting.
With more control over how publisher indexes their site, you can now specifically label sections of your site for Google News.
Publishers in Europe has had a rather contentious relationship with Google as of light. With their “right to forgotten”, it has been a year of firsts. The European Court of Justice has ruled that Google must respect the “right to be forgotten”, and at the request of private individuals, remove “irrelevant” and outdated information that contravenes an EU privacy directive concerning the way personal data is processed.
However; in the United States, there are no such problems and Americans are more than happy to be indexed by the search giant’s crawlers. And recently, with the launch of Google News Publisher Center, those publishers will get a big more control over just how Google’s robots see their sites.
Until recently, publishers pretty much had to hope that Google would pick up on how they structure their sites. With sitemaps, you already get some control over what Google indexes, but now, they can specifically label different sections of their site (i.e. politics, technology, travel, etc) from the Publisher Center’s web interface, which will make it easier for Google to classify their articles for Google News. They can also use this new tool to alert Google of new sections they add to their site for special occasions like elections or major sporting events.
Google writes in its FAQ for the new service, “Think of the Publisher Center as our record of your news source information”, and continues “Keeping your site’s information current helps both Google News users and publishers.”
The Publisher Center can also be used by content owners to update some basic facts about their sites. You can change the site’s name or make sure it’s labeled correctly (Blog, Satire, Opinion, etc).
Although this may seem like simple stuff to update, but the truth is that when Google doesn’t get something right, there are few ways for the publisher to correct anything. It isn’t like you can pick up the phone and call Google’s friendly rep to have them fix it. With this update, publishers get at least a bit of control over how their content appears in Google News.
For now, the Publisher Center is only available for publishers based in the U.S., but Google says it plans to expand it to other countries soon. The company also notes that it will add more features over time.