Google launches ‘Webmaster Tools for Google News” to give publishers more control over their news site

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Google just announced a Webmaster Tools-type platform specifically for publishers on Google News. The Google News Publisher Center gives Google News publishers, or “sources“, more control over how their site is viewed. The point of which is detailed by Google:

Keeping your site’s information current helps both Google News users and publishers. It helps better inform users about what type of content they are clicking on (e.g., “blog”) and helps our news robot discover and classify more of your site’s great news content! 

To start, GNPC only gives site owners two choices — a button for Details and one for Sections.

Google News Publisher Center: Details

When you click on the Details button, you can view the details of their news site (ID, Name, URL, Country, Language and Labels) or edit your Name (what shows up as the source in Google News) or add specific “labels” to your site (Op/Ed, Opinion content, Press Release, Free registration, User Generated Content, Satire, Paid subscription, Blog). You can choose multiple options, but obviously not ones that conflict with one another (Free registration and Paid subscription).

Google News Publisher Center: Sections

The other action is Sections, which allows you to place labels on specific sections of your site so Google can presumably better understand the content of your site. With this, Google takes some of the guesswork out. It’s so much more efficient to have a user self-define their site sections instead of having their algorithm make educated guesses as what your website folders are about.

You can choose to label your sections with the following choices:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Headlines
  • Health
  • Humor
  • Law and order
  • Lifestyle/Leisure
  • Multimedia
  • Op/Ed
  • Other
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Science/Environment
  • Sports and Games
  • Technology
  • Weird

Generally, I am all about relevancy, but I am not sure how much adding these labels will do for your site. My thinking is if Google News is including your section(s) and you’re getting traffic and visibility from it, why would you want to limit yourself? I’m holding off until others have proven labels actually help their site’s cause. My leaning is why pigeon-hole yourself?

As mentioned, the Publisher Center is pretty sparse in terms of what you can do. I found it useful because I had been meaning to change the name of my Google News website for sometime. It’s a brand new product, and with any new product, I assume that the Google Publisher Center will get users more control and insight as it evolves. Learn more about the new Publisher Center.

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