Yesterday Google News announced how it will start reindexing and recrawling the latest versions of news resources if those updates are posted within a short period of time.  If you have noticed any problems with an article you’ve written after you have published it, then you now have a chance to fix it. At the moment, It is unclear how long you have to make these changes before Google indexes your article. Prior to this announcement Google only indexed the original story, and even though you may have edited that version. This should help deliver more accurate news.

Google News Since we are on the topic of Google News, I thought it would also be beneficial to explain how a News sitemap can help your website be “crawled” and ranked quickly on Google or any other search engine.
Google encourages webmasters to use the Sitemap protocol to create a News sitemap , because this allows them to provide additional information about pages on their sites. A sitemap based on this protocol can be used by all the major search engines. News sitemaps are specific to Google News. They are not the same as our web sitemaps.

Google News outlines the differences between News sitemaps and web sitemaps:

  • A News sitemap is more like an XML version of your live news pages. Content should be frequently updated and only contain recent news articles
  • In a News sitemap, you need to include URLs for all your articles, but only from the last three days. You shouldn’t include older article
  • You shouldn’t use the Google Sitemap Generator to create your News sitemap
  • A News sitemap for each article should include a publication date, which refers to the date that the article first appears on your site. Please make sure not to set this to the “current” time.

Google News Sitemap tips are listed below:

  • Each URL needs to include the article publication date in W3C format, preferably including a timestamp. The publication date is used to determine whether the article meets our freshness standard. Here’s an example of an article publication date tag in W3C format:

<news:publication_date> 2006-08-14T03:30:00Z </news:publication_date>

Note: Please provide Google with the date when the article first appeared on your site. If the file doesn’t include a date for the article, the article won’t be included in Google News, and you’ll see a “Date not found” error for the article on the News crawler.

  • News sitemaps should include a second namespace for the News schema. The urlset tag for a News sitemap should look like this:

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″

xmlns:news=”http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-news/0.9″>

  • The News sitemap URL needs to be encoded for readability by the web server where it’s located.
  • Your News sitemap should only contain URLs for all your articles published in the last three days.

Optional News specific tag: Each URL may include the following tags within the News schema:

  • A comma-separated list of keywords describing the content of the article. Keywords may be drawn from, but aren’t limited to the list of existing Google News categories

Example of a News sitemap containing a single article:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″

xmlns:news=”http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-news/0.9″><url>

<loc>http://example.com/article123.html</loc>

<news:news>

<news:publication_date> 2006-08-14T03:30:00Z </news:publication_date>

<news:keywords>Business, Mergers, Acquisitions</news:keywords>

If local businesses use Google News Sitemaps correctly, it should drive traffic to their site and increase their page rank. The faster you deliver information on current news items, the more you will become a resource on current events. The announcement about Google News indexing the most recent version will also help you deliver more accurate information and make your articles more valuable.

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