The Google News Blog has posted a great article outlining some of the truths and myths of how Google News actually works.
Andy Golding, Google Software Engineer is the man behind the article which lets us in on a few of the secrets behind Google News because they often have publishers ask them why Google News didn’t include their article.
So here are some of the myths and truths behind Google News:
MYTH: Having an image next to your article improves your ranking.
While having a good image with your article does improve your chance to get your picture shown, it has no impact on the ranking of the article itself.
TRUTH: Updating an article after posting it will create problems with Google News.
Currently, the Google News crawler only visits each article URL once. If you make updates to the article after we’ve crawled it, they won’t be reflected on our site.
MYTH: Timing the publication of your article improves your article ranking
Google News is constantly looking for the most recent developments in a story. Making sure we get the latest, breaking news articles is very important. However, whether you publish before, after, or in the midst of when other publishers post articles won’t affect your article ranking. Our algorithms take a number of factors into account when choosing the best articles in a cluster. Simply publishing the same story after another publisher won’t help.
TRUTH: Articles that are just images or video wont be included
While we will include articles that contain multimedia content, if our crawler cannot find accompanying text content, it won’t include the article.
MYTH: There’s no way to see why my articles weren’t included in Google News.
To help you analyze your coverage, we have Webmaster Tools for news. If your site is currently included in Google News, you can create an account that will show you errors on specific articles.
TRUTH: Redesigning my site may affect my coverage in Google News
Our crawler has been carefully tuned to scour the web for news content. If you drastically change the structure of your site or your page layout, the crawler may have trouble navigating the new design.
The article is definitely worth a read as it addresses some assumptions floating around about how articles are indexed which could be invaluable information if you are trying to get articles included in Google News.
You can check out further information within the article here including additional myths and truths and also some further developments from the Google News team.