Do you want your WordPress site to become an authority but remain unsure of ways to propose it to Google News? Don’t fret; though we can’t guide you into becoming a high-quality news website, we’ll cover the entire procedure of handing your application over. Plus, the tech giant has prepared extensive documentation on changes you should make to evolve into an adept provider of information. Meanwhile, you should delegate or automate tedious tasks, so you can focus on writing well and proofreading carefully. But to do any of that, you must first learn how to submit a WordPress site to Google News. Let’s begin.
1. Make sure you meet the Google News content requirements
Unsurprisingly, getting free help from a tech giant comes with a set of constraints named suitably named Google News policies. While they are mostly common sense in terms of the type of content, there are several specific policies you must follow. These touch on advertisements, sponsorships, and the accuracy of the information. Another key thing includes being honest about the writers, editors, and owners, an individual or company, as well as ways to contact them. Though you aren’t forced to, the tech giant suggests reading and applying Google News best practices for articles to grow.
2. Create a Google News sitemap (Recommended)
If your website is strictly focused on publishing news, you may skip this step. However, if you also have a blog, a column, and a plethora of other pages, you should create a news sitemap. Though Google is getting better at distinguishing content, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot for not having a page dedicated to listing URLs for all news articles. This will let crawlers accurately and quickly index your website, and new URLs will be added automatically. There are paid ways to do this, such as the “News Sitemap” section in the All in One SEO plugin or the News SEO plugin by Yoast SEO.
Since you’re just starting, we suggest you install a WordPress plugin that is free. A simple option is XML Sitemap & Google News by RavanH. After installation:
- Go to Settings → Reading in the left sidebar of WordPress Admin.
- Tick the box in front of Google News Sitemap under “Enable XML sitemaps”.
- Click Save Changes.
- To see if it worked, go to the URL they provided, something like:
3. Add your WordPress site to the news service
Assuming you meet the demands and have optimized your content, you’re ready to submit your WordPress site to Google News this way:
- Head over to Google’s Publisher Center page and sign in with a Google account.
- Click on + Add publication in the left sidebar.
- Enter the name of your website and add its URL.
- Your site will now appear on the left-hand side under “Publications”. Click it and then go to Publication settings next to the name.
- In the “General” tab, you can tweak the basic information you provided, if needed. However, there are four extra settings on the page:
- Primary website property URL: Authenticate your authority over the domain name you provided. In other words, click the Verify in search console link after you made sure to claim the domain in the Google Search Console.
- Additional website property URLs: If you have any connected domains, add them here. You’ll have to prove your authority over those in the same fashion too.
- Contacts: Add contact information for your news publication, i.e., website.
- Tracking: Enter your code for Google Analytics tracking.
4. Configure details about your Google News publication
If you’ve done everything above to the tee, you’ve got the foundation ready. However, it is now time to get into the nitty-gritty of your publication:
- After clicking Next following step 6 above, you’ll be taken to the “Visual styles” tab.
- Upload your website logo in a square format, preferably in PNG and 1000 × 1000 pixels, but with a minimum of JPEG and 512 × 512 pixels. Click Save.
- Go back to the tool’s home page, and click your publication name in the left sidebar again.
- Select the “Google News” box below, which should say “Not Started”, and click the blue Edit button that appears.
- Google will ask for basic information once again, but not the one you already entered. Instead, you must enter:
- Publication description: This will act as a meta description and aid readers with discovering you (and more about you). Thus, it should follow copywriting basics—be persuasive and concise.
- Publication category: Select a niche your news website will focus.
- The Distribution section is an optional step, but an important one if you wish to limit your reader base. Select the countries your site will be presented in, and set the Google properties you plan to utilize.
- Click the blue Next button.
5. Choose appropriate news sections and access groups
You’re almost done, don’t worry. On your journey to submit your site built in WordPress to Google News, you should, but don’t have to, configure the Sections portion of the setup. We can’t demonstrate it since it varies from site to site, but it helps organize things. For instance, you’ll get to add a feed, such as an RSS one, that Google News will read the information from. You may also implement another web location (URL) to pull data from, add videos, or configure a personalized feed. Finally, under “Access groups” you can decide which users can see this data—authorized testers, editors, administrators, and so on. Click Next again.
6. Review, then submit your WordPress site as a Google News publication
You’re in the final stretches, but your application is still a draft. Before you make it final, troubleshoot and solve the issues Google News pointed out by clicking the Review link. Optionally, scroll a tad to click Follow publication under “Testing your publication”. This will add it to the “Favorites” section of Google News on Android and iOS signed to the same Google account, making it easy to track.
After you’re done, click the Review button. If conditions are met, it will become a Publish button you can click to send it to Google for assessment. Users on the Internet typically mention a 2-3 week period before they get a reply. Focus on improving content in the meantime to boost your chances of being accepted.