Google News Site Map Plugin Advice

I have had many questions regarding my recent Google News articles so I thought I would wrap up several question in a couple of more articles about Google News. Many seem confused about Google Site Maps so I will deal with topic first.


Google is very strict on the type of news content they will accept from sites seeking Google News approval. Many affiliates are creating content that will be rejected by Google News. If Google news deems that your content is not suitable then you will get an email from Google that includes the following.


Please note that Google News only includes articles that provide timely


reporting on recent events. This means we don’t include informational and


how-to articles, classified ads, job postings, fictitious content, event


announcements or advice columns. When we reviewed your site, we found that


it lists other types of content alongside your original news articles.



There is no need to panic as the email will also state:


Create a News Sitemap for your news articles only, and let us know that


you’d prefer to have your articles crawled exclusively through your


sitemap.


So all you have to do to comply with Google’s requirements is to create a Google News sites map which excludes all categories that Google News does not actually class as news.


Creating a Google News sitemap is also a good option for those who have existing sites so don’t want to change their URL structure.


A Google Site Map is different to a standard site map. A Google News Sitemap has additional news specific tags compared to a standard site map. It uses the Sitemap protocol as below:


<?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://www.example.org/business/article55.html</loc>


<news:news>


<news:publication>


<news:name>The Example Times</news:name>


<news:language>en</news:language>


</news:publication>


<news:access>Subscription</news:access>


<news:genres>PressRelease, Blog</news:genres>


<news:publication_date>2008-12-23</news:publication_date>


<news:title>Companies A, B in Merger Talks</news:title>


<news:keywords>business, merger, acquisition, A, B</news:keywords>


<news:stock_tickers>NASDAQ:A, NASDAQ:B</news:stock_tickers>


</news:news>


</url>


</urlset>


Tag Required? Description
<publication> Yes The <publication> tag specifies the publication in which the article appears. It has two required child tags: <name> and <language>. The <name> is the name of the news publication. It must exactly match the name as it appears on your articles in news.google.com, omitting any trailing parentheticals. For example, if the name appears in Google News as “The Example Times (subscription)”, you should use the name, “The Example Times”. The <language> is the language of your publication. It should be an ISO 639 Language Code (either 2 or 3 letters). Exception: For Chinese, please use zh-cn for Simplified Chinese or zh-tw for Traditional Chinese.
<access> Yes, if access is not open, else should be omitted Possible values include “Subscription” or “Registration”, describing the accessibility of the article. If the article is accessible to Google News readers without a registration or subscription, this tag should be omitted.
<genres> Yes, if genres apply, else can be omitted A comma-separated list of properties characterizing the content of the article, such as “PressRelease” or “UserGenerated.” See Google News content properties for a list of possible values. Your content must be labeled accurately, in order to provide a consistent experience for our users.
<publication_date> Yes Article publication date in W3C format, using either the “complete date” (YYYY-MM-DD) or “complete date plus hours, minutes and seconds” (YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss) format, with optional fraction and time zone suffixes. Please ensure that you give the original date and time at which the article was published on your site; do not give the time at which the article was added to your Sitemap.


Our crawler would accept any of the formats below:
Complete date
YYYY-MM-DD (eg 1997-07-16)


Complete date plus hours and minutes
YYYY-MM-DDThh:mmTZD (eg 1997-07-16T19:20+01:00)


Complete date plus hours, minutes and seconds
YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssTZD (eg 1997-07-16T19:20:30+01:00)


Complete date plus hours, minutes, seconds and a decimal fraction of a second
YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.sTZD (eg 1997-07-16T19:20:30.45+01:00)

<title> No, but strongly recommended The title of the news article. Note: The title may be truncated for space reasons when shown on Google News. Article title tags should only include the title of the article as it appears on your site. Please make sure not to include the author name, the publication name, or publication date, as part of the title tag.
<keywords> No A comma-separated list of keywords describing the topic of the article. Keywords may be drawn from, but are not limited to, the list of existing Google News keywords.
<stock_tickers> No A comma-separated list of up to 5 stock tickers of the companies, mutual funds, or other financial entities that are the main subject of the article. Relevant primarily for business articles. Each ticker must be prefixed by the name of its stock exchange, and must match its entry in Google Finance. For example, “NASDAQ:AMAT” (but not “NASD:AMAT”), or “BOM:500325″ (but not “BOM:RIL”).

Don’t worry if all the above seems a little daunting as you can simply download a WordPress plugin which in effect means you can have your Google News Site Map up and running in a few minutes,


WordPress Google News Site Map Plugin


Simply download the WordPress Google News Site Map Plugin. This plugin installs just like a standard WordPress plugin.


Once the Google News Site Map Plugin is installed and activated, go to settings and tick all the categories you want to exclude.


Move the file “google-news-sitemap.xml” into your blog root directory and CHMOD to 777 so it is writable.


All you have to do now is create a new post plus save the post to generated you site map, You can check your Google News site map by using the following URL:


http://www.YOURSITENAME.COM/google-news-sitemap.xml


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