How To Get In To Google News – My Moz Whiteboard Friday

I was on an extended trip through the USA late last year, with stops in New York, Las Vegas, and Seattle. The first two were primarily for work but the latter was mostly for relaxation.

Nonetheless, when you’re an SEO and visiting Seattle you should always make an attempt to visit the Moz offices. Moz is probably the most famous SEO-focused company in the world, and their blog has been setting the standard for excellent SEO content for years.

Every Friday, Moz publishes a short video in which a particular aspect or concept of SEO is explained. These are their so-called ‘Whiteboard Friday’ videos, because the format is a presenter in front of a whiteboard. Simple yet highly effective, and widely copied as well.

When I visited the Moz offices last year, the lovely folks there asked me if I’d like to record a Whiteboard Friday. That was a bit of a no-brainer – I jumped at the opportunity. The topic I chose is one that doesn’t get covered often in the SEO industry, and is close to my heart: how to get a news site included in Google’s separate Google News index.

The recording went smoothly and the Moz folks did their usual post-production magic before it was published on their site earlier this month.

So here then is my Moz Whiteboard Friday – How to get in to Google News:

The Moz blog also contains a full transcript of the video in case you prefer reading over watching. In a nutshell, getting a news site in to Google News means you have to tick the following boxes:

  • Have a dedicated news site
    A subsection of a commercial site will not be accepted. Ensure your site is a separate entity focused entirely on providing news and background content. Having multiple authors and providing unique news-worthy content is also highly recommended.
  • Static URLs for articles and sections
    Google wants your articles and section pages to remain on the same URLs so that they can be recrawled regularly. A new URL means a new article for Google News, so if your article URLs change then it can cause problems for Google News.
  • Plain HTML
    Due to the speed with which news changes, Google News only uses the first-stage indexing process in Google’s indexing ecosystem. As such, it’s important that your entire article content is present in the HTML source and doesn’t require any client-side code (such as JavaScript) to be rendered.

Furthermore there are some technical aspects that are not required but strongly recommended:

  • Separate news-specific XML sitemap for all your news articles published in the last 48 hours.
  • (News)Article structured data to help Google index and categorise your articles quickly.

Lastly, if your news site covers a specific niche or specialised topic, that tends to help with being accepted in to Google News. There are plenty of general news sites already, and Google News doesn’t really need more of those. Specialised news sites focusing on a specific niche will help broaden Google News’s scope, so you’ll find it a bit easier to get in to Google News when your site has such a focus.

Make sure you watch the full video on the Moz blog, and give it a thumbs up there if you enjoyed it.

News SEO


  1. Hi Barry,
    I’ve seen you give this talk in the past. I work on a very well established /blog on a corporate website. We are known as a Publisher in many respects and would like to get indexed for Google News. We have been rejected as obviously we are not a standalone publisher sitting on a subdirectory of the corporate website.

    My question is this…

    Can we create a TLD domain.
    Clone our entire /blog to it as is or produce an AMP version at the new TLD mirroring the /blog.
    Add canonicals there to the original /blog for everything on the new TLD content only
    Then request this for listing in Google News?

    Can’t see any evidence of folks trying this with or without success.

    Reply »

    1. Hi Graham, the only context in which I’ve see this work is if the commercial corporate branding is either absent or very subtle on that new TLD. The news site should be a separate independent website with minimal links to the commercial site. If the commercial parent is too obvious, Google News will reject the site.

      I’m happy to talk more about this if you want, feel free to email me.

      Reply »

  2. Whiteboard Friday is a very good platform for new users, it helps them to learn a lot.

    I truly appreciate this post. Really thank you!

    Reply »

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