/googlenews/community?hl=en
/googlenews/community?hl=en
9/28/15
Original Poster
Stacie C. - Google Search

Goodbye 3-digit rule!

Hi publishers,


We’re happy to announce that Google News no longer requires you to follow the “3-digit rule,” which previously required you publishers to have a unique number of 3 digits in your article URLs. This means more news content indexed in Google News, however you structure your URLs.


The origin of the 3-digit rule: When Google News was first created, many of you news publishers structured your article URLs with a unique string of digits. Our team took this into consideration when determining which links the Google News bot should crawl. Thus, we created the 3-digit rule, requiring your articles to have at least 3 unique digits in your URL (unless you had a sitemap.)


Rule as explained in our Help Center


Over the years, your article URLs have evolved and not all news content had a set of unique three digits. Our team took this into consideration, and decided to remove this rule in order to include more of your great news content. And we believe more of your great content means more happy readers.


This Help Center article lists the remaining article URL requirements.


Happy publishing!

Stacie C.
The Google News team
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All Replies (16)
Martin Boose
9/30/15
Martin Boose
Cool! But is it still recommendable to have a News Sitemap?
WebRankInfo
9/30/15
WebRankInfo
Great news!
9/30/15
Original Poster
Stacie C. - Google Search
Aha! Thanks for catching that page, WebRankInfo. Will remove it asap.

We edited the main page: https://support.google.com/news/publisher/answer/68323, but didn't catch this other one. 

@Martin Boose: News Sitemaps are really helpful for the Google News bot because it explicitly tells it what are your news articles vs. non-news articles. Also, because you're telling the bot what your article titles are, the News Sitemap is helpful for more accurate title extraction. 

But keep in mind that News Sitemaps are another channel for the Google News bot to discover your articles. Creating a News Sitemap doesn't influence your ranking in Google News. If you don't have a News Sitemap, the bot will still crawl your news sections listed in your Publisher Center account (news.google.com/publisher) and look for articles on those sections. (Big plug for the Publisher Center! make sure to keep your news sections updated: news.google.com/publisher

Hope that helps, 
Stacie
The Google News team
Port Dover
10/2/15
Port Dover
Well, glad we do not have to do that anymore, but having all our previous news stories just vanish in a puff of smoke is not very cool. 
Gaieus
10/3/15
Gaieus
Hi Stacie, 

Great news indeed. 

Here (in the last paragraph) it is also mentioned: https://support.google.com/news/publisher/answer/2481373
Kamlesh Shukla
10/3/15
Kamlesh Shukla
Great news for us thanks to Stacie & Google News Team

Regards,
Kamlesh Shukla
Saif
10/8/15
Saif
This is great news, now we have a freedom whether to use news ID or not for article urls, isn't it?
George Pavlovich
10/19/15
George Pavlovich
WOW! Great news! At last you've done it! =)
Aman yadav
11/25/15
Aman yadav
This is awesome , I glad to get this news

Jon Sainz
12/1/15
Jon Sainz
If I have my website in 7 languages, it is necessary to register 7 site in google news ?
5 MORE
RossDunn
1/29/16
RossDunn
Hi there, I don't know if this is of any help to you but I noticed your site does have page speed issues and ads above the fold on articles. Even if those are not the culprits, I would suggest working on these issues. If you want any further assistance, please feel free to contact me at http://www.stepforth.com/. Good luck!
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