Goodbye 3-digit rule!
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.
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