Best practices for your article pages

There’s no guarantee that your site’s articles will be displayed in Google News, but the below suggestions can increase the chances that our crawler discovers them.

URL redirects

Google News can follow redirects to some extent. To make sure we can access your pages easily, make every page on your site reachable from at least one static text link.

When you use redirects:

  • Minimize the number of redirects needed to follow a link from one page to another.

  • Set your redirect timer for a relatively short period of time.

  • Avoid using meta refreshes in the statement of your pages.

  • Point your redirects to valid pages.

  • Make sure that your redirects don't point to themselves.

  • Make sure that all of your redirects are valid and not empty.

  • If you permanently redirect from one page to another, use a permanent redirect (301).

  • Do not use &ID= as a parameter in your URLs.

  • To see how your site would be crawled, use a text browser with no cookies and navigate to your site.

Learn more about URLs that we can’t follow.

Structured data markup

To make sure Google has the correct information for your published articles, update your articles’ structured data markup.

We may utilize the information in some of the following fields while showing your content in Google News:

  • datepublished: The date and time the article was first published, in ISO 8601 format.

  • datemodified: The date and time the article was most recently modified, in ISO 8601 format.
    Tip: Add this property to provide more accurate date information to Google.

  • headline: The headline of the article. Headlines should not exceed 110 characters.

  • image: The URL to an image that goes with the article. Only a marked-up image that directly belongs to the article should be specified.

  • isAccessibleForFree: Boolean flag to indicate free vs paywalled content.

Learn how to add structured data to your article pages.

Provide a publication date

Google News uses a variety of ways to determine an article’s time and date for display. Follow the guidelines below to help us get it right:

  • Show one clear date and time: To be considered in Google News, articles need to show both a clear, visible date and time. Ideally, these should be between the headline and the article text. 

  • Do not artificially freshen stories: If an article has been substantially changed, it can make sense to give it a fresh date and time. However, it’s against our guidelines to artificially freshen a story when the publisher didn't add significant information or demonstrated a compelling reason. It’s also against our guidelines to create a very slightly updated story from a previously published one, then delete the old story and redirect to the new one. 

  • Use structured data: Use the “datePublished” or “dateModified” fields with the correct time zone (see guidelines for AMP and non-AMP pages).

  • Use sitemaps entries with publication dates: If you created a Google News sitemap, the sitemap entry for this article needs a <publication_date> tag. Each URL needs to include the article publication date in W3C format.

  • Review general guidance on dates: Learn more about how Google generally determines dates.

Prevent inaccurate article titles

We use our crawler to scan your article pages and determine the correct headlines for your content. Follow our best practices to help us display the correct title from your content:

  • Place the title of your article in a prominent spot above the article body, such as in an <h1> tag.

  • Match the title of your article page (in the HTML <title> tag) to the title of your article (in <h1> or equivalent).

  • Match the anchor text that points to your article in your section pages to the title of your article/page.

  • Avoid using the article title, or a substring of the title, as an active hyperlink in your article page.

  • Do not include a date or time in your article title.

  • Article titles should be at least 10 characters and between 2 and 22 words.

  • Do not include a leading number in the anchor text of the title to make sure your article title displays properly on mobile devices.

While we can't guarantee that we'll show your site's articles, these suggestions can help increase the chances that our crawler extracts the correct headlines.

Prevent missing or incorrect images

To make sure Google News indexes the correct lead image associated with your article, follow the best practices below:

  • Use images that are relevant to the story, rather than logos or captions.

  • Use Schema.org or og:image tags so that the image crawl can identify the image you’d like as a thumbnail next to your article.

  • Use standard filename extensions, like .jpg, .jpeg, or .png.

  • Size your images at least 60 x 90 pixels.

  • Use images that have reasonable aspect ratios.

  • Format your images as inline.

  • Place your images near their respective article titles.

  • Label your images with well-written captions.

  • Make sure a robots.txt file or a metatag isn't blocking our access to your images.

To show as many different sources to our users as possible, we sometimes pair relevant images with articles from different sources. While we can't guarantee to include all your images, these best practices help increase the likelihood your images are included in Google News.

Incorrect article snippets

Google News displays a small portion of an article on our homepage and in search results to give users a preview of an article before they click it. To determine what text to include, our crawler reads each article's code for body text near the article’s headline. 

Publishers can edit their article's content via a set of robots meta tags and an HTML attribute that allows a maximum text or video length. Learn how to configure preview content under your headlines.

If Google News displays incorrect snippets of your articles, review your source code for the following:

  • Make sure there’s no extra text between the article's title and body in each page's source code.

  • Clearly differentiate the text that makes up your articles' author bylines and date information from the text of your articles' first sentences.

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