The aim of Google News is to filter through the world’s news and make timely news accessible to readers in a way that’s easy for them to read, understand, and put to use.

So what does this mean for your website and your site?

Lots of traffic, credibility, and authority.

If that sounds like something you’d like for your WordPress site (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t) then read on to find out everything you need to know about how to submit your site to Google News.

What is Google News?

Google News is a news aggregator that curates a customizable flow of recent news articles and stories from the last 30 days.

Today, it’s even more than that as Google News stories can surface in other Google products, such as:

  • Google News feed (duh)
  • “Top stories” section in the SERP page
  • The “News tab” in the SERP page (like the one you have for images, so to speak)
  • Google Discover, Google’s new feed based on improved Knowledge Graph able to provide custom results based on a single user’s search history.

Here’s what Google News looks like:

An example page of science stories on Google News

Content is organized into categories, depending on your location and language settings. As a reader, you can also customize the feed to cover stories you are interested in.

Your site + Google News = traffic, credibility, authority. ✅ That’s an equation we can stand behind! 🤓 Learn how to submit your site to Google News with this guide

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How to Get Your Website on Google News, Discover, and News-Related Sources

Google News works differently than Google the search engine.

The latter sends out crawlers that scan the web for updates and indexes those updates. Google News has crawlers too but they mostly crawl and index websites and content that are deemed of high-quality, comply with Google News content policies, or have already been approved in the past.

In fact, until December 2019, you had to manually submit your site to Google News for it to be considered. But that’s no longer the case, as Google announced this:

“Publishers are automatically considered for Top stories or the News tab of Search.”

google news eligibility

The official word from Google about being eligible for Google News

Barry Adams spotted it first:

barry adams tweet

Barry Adams spotted that publishers don’t need to submit their sites

Nice. So you don’t need to worry about doing anything, right?

Just sit back and wait for Google News to feature your site and drive more traffic to it…? Well, not exactly.

Although anyone can receive in Google News, you still need to meet certain criteria like:

  • You have to create compelling content on a daily basis. It has to be news that’s relevant to your audience.
  • You have to follow the Google News content policies, which covers standards for writing, accountability, authority, readability, technical guidelines, and news quality guidelines.
  • You should never neglect the overall Webmasters guidelines which include the quality of your content, design of your content, the technical aspects of your website (using WordPress and a professional theme will satisfy this – just make sure it loads fast).
  • Once you meet these guidelines, it’s time to getting started with submitting your site to Google News. I’ll show you how to do it properly later in this post.

Before that, let me clarify one important thing:

Do You Need to Submit Your Site to Google News?

Yes and no.

Let’s recap. At the end of 2019, Google announced the new Google News, which on top of several improvements and a new UI, brings something new on the table:

“We developed a new story-understanding technology to map the people, places and things involved in a news story, and then draw connections between them.”

The new technology powering Google News is a combination of several machine learning techniques, including BERT models.

What is BERT?

I know what you are thinking. It has nothing to do with Sesame Street.

For the purpose of this blog post, you should know that BERT is a natural language processing model able to consider the full context of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it.

Basically, it is a way for Google to better understand the content on a page.

In part because of this new technology, Google no longer requires you to submit your site to Google News.

Now, just because you can automatically appear in Google News doesn’t mean you will. Let’s increase your chances and manually submit to Google News.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long.

How to Submit Your Site to Google News

Got to Google’s Publisher Center and click Add publication:

How to add a publication to Google News

How to add a publication to Google News

Now, you’ll need to fill out some specific information. It’s all pretty self-explanatory:

If you are using the same Google account for both Google News and Google Search Console, you can easily verify your site.

Just click verify in Search Console next to the Website property URL box:

Verifying your domain using Google Search Console in Publisher Center

And if you need more help, you can check out our GSC setup guide.

Next, you’ll be able to add an RSS feed to your publication, add a custom logo, and even set up Google ads if you’d like to monetize your content.

Once you’ve filled in everything that’s required and agreed to the terms and conditions, you’ll be able to publish:

Publishing status for your publication in Google News

Publishing status for your publication in Google News

Told you it wouldn’t take long to submit your site (if you ignore the review process which takes 2 – 4 weeks).

But wait, there’s more.

6 Additional Steps to Get the Most out of Google News

If you’ve come this far, it means you really want to increase your chances of getting yourself some sweet Google News traffic.

Let’s explore a few aspects you should take care of to capitalize on your recent Google News submission. They’re the right balance between Google News-specific tips and more generic ones Google will love:

1. Create a Google News Sitemap

You don’t have to have a sitemap for Google News (and Google in general) but your chances of getting your content crawled faster and better are much higher when you provide one.

Why? A sitemap makes it easy for search engines to crawl and index your content.

Thankfully, creating a sitemap for your WordPress site is pretty simple. Here’s an example of our XML sitemap:

Kinsta's XML sitemap

Kinsta’s XML sitemap

Unfortunately, Google News sitemaps are not the same as “standard” Google Search sitemaps so you’d need to create a new one if you want to submit your site to Google News.

How to Create Google News Sitemaps

To be 100% sure and have full control over the content you submit to Google News, you’d need to implement a Google News sitemap.

To do so, you could use the free WordPress plugin XML Sitemap & Google News or opt for a premium solution like News SEO by Yoast ($69).

How to Create a Google News Sitemap Using the XML Sitemap & Google News Plugin

XML Sitemap & Google News is a free WordPress plugin that will create an XML sitemap and send your updates to Google News. It works great and it’s extremely simple.

Once you’ve installed it, you have to enable the Google News Sitemap feature in your settings:

Enabling the Google News sitemap

Enabling the Google News sitemap

Once saved, you’ll be able to access your Google News Sitemap feed at https://yoursite.com/sitemap-news.xml. It’ll look something like this:

Google News Sitemap Feed example

Google News Sitemap Feed example

If you’re already using Yoast SEO plugin, you might receive an alert about using both like this one:

XML Sitemap & Google News conflicting with Yoast plugin

XML Sitemap & Google News conflicting with Yoast plugin

If that’s your case, simply disable the option “XML Sitemap Index” now available in your Reading > Settings page because of the recently installed XML Sitemap & Google News plugin. This way you can keep using both of them without any issues on your XML sitemaps.

All in all, the XML Sitemap & Google News WordPress plugin is pretty straightforward to set up, plus it even works with WordPress multisite.

2. Follow Google News Guidelines

Your website is competing with lots of other sites also trying to receive exposure on Google. Every day, millions of posts are being published on WordPress alone.

Seriously, check out this live look at the WordPress activity:

wordpress usage map

A WordPress map showing usage across the globe.

With so much content being produced, Google doesn’t have time to deal with pages that don’t meet all their requirements.

Avoid your site being rejected from Google News because you didn’t follow the rules and make sure each page of your site conforms to the guidelines set by Google News.

google news content policies

Google News content policies for getting published.

3. Always Format Your Content

Google News can read all the text on your pages. But if your site has lots of multimedia (like images and video) it could use some help.

That’s why you should make sure your most newsworthy content is properly formatted. For example, this article was recommended to me on Google News:

article example google news

An article recommenced to me on Google News (obviously it’s about WordPress).

If you click through to it, you’ll see it is nicely structured with numbered subheadings and minimal images:

formatted page example

An example of a well-structured page recommenced to me on Google News

If you really want to include multimedia content, use title and header tags to give an idea of what the content is about. And ideally, write a description of what your article is about so Google can understand it (and offer it up to searchers).

4. Submit YouTube Video Content to Google News

Videos are everywhere and they couldn’t be left out from Google News. In fact, if your business relies on videos,  you should take advantage of them.

To submit your video content to Google News, you’ll need to log in to Publisher Center, click on Content tab from the top menu bar.

From there, you’ll need to add a New Section:

Adding videos to Google News

Adding videos to Publisher Center

This will open up a new window where you’ll be able to add links from your YouTube playlist or channel (like in the example below):

Adding a YouTube channel in Publisher Center

This is not the only option available to add videos as you can also embed YouTube videos in your articles, in your feed via an