Tuesday, November 21, 2006
As the product manager for Google News, I meet with news editors and managers around the world. Wherever I go, one thing publishers tell me consistently is that they want greater control and visibility into the process by which their content gets included in Google News. It's been a longtime goal of ours to offer flexibility to publishers as we help them grow their online publications, so I’m pleased to tell you that we're adding Google News support within Google webmaster tools.
Now, English-language publishers who are currently included in Google News will be able to use their existing feeds -- or define a more advanced Sitemap of their current news articles -- to tell us exactly which articles they'd like us to crawl. While they've always been able to use technical solutions such as robots.txt to govern which portions of their sites Google crawls and indexes, this will give publishers more granular tools to tell our crawlers exactly what should be included.
We also want to provide content owners more visibility into which articles are ultimately included in Google News, so we're now offering error reports specific to Google News. These error reports will explain any problems we experienced crawling or extracting news articles from a publisher's site. Although we try to make our crawl and analysis as comprehensive as possible, there are always a small number of sites and articles that we're not able to correctly analyze and include. We hope these new tools will help publishers resolve such issues.
Webmaster tools also offer publishers detailed information on the types of queries that lead visitors to various pages on a website, which can be helpful for understanding user information needs and access patterns.
We plan to extend webmaster tools for Google News to additional languages soon.
There's more information about the new tools on our Webmaster Central blog. We hope you find these new tools helpful, and look forward to your feedback.