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Google Releases News Transparency Policy For Publishers Google Determines Transparency Guidelines Based on "Useful Information"

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News, SEO

After quietly releasing a formal policy regarding transparency for news publishers back in February, Google is offering up more specific details regarding what constitutes transparency.

According to Google, the search engine determines “what constitutes meaningful transparency from news sources” by considering “what types of information an ordinary person might find helpful if they want to assess a site’s credibility.”

Google went a step further and explained what these “article level” factors are, along with the signals that it may use to “consider information that helps users quickly gain context about articles or the journalists covering stories.”

See the full breakdown below:

  • An article byline (name of the author) that links to a bio page that outlines the author’s credentials and expertise.

  • The article’s publishing date.

  • A label that states the type of article – “Opinion” or “News,” for example.

Site Level Factors

In addition, Google explained “site level” factors and signals that “helps readers understand a site’s purpose, its organizational structure, and the kinds of information they can expect from that site.” This includes:

  • The amount of information provided, including a mission statement along with editorial policies and standards.

  • Information about a site’s staff along with bios for both the editorial and business team.

  • Thorough contact information.

  • Additional information like the site’s owners and/or funding sources – for example, government-funded or ran by staff with political affiliations.

Additional Guidelines

Google has also implemented the following principles to help “ensure the transparency policy is inclusive and responsive to industry changes.”

  • Google considers different regional and country-level expectations and practices around transparency. This is most important in areas that have less press freedom, and where journalists face threats and risks to their safety.

  • Google looks at different inputs and considers a broad range of editorial practices. This helps “ensure that distinctive editorial philosophies” do not impact the credibility of authoritative sources.

  • Google will also consider information that is clearly available to users, “so that larger, more technically sophisticated sites and smaller sites that use simple text to convey information are on equal footing.”

So, there you have it! Hopefully, this information will provide some much-needed clarification for news publishers.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google News To Now Show Non-AMP Content & Push Users To Publisher Pages

09/09/2021

Now that the Page Experience Update has finally rolled out, we are now starting to see some of the after-effects, particularly when it comes to Google News.

According to an email sent out by Google to online publishers, as a part of the Page Experience Update, Google News will now show both AMP and non-AMP web content. Article text from RSS feeds will also no longer be rendered in the Google News app. Going forward, News readers will be sent directly to publishers’ web pages.

“In the coming weeks the Google News app will improve its support for web content, displaying both AMP and non-AMP web content with more regularity from sites worldwide,” wrote Google.

Google is also removing feed-based article rendering functionality in the Publisher Center in November. This includes custom Analytics tracking IDs, third-party tracking pixels, custom RSS styling, and feed ads.

Before the Page Experience Update rolled out, the AMP framework had been a requirement for publishers to have their content included in Google News results. By eliminating this requirement, it will be easier for publishers that didn’t adopt AMP to reach readers.

Will This Affect Tracking?

No!

“You will still be able to track and measure all of your Google News traffic through your web site’s existing analytics tracking,” confirmed Google. “Google News performance reports in Search Console will also be unaffected.”

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Google Shares New FAQs Page for Google News Visibility and More

07/19/2021

In the wake of Google’s string of spring and summer updates – which, most recently, included the July core update – the company has offered some pointers to publishers who use Google Search and Google News.

READ MORE: SEOs React to July Core Update
READ MORE: July 2021 Core Update Completes 12-Day Launch  

Google published a blog post on July 16 on Google Search Central, the company’s main blog for developers, publishers and SEOs. The blog post is titled, “Answers to some common questions about appearing in Google News,” and it tackles five questions about visibility and Google’s algorithms.

The answers provided could likely help web beginners, and although many expert publishers and SEOs may already know these answers, it wouldn’t hurt to be refreshed – especially upon so many changes to Google’s algorithms over the last few months.

Here’s what Google had to say.

More About Google News

First, the blog post explained where news appears on the site and its sister platforms. Google News, Google Search, Google Assistant, YouTube, and Discover, are among the most common places you can see published news – meaning there are plenty of opportunities for publishers to have their content viewed.

Google also explained that, by default, all news is eligible to appear on these platforms. To perform particularly well, publishers must prove their news demonstrates expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, among other criteria.

More About Visibility

Next, the blog post explained that performance reports on Search Console are the best way to see if news pieces are gaining traction. Finally, the blog post shared multiple ways to improve visibility, and what to do if no strategies seem to be working.

For more information, read Google’s News Initiative piece titled “How news works on Google.

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