Archive for August, 2011
(Cross-posted on the Webmaster Central Blog)
Google News recently updated our infrastructure to crawl with Google’s primary user-agent, Googlebot. What does this mean? Very little to most publishers. Any news organizations that wish to opt out of Google News can continue to do so: Google News will still respect the robots.txt entry for Googlebot-News, our former user-agent, if it is more restrictive than the robots.txt entry for Googlebot.
Our Help Center provides detailed guidance on using the robots exclusion protocol for Google News, and publishers can contact the Google News Support Team if they have any questions, but we wanted to first clarify the following:
- Although you’ll now only see the Googlebot user-agent in your site’s logs, no need to worry: the appearance of Googlebot instead of Googlebot-News is independent of our inclusion policies. (You can always check whether your site is included in Google News by searching with the “site:” operator. For instance, enter “site:yournewssite.com” in the search field for Google News, and if you see results then we are currently indexing your news site.)
- Your analytics tool will still be able to differentiate user traffic coming to your website from Google Search and traffic coming from Google News, so you should see no changes there. The main difference is that you will no longer see occasional automated visits to your site from the Googlebot-news crawler.
- If you’re currently respecting webmaster guidelines for Googlebot, you will not need to make any code changes to your site. Sites that have implemented subscriptions using a metered model or who have implemented First Click Free will not experience any changes. For sites which require registration, payment or login prior to reading any full article, Google News will only be able to crawl and index the title and snippet that you show all users who visit your page. Our Webmaster Guidelines provide additional information about “cloaking” (i.e., showing a bot a different version than what users experience). Learn more about Google News and subscription publishers in this Help Center article.
- Rest assured, your Sitemap will still be crawled. This change does not affect how we crawl News Sitemaps. If you are a News publisher who hasn’t yet set up a News Sitemap and are interested in getting started, please follow this link.
- For any publishers that wish to opt out of Google News and stay in Google Search, you can simply disallow Googlebot-news and allow Googlebot. For more information on how to do this, consult our Help Center.
As with any website, from time to time we need to make updates to our infrastructure. At the same time, we want to continue to provide as much control as possible to news web sites. We hope we have answered any questions you might have about this update. If you have additional questions, please check out our Help Center.
Smartphones are giving dumb-phones a drubbing, according to a report.
Alongside working on improving the Google News design for smartphones, we have also been looking into enhancing our offering for tablet devices. Today, we are launching a few minor enhancements to Google News for Android tablets and iPads.
We have optimized columns in the home page and section pages so that they can be more easily viewed in portrait and landscape orientations. Some of the other updates include: a conveniently placed menu on the top for navigating across sections, support of finger swiping through the multimedia strip in expanded story boxes and a more friendly edition picker.
These improvements are now available in the U.S. edition. To view these changes, just type news.google.com on the browser of your favorite tablet.
The tech sector started the year out strong. But it is reflecting recent signs of slower growth
One of the more popular and trusted resources that explains “how stuff works” is now optimized for the iPad.
Happy 100th Lucy! Enjoy Google’s homepage today as it pays charming tribute to Lucille Ball.
Gmail is taking a few cues from its tablet apps with Preview Pane, Google’s newest Gmail Labs feature.
(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)
News organizations tell stories online in ways that bring together the best of traditional and digital journalism, whether that involves long-form investigative features, compelling photo slideshows or interactive maps and charts that add new levels of engagement to the day’s news. To help connect you to the best works of news publishers, Google News is introducing a new section in the right-hand column of the U.S. edition. The section is called “Editors’ Picks,” and it displays original content that publishers have selected as highlights from their publications. This is the latest addition to recent improvements we’ve made to the variety and presence of stories and multimedia on Google News.
An array of news organizations, including local, national and niche publishers, are now using Editors’ Picks to display their best, most engaging content. Because Google News relies on algorithms, Editors’ Picks will always be just that—picks provided by publishers themselves, and not by Google. You can browse a set of publisher feeds that span national, specific and local interests—like The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, the Guardian and The Root, among many others—via the side-to-side arrows next to each publisher’s logo. The feeds you see are chosen based on a variety of factors, including your news preferences. If you’re interested in using source preferences on Google News, Editors’ Picks helps you do that with the slider that appears just below the articles.
You may have first noticed Editors’ Picks as an experiment last year. Based on the data from that experiment, we have been working with nearly two dozen publishers in recent months and have seen a positive response from readers and publishers alike: readers get the news they’re interested in from the sources they trust, and publishers receive higher traffic to their websites. We encourage any news organizations that are interested to visit our Help Center to get started.
Google Realtime Search is coming back soon, and it will include data from Google+ and other social sources.