Earlier this week, I announced that CWT Advertising & co’m will be entering Google News. The site has been indexed by the news engine since January 16. I just submitted the sitemap to Google News. Here are the steps and specifics compared to a classic sitemap and some feedback on the benefits…

As a reminder, you can find information on the acceptance conditions on previous articles (Cf. CWT Advertising & co’m soon in Google News, Back on having your blog referenced in Google News and Referencing your blog in Google News).

The specifics to take into account …
Here is what characterizes a Google News sitemap of a simple sitemap:

  • This must be continuously updated;
  • It should only contain news pages from the past three days in addition to those for the day. News from previous days should not appear in the file. (forget also the category, about and company pages…) For example, currently the sitemap only contains articles from January 15 to 18, 2009;
  • The file must not contain more than 1000 articles, if you publish more than 1000 articles in 3 days, it is necessary to have recourse to several sitemaps;
  • The XML file contains additional annotations: date of first publication of the article, keywords associated with the article (these will help Google to classify the articles among the categories of Google news);
  • The file also has a second schema name (xmlns: news) like this:

xmlns: news = “http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-news/0.9”>

For more information on creating your sitemap, you can go to Google Help: Google News sitemap files !

A WordPress plugin chewing your work …
For WordPress users, a plugin exists and does the work for you. I invite you to go here to download it: WordPress Plugin Google News Sitemap Generator ! I used this plugin to create the sitemap, everything works fine, thank you the WordPress community 🙂

Submit your sitemap in minutes …
Once the sitemap is created, as for a classic sitemap, it must be submitted to Google via the webmaster tools. Go to the Sitemap section, click on “Add a sitemap”, choose the type “Google News”, enter the URL of the sitemap and the publication name (the name of your site which is already registered and click on “Add sitemap”.

And there you have it, all you have to do is wait for Google to go and see the file … The duration is variable but overall it’s quite fast (in any case less than 24 hours and very often less than an hour).

To conclude, the sitemap file is not mandatory, Google does without indexing pages, but strongly recommended by the engine to speed up indexing. For a classic website sitemap, I also advise you to read Patrice’s article: Advantages of the sitemap for the indexing speed of a site !

First feedback from site indexing in the news …
It is still too early to see the returns in terms of traffic, especially since I do not know the proportion of current visits compared to conventional search visits (if someone has data on this subject, I would be interested…) , but in terms of indexing and positioning the first returns are very positive…

To find out the indexing of a site in Google News, just use the command site: www.monsite.com just like for a classic indexing…

The first good surprise is thenear real-time indexing of articles. Once the sitemap file is updated (with the wordpress plugin as soon as an article is published or modified), a few seconds after the article may already be indexed by Google News.

Second good surprise, the article is also indexed in near real time in classic results.

Never two without three 🙂 third good surprise: it is much easier to position yourself in Google News. 1st on “Google Knol” with the article ” Google breaks the 100,000 knol mark “2nd on the expression” Wikipedia “with the same article …

After, the ranking is much less fixed than in the classic results, it is easier to position, but the position should not last long (until an article deemed more relevant is published …).

I will see in a few weeks what it brings in terms of visits…