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How-to 8 min read August 28, 2019

How to create an XML sitemap for news

An XML sitemap helps the robot crawl all pages of the website. You can create an independent map for the news section so that the articles are regularly crawled and included in the Google News index.
Sitemaps provide search metadata regarding content on the website. A sitemap for news allows SEO-experts to manage content that is sent to Google News.

Using the map of news URLs, Google News is able to accelerate the search for news that is published. The search engine gets a direct URL for each news item, which increases coverage.

Sitemaps determine:

  • the title and publication date of each article;
  • using genres and access tags, indicate the type of content described in this article;
  • The content of the article is identified using descriptions that are relevant to your keywords.

You must submit a request to add a news map to Google News. The advantage of adding to Google News compared to simple news map generation is a quick search of content in news.google.com.

How to create a map for Google News

In addition to the general sitemap.xml, it is customary to create an independent map for the news block, information content.

The difference is in the tags that are used:
1
"publication" — this tag is required to use and means the publication that provided the article. The tag is divided into two other tags: "name" and "language". Namely, the publication name and the code corresponding to the language.
2
"publication_date" is also required and means the date when the content was published. Recommended date formats:

  • YYYY-MM-DD, for example 1994-02-15.
  • YYYY-MM-DDThh: mmICHP, date with hours and minutes, for example 1994-02-15T18: 21 + 01: 00.
  • YYYY-MM-DDThh: mm: sHCHP, date with hours, minutes and seconds, for example 1994-02-15T18: 21: 30 + 01: 00.
  • YYYY-MM-DDThh: mm: ss, sichp, date with hours, minutes, seconds and fractions of a second, for example 1994-02-15T18: 21: 30,45 + 01: 00.
3
"title" is the name of the published article. The names must coincide in the map and on the website, the search engine pays attention to this.
You can use generators to generate maps — for example, Xml-sitemaps.
Unlimited sitemap generator online
Follow the internal instructions and generate a map for your site. Similar functionality is implemented in Mysitemapgenerator.

For Wordpress sites, special plugins have been developed. You need to download the plugin XML Sitemap & Google News from the store through the admin panel, then activate it.
Google News Sitemap Generator for Wordpress

Recommendations for creating a news map

The generated document should contain articles that have been published over the past two days. Old entries should be removed, in return, they will remain in the news catalog for a month.

Make changes to an existing map by adding news. Remember that a card must not contain more than a thousand addresses. If you need more URLs in the sitemap, it's better to create several separate maps, and then combine them using an index file.

To do this, you need a document that, using tags, will group all site maps. How will it look in the code:
<? Xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?>
   <sitemapindex xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
   <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap1.xml.gz</loc>
      <lastmod>2004-10-01T18: 23: 17 + 00: 00</lastmod>
   </sitemap>
   <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap2.xml.gz</loc>
      <lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod>
   </sitemap>
   </sitemapindex>
When you post new articles, add new URLs to your existing map.

Google's map generator is not suitable for this, because when creating a map, not all news pages will be taken into account.

As a result, you should get a card that uses the sitemap protocol, for example, as shown in the code snippet:
<? Xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xmlns: news="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-news/0.9">
<url>
<loc>http://www.example.org/business/article55.html</loc>
< news: news>
<news: publication>
<news: name>The Example Times</ news: name>
<news: language>en</ news: language>
</ news: publication>
<news: genres>PressRelease, Blog< / news: genres>
<news: publication_date>2008-12-23</ news: publication_date>
<news: title>Companies A, B in Merger Talks</ news: title> 
<news: keywords>business, merger, acquisition, A, B</ news: keywords> 
<news: stock_tickers>NASDAQ: A, NASDAQ: B</ news: stock_tickers>
</ news: news>
</url>
</urlset>
Technical recommendations that will allow search bots to determine the URL of a page with news content:

  • page addresses should be unique and permanent;

  • the robot scans HTML pages and other formats, does not accept PDF, cannot properly process JavaScript objects, image links, and data in frames;

  • do not forget to open the scan for search crawlers in robots.txt and do not block the scan with noindex / nofollow meta tags;

  • Google News does not include audio files, multimedia — this means that the robot can only process accompanying text and video files from the YouTube system.

Everything published must comply with the content policy, otherwise the ranking will be artificially underestimated.

Before adding a new map, include your web property in Google News for publishers. Only approved users can send the card.

This will require:
1
Confirm the rights to the site.
2
Check and, if necessary, update information about the web resource.
3
Update links to the news blocks.
Google News for publishers
To add a site to Google News, you must verify your site's rights in the Google Search Console.

If you didn't find your website in the service, make sure that the site is included in Google Publisher News and that your rights are confirmed in the console office. If the cause of the error remains unclear, contact support.

Among the common errors in news maps that should be addressed are:

  • too many URLs;
  • unknown news site;
  • unknown source;
  • invalid name;
  • wrong language;
  • lack of necessary tags.

Conclusion

A news map is needed to speed up the ranking of news on the Internet. It allows you to get into Google News, which can have a positive effect on the coverage of the publication. You can create a map:

  • manually by uploading a list of Internet addresses;
  • using online site map generators;
  • through ready-made plugins for CMS.

Be sure to use tags for the news map: publication (name and language), publication_date, title.

Make sure your card meets all the technical requirements and send a request to be added to Google News. To do this, you should confirm your rights to the website through the Search Console, update outdated information, and wait for the moderation.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
Checklist at Serpstat
Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
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