Ever since December 2019, when Google removed the requirement for publishers to manually apply for inclusion into Google News, publishers have been pretty upset about the lack of transparency around Google News inclusion. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, said on Mastodon that he would like this process to get better.
The topic has come up again shortly after the complaints of leaky solutions for gateway content – true or not.
Ryan Singel, a journalist covering tech business, tech policy, civil liberty and privacy issues, who has written at Wired and many other respected publications, wrote on Mastodon that the current process for inclusion into Google News is “so disingenuous.” He added, “There’s no procedure to ask for inclusion. This process can take a year.” “That’s ridiculous,” he said.
Then he digs into Google saying the “Google News Initiative puts lots of money into helping new news sites launch and then Google News pretends the same sites getting that $ aren’t news and boosts crappy sites that re-write their content.”
“The whole system for Google News inclusion is broken and emblematic of Google’s refusal to talk to ANYONE or explain its actions,” he added. And if that was not enough, he went harder saying “Your culture is BROKEN.”
So Sullivan replies to him explaining some of this history. Sullivan wrote, “It’s a tossup. Before, when there was an application process, people complained it took too long also. And some publications didn’t even know to apply.” He is not wrong, there were frequent complaints about the backlog and slowness in getting approvals and there were many disapproval notices, for no apparent reason.
Sullivan added, “I’d like to see it get better. I really do appreciate the frustration a new site feels if they aren’t being picked up. To the degree I can help, that’s what I lobby for.”
So maybe, just maybe, we will see this process approved? What would we like to see?
(1) Clear sign if the site can or cannot appear in Google News in real-time.
(2) What the site needs to do if it is not in Google News currently.
(3) Can the site be partially in Google News or not, show up sometimes and not others?
Yes, Google has a news publisher center but there is still a ton of confusion.
What would you al like to see with this process, or lackthereof.
Forum discussion at Mastodon.