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Google News rankings - insights, issues, and delays

4:42 am on Jan 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Aug 22, 2017
posts: 41
votes: 2

Our website gets about 1-3 million page views a month. It's on Google news.

Our traffic sources are:

'Google' (presumably organic search) -- about 40% of all traffic.
'Googleapis.com' -- about 25% of all traffic
'News.Google.Com' -- about 15% of all traffic
Direct, SM etc -- about 20% of all traffic.

Occasionally, there's something called 'discover.google.com' and 'news.url.google.com', but these are very rare.

We put up an average of 25 news articles a week, and most of these are either exclusive or exclusive when put up (as in, we're the first to put up the story, even if others are expected to join later). On weekends, we don't put anything up for about 50 hours continuously as we don't work on weekends.

We've been on Google news under the current domain for about two years, but under another domain for 5.5 years (since 2011) before that.


The site used to do fine (not sure when it changed though). The issue is that if someone goes to news.google.com and searches for a topic on which we've just posted, our articles don't show up. They will start showing up if someone goes to news.google.com after 5 or 6 hours and does the same search.

In other words, it looks like news.google.com takes about 5-6 hours to index our stories. That's what I used to think was happening, till I noticed that if I put in the name of my website, and click on the suggested 'source' link, the stories do appear, even before the 5-6 hours are done.

What could this be? Why won't they show up for the topic till 5-6 hours are over? And why do they show up for 'source search'?

What is even more weird is that if you do the 'site: ' search, they don't show up either, till 5-6 hours are done. I've been tracking this issue for two weeks and I've not seen any change.

However, if you go to regular google and do a 'site: ' query on our domain, you'll see that stories are indexed instantly. You can also see all the stories, including the latest ones, when you click on the 'news' tab next to the general search (where it gives you the option of looking for 'videos', 'books' etc.)

We did change our host about a month back, not sure if this is related to that. The new host is closer to our target market of India, and therefore farther from Google's servers, which has had the impact of increasing fetch times for Google. Not sure if that's a factor. I think not.

Another thing is that almost all, if not all, of our stories appear on News.Google.Com eventually. But in case of many other publishers, including big ones, about half of their content is filtered out from news.google.com.

Anyway, the long and short of the problem is that I get traffic from news.google.com within minutes of publishing my stories, but someone going to News.Google.Com doesn't see my stories till 5-6 hours have passed. By then, everyone and their uncle have put out a story on the same topic and competition is intense.

What could be going on? We have amp. We have a sitemap.
11:17 am on Jan 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Aug 22, 2017
posts: 41
votes: 2

The only thing I can think of is that our site is considered 'low quality' or something, and Google doesn't 'prefer' to show our links to most of its users. So this keeps initial visibility very low.

But because people click on our headlines, this resistance is overcome over a period of a few hours by the other parts of the algo that promote stories that get a lot of clicks from users.

What I don't understand is how this always takes 5-6 hours (for good stories and bad).
12:15 pm on Jan 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from ES 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 13, 2005
votes: 6

Did you check the Google Webmasters Tool (or Search Console or whatever) for a dedicated News sitemap?
It is different from general sitemap.
3:23 am on Jan 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Aug 22, 2017
posts: 41
votes: 2

Yes. I have it. Another thing is that suppose I put up an article at 12 pm today.

At 12:01, I go to news.google.com and do 'site: ' query (or a headline query), it won't show up. But I enter the name of the publication and click on the suggested 'source' link, it will show up.

At 5 PM, I do the headline or site: query and the story would be there. But what would be interesting is that it would say "10 minutes ago" or "20 minutes ago", while the story was actually published 5 hours ago. Even the 'source' search will show the same thing -- 10 minutes ago and so on.
7:53 am on Jan 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Aug 22, 2017
posts: 41
votes: 2

I've confirmed that this problem afflicts not just us, but practically all news websites in India. However, the time seems to range from a few minutes to a few hours. But nobody's articles are showing up immediately.
This has the impact that for fast-developing stories, News.Google.Com has become a useless source of updates as all the latest stories are automatically excluded and you end up being served with stories that are hours old, at least.
5:10 am on Jan 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 9, 2018
votes: 8

1 to 2 million in traffic is that all from India? thats impressive for google news, you must be making some good money on adsense.
Google news has been acting up for the past 4 or 5 months. a lot of the smaller publishers are suffering but as long as you still get traffic you should be okay

most of the news websites rely on adsense and the first surger of traffic is where they get most of their money, if you break a story first or early and get ranked in the top stories you should get a lot of traffic which means lots of clicks on your ads

I noticed if you dont get any stories in top stories or top of google search for single keywords you do not get traffic

but you are getting a million views a month thats amazing

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