Google has launched a News Publisher Center to help improve the discovery and classification of news content.
The Center allows the publishers of news sites to make changes to Google's record of those sites. This, in turn, helps ensure the sites' information remains up to date, Google says.
By using the News Publisher Center, publishers will be able to: update news site details, such as site names and relevant source labels like blog, satire or opinion; update section URLs when the site changes structure; and label sections with specific topics.
In order to use Google's News Publisher Center, a publisher must first verify his or her ownership of the site, review and update the site details and review and update the site's news section URLs and labels.
After that, users can simply return to the News Publisher Center whenever the site changes.
"If you are a news publisher, your website has probably evolved and changed over time," writes software engineer Eric Weigle in a blog post. "Until now, when you made changes to the structure of your site, we might not have discovered them unless you told us. And that meant they might not have shown up in Google News, which in turn could have resulted in readers not seeing your great content."
The tool is available to U.S. publishers upon launch, but Google says it plans to introduce the tool in other countries soon and to also add more features.
"Ultimately, our goal is to make this a platform where news publishers and Google News can work together to provide readers with the best, most diverse news on the web," Weigle adds.
A Google rep was not available by deadline.
For his part, however, Kevin Lee, CEO of digital marketing agency Didit, says the News Publisher Center is great for publishers because it adds structure to the news information Google is already crawling at news sites.
"For better or worse, consumers are engaging with news headlines and snippets from within Google sites...[and] that means publishers need to make sure their visibility within the Google SERP is optimized," Lee says. "The new Publisher Center tools will provide publishers with an added advantage."