Having a website approved in Google News Publisher Center is not as simple as it seems to be. Even if you meet all the requirements, you can still get disapproved. In ‘today’s’ article (it is a small lie, I have been writing it for 4 months), I would like to share my personal story about getting into Google News with 6 websites and what I have learned from submitting them to the Google News Publisher Center. You will read about being rejected several times, optimizing the websites, again being rejected and a whole story behind trying to be a Google News Publisher with a happy end having 6 websites in. If you feel like you did everything that was possible and still nothing or simply do not know what you can do to get Google News site approval, stay here a little bit longer.

This article is especially for people who:

  • know what Google News is, and how it can benefit business
  • still getting rejected, even if they improved their’s website with the guidelines

Not for you? Tell me why in the comments.

What is Google News?

From my perspective, as a wanna-be growth marketer – it is only a next great opportunity to grow organic traffic and visibility for a news-based website. The great thing it is that you do not have to do a lot – you can get your website approved and then forgot it, or try to optimize your appearance. You choose. In a nutshell, it gives top listing in SERP’s just after putting your article live. Here is how it looks:

What is Google News? An example for beginners.

There is also a second format – just raw text, without any images. 

Google News Site Approval Steps

If you are struggling with getting final approval and it is not your first time, you have probably read all the tips from Google. During my experience with Dowbit (offline now) – an international cryptocurrency news site – I learned a lot of patience after submitting and getting declined one time after another. Right after the first decline, in regards to Google News’ content policies – we added transparent information about authors and company (contact page and about page is a must have). Still, it did not help us, and after the next six weeks, we got another decline (for each website – dowbit.com, dowbit.pl, dowbit.ru, dowbit.es, dowbit.com.br, dowbitturk.com). That was sad and we lost a lot of potential visitors that could know us and they did not.

Then, we changed our publishing process and each article was checked and corrected by a native speaker. Unhappily, it also did not help and we were rejected again. In a meantime, we have also improved our site’s performance reported by Google Lighthouse, added more pieces of information on about page (such as Google Map with office’s’ location) and worked on readability. We went through this steps to get approval to Google News:

  1. Focus mostly on news content (that was our core of writing)
  2. Be more transparent – add information about authors and website.
  3. Improve publishing process and journalistic standards
  4. Improve UX and page speed
  5. Meet all the technical guidelines

None of that helped us and still, we could not pass our websites into Google News. Want to know what pushed us through?

Getting into Google News: One powerful tip

All magic happened when we had implemented structured data – Schema on our websites. We used Schema for WordPress which adds a lot of structured data to your site (check the plugin description) and also made some custom changes inside the code: we marked HeaderSiteNavigation, Footer and Sidebar. After installing the plugin and adding additional custom markups, we finally were approved in Google News. As far I remember it instantly grew our organic traffic for about 30%.

P.S One of my hacks for not waiting 6 weeks was to submit a website with www and non-www. I am not sure if it is still working, but you can try (worked as well as with http and https). If you need some help, you contact me through “About page”.