Getting University News Picked Up by Google News

Apr 01 2008

google and yahoo newsIf you work with PR people who aren’t concerned as much about web, instead burying their heads in local newspapers and regional television, you should show them a recent survey:

More Americans turning to Web for News

Nearly half of the 1,979 people who responded to the survey said their primary source of news and information is the Internet, up from 40 percent just a year ago. Less than one third use television to get their news, while 11 percent turn to radio and 10 percent to newspapers.

More than half of those who grew up with the Internet, those 18 to 29, get most of their news and information online, compared to 35 percent of people 65 and older. Older adults are the only group that favors a primary news source other than the Internet, with 38 percent selecting television.

Does anyone have any personal experience getting your institution’s news items picked up by Google or Yahoo News? If so, I’m curious. Leave a comment.

Google News and Yahoo News are probably the top destinations for online news. And while it’s important to remember that these services pull mainly from newspapers and television outlets, they also gather news from other sources they consider worthy. Sources that could potentially be, well, your university. Your press releases, your news items. Straight to the online arena, bypassing the traditional gatekeepers.

Now, I don’t know what this means for the future of journalism. …who does, really? But it DOES mean that your news items and press releases could potentially reach a much larger audience, if you play your cards correctly and clue in on some general requirements.

Here’s where you can suggest your site for Google News.
But, there’s no guarantee they’ll pick it up. As a whole it seems that athletic news articles are more likely to be indexed. That’s the case with my university anyway.

Technical Requirements

Google News is particular about your article urls:

Your article URLs should meet these guidelines: Be unique. Each of your pages that display an article’s full text needs to have a unique URL that doesn’t change. We can’t include sites in Google News that display multiple articles at the same URL. For example, if your main news article is always located at, we won’t be able to include this URL every time the content changes. Display a three-digit number. The URL for each article must contain a unique number consisting of at least three digits. For example, our news crawler can’t crawl an article with this URL: It can, however, crawl an article with this URL:

If the only number in the article consists of an isolated four-digit number that resembles a year, such as, we won’t be able to crawl it.

What about RSS?

Strangely enough, Google says “Feeds? We don’t need your stinking feeds“:

At this time, we don’t accept RSS or Atom feeds for inclusion in Google News. Google News currently finds articles by crawling online news sites.

If your news content appears on a website, please let us know and we’ll review it.

Additional Resources

Google News has a new “Help for Publishers” resource that addresses other common questions.

Getting into Google and Yahoo News

How to get indexed by news search engines

Yahoo news
Yahoo may find your news site if you have a proper RSS feed.

Sing up for an My Yahoo! account and subscribe to your own RSS feed. Alternatively you may use the submit RSS feed form found at their Publisher’s Guide to RSS.

By doing this you will let Yahoo! know that the RSS feed exists. However, whether the company will include your news articles in their news search engine results is entirely up to them.

The strangly named SEO Blog Marketmou has a few more suggestions:

Never use a default theme for your blogging platform. Google hates ‘em.
Referencing Multiple Authors: You stand a much higher chance of getting indexed if you have more than one person posting.

7 responses so far

  1. I was just investigating this yesterday as we have recently changed the way we handle our news releases. I then noticed, most of out athletics releases are being picked up on Google News already ( and I have yet to submit any information to Google about our athletics site. I guess we are “lucky” enough to be included?

  2. David Meerman Scott has some tips about this in his book “The New Rules of Marketing & PR.” He suggests keyword optimization of news releases, which might mean that you have one version for sending out to the media and one version to post online. He also advises to use news release distribution services like PRWeb or PR Newswire, both of which I’ve noticed in Google News results.

  3. thanks for the tips

  4. […] Getting University News Picked Up by Google News – Drew shares a nice little article for Universities, or anybody for that matter, to get more news coverage online. […]

  5. Let me second the note about keyword optimization for press releases. When I’m doing website reviews I seldome see a college/university press release page that has the subject of a press release in the title tag on the page.

    Hadn’t thought about Google or Yahoo news before but this is good information to pass on to more people. Thanks indeed.

  6. Thanks Bob!

  7. Re: the 3 digit requirement, it is little known and often ignored – I think Google’s language needs to be more clear, but after scouring the web, the year isn’t enough but when the month/date is included, it suffices. Your current structure, year/month/date/title is what the NYTimes uses. We’ve decided to go with title/year/month/date.

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