How to Create News Sitemap for Google News

How to add your blog to Google news and showcase your articles to a huge readership? There are several technical requirements which need to be met, and a news sitemap can help you get accepted.

Add to Google News

I tried several times to get our blog accepted into Google news, but our blog always failed to meet the technical requirement of Google news which requires bloggers to display a three-digit number in the url, which requires that each article URL must contain a unique number consisting of at least three digits – like  www.google.com/news/article234.html.

Obviously most blogs cannot meet this technical requirement and it was not practical (and risky) to change our entire site permalink structure to meet this criteria. But recently I noticed the requirements page was edited to include “this rule is waived with News sitemaps.” Now blogs do have a chance.

Create a News Sitemap

So now we could meet this technical requirement without changing the permalink structure. But when I checked the News sitemap requirements, it seemed really difficult to generate a news sitemap.

Some of the news sitemap requirements were –

  • only submit URLs on sites already verified in Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Don’t include session IDs in URLs.
  • Encoded for readability by the web server where it’s located.
  • Contain URLs for all articles published in the last three days.
  • A News sitemap can contain no more than 1000 URLs.
  • Needs article publication date in W3C format, including a timestamp.

Google News Sitemap Generator

We browsed around for an easy way to create a News Sitemap and found the Google News Sitemap Generator wordpress plugin which automatically generates a Google News XML sitemap for submission online via Webmaster Tools. It follows Google guidelines and has a 1000 item limit and only includes posts from the last 3 days. Keywords for news sitemap are generated from post category and post tags.

Simply activate it, and it will generate a news sitemap for you in your root folder. Double check the sitemap link and easily suggest your site to Google news without supporting the 3 number rule.

submit news url