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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.

The URL for each article must contain a unique number consisting of at least three digits. For example, we can’t crawl an article with this URL: http://www.google.com/news/article23.html. We can, however, crawl an article with this URL: http://www.google.com/news/article234.html. Keep in mind that if the only number in the article consists of an isolated four-digit number that resembles a year, such as http://www.google.com/news/article2006.html, we won’t be able to crawl it.

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

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