Google accidentally delists several news publishers
Sheetal Sukhija - Thursday 11th January, 2018
The search engine giant said that all the affected publishers would be reinstated
The company said that it had accidentally removed the news publishers over the past few days
Several news publishers raised the issue in the Google News forums following their eviction
CALIFORNIA, U.S. - Google has confirmed that it accidentally removed several news publishers from Google News.
The search engine giant confirmed that the accident occurred over the past few days after many news publishers raised complaints in the Google News forums.
Some publishers pointed out that the shift was possibly related to SEO changes at the search giant, delivered without warning.
The assumption emerged since Google has made changes to recalibrate its search algorithms before to improve quality.
Following the complaints, Google said that the incident was accidental and added that the affected publishers will be reinstated.
Google even said in a statement to publishers, “We want to let you know that we are aware of reports surrounding the removal of websites from Google News in recent days. We’re actively monitoring posts in the forum and reports from elsewhere. Our team is currently investigating, and we’ll provide a more detailed update as soon as possible. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience, and know that we are doing all we can to quickly investigate the feedback.”
Further, the company also issued a statement issued by Maricia Scott, engineering director at Google News, in which she said that the affected publishers were to be reinstated shortly.
Scott reportedly said, “We apologize for the issue that resulted in a number of sites being delisted from Google News. This was an unintentional technical issue and not something we did manually. We are working hard to identify the sites that were incorrectly affected and will get them back in as soon as we possibly can.”
Publishers can check if their news site is included in Google News by conducting a site command in Google News.
They can also search for recent story headlines in Google News or by checking their index status in the Google News Publisher Center.
In case a news publisher finds that their news site no longer comes up in Google News or they notice a dip in traffic compared to the previous week from Google News, Google has assured that they will fix their issue.
So far, it is unclear how many news publishers were impacted by this “unintentional technical issue.”
According to a site traffic monitoring firm Parse.ly, “Getting delisted from Google News can have a significant impact on a web property. News sites generally try to diversify their traffic sources to keep from being too dependent on one site in particular, but more generally Google News has actually increased its influence as a traffic referrer in the past year.”
According to the most recent data, in 2017, Google referrals were up by 17 percent, influenced in part by the rise of AMP pages (the mobile web-friendly page format that Google has been heavily pushing), and changes at Facebook to de-emphasize news posts over friends’ posts.
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