Google News Inclusion

MoviesWithButter on Google News

Because Binh, Popcorn, and I had been blogging for months for Movies With Butter (a.k.a. MWB), we decided to apply for inclusion in Google News. I tried applying for Wopular, but I didn’t make the cut because they don’t accept one man shops. With MWB, we have three and because of that, we made the cut.

Once accepted, they give us two options to set up our articles for inclusion into Google News. The first is to add at least three numbers to the url of our articles. I was kinda resistant to this because: one, it makes the url look messy; and two, changing the url structure of a site is kinda scary.

The second option is more elegant, but it would require me to generate a sitemap and submit it from Google’s Webmaster Tools. Thankfully, Drupal has a module that does exactly that. I chose this option.

Before choosing either of those options, they make you wait a couple days for the inclusion to take affect. This is the confusing part - they don’t tell you which specific day. We cranked out a bunch of articles anyway just to test it.

When I submitted the sitemap right after getting the instructions from Google News, it didn’t work. First, it was because the couple of days haven’t passed yet. I got an error saying that my site’s not in Google News’s database.

I searched Google News for “” to see if anything got accepted. Before the two days grace period, there was nothing. After the grace period had passed, I did see a random article with more than three numbers in the url. That’s when I know that “a couple days” has passed, and the site’s been included.

I resubmitted the sitemap. This time I got errors, emphasis on the “s.” For each item in the sitemap, I got a message saying that the name of the source doesn’t match what’s in their database. In the sitemap, my site’s name is “MoviesWithButter,” but Google News has “Movies With Butter” (with spaces). I added spaces to the name of the site, resubmitted the sitemap, and waited a couple minutes. Then there it is; on Google News, articles from the last two days. Not too bad.

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