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Google+ Hangouts - Office Hours - 20 October 2014

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JOHN MUELLER: All right. Hi, welcome everyone to today's Google Webmaster Central Office Hours Hangout. My name is John Mueller. I am a Webmaster Trends Analyst in Google Switzerland, and we have a special guest today from Google News. Hi, Stacie.

STACIE CHAN: Hi, everyone. I'm Stacie. I'm on the Google News team.

JOHN MUELLER: All right, and we have a short presentation from you. Should we switch over to that?

STACIE CHAN: Thanks. Yes, please, John. Oh, you skipped to the first slide, John. Great. Thanks, everyone, for joining. Like John said, I'm on the Google News team. And I'll just give a brief presentation that will hopefully answer some of your questions. And if you still have a few, feel free to follow up. Happy to answer any questions that you guys may have. OK, great. So next slide. So what the presentation is going to contain is really just three parts. It's going to be a brief, brief history of Google News, Google News as it stands today, some members, the main publishers, additions we have, et cetera. (ECHO) You skipped to the first slide. Oh, and there's an echo now. (ECHO) Thanks, everyone, for joining. Like John said, I'm on the Google News team. And I'll just give a brief presentation that will hopefully--

JOHN MUELLER: You need to mute it on your side. Whoops. Now we can't hear you anymore.

STACIE CHAN: (ECHO) Happy to answer any questions I hear a recording of myself. It's kind of trippy. (ECHO) OK, great. So next slide.

JOHN MUELLER: You probably have the old cube--

STACIE CHAN: Oh, I have it on. OK that's like a creepy loop. OK, I just paused my own screen. There we go. Sorry about that guys. Clearly I'm a guest on this Hangout. OK, so I'll start over again because that was some weird deja vu. So from the Google News team the presentation is going to be roughly three parts, a brief history Google News, Google News as it is today as you can see from those members, and then tools that publishers can use to better optimize and surface their content to Google News. Sorry John, could you go back to slide two?


STACIE CHAN: So yes. This was the screenshot of Google News when it first came out in 2001. It was created by Doctor Krishna Bharat who was an esteemed scientist at Google and it was right after 9/11 when obviously every news outlet around the world was publishing articles about what happened on September 11, 2001. And he wanted to view as many sources and perspectives as possible. And so he built a tool that could cluster news stories as news events were unfolding. And this is an early screenshot, as you can see. So Google News today, 13 years later, is very, very different. Next slide please. You can click the arrow. So previously when Krishna first created the product, there were a few dozen publishers. Today we have over 65,000 publishers now from around the world. And those publishers write news articles in thirty different languages. We group those publishers and all those languages into 72 editions. An edition is content that is also in a different language. So for example, Canada has two editions, one in English and one in French. We get over a billion unique users weekly to, but that's not the metric that I like to tell. It's actually the 10 billion monthly clicks that Google News sends to news publishers, because ultimately Google News is a go away site. It's a great place to scan the news, but if you really want to read what's going on, we always want users to click through to publisher's articles. And like I said, this is one of the oldest Google products. It's 13 years old, so it's very mature product, but at the same time we always like to fine tune it. We're constantly trying to add features to make it a better news experience for users, and a better platform for news publishers as well. Next slide, please. OK. So I just want to briefly go over a lot of tools that publishers like yourselves can use. So the first one is the Google News Publisher Center. We launched this-- oh goodness, I can't even remember the exact date-- I think it was a month and a half ago. And I love the direction that we're now heading with this tool, because what we wanted to do was give publishers more control over their site's information and how their site's content is appearing in Google News. So you can see the link down there. Hopefully if you are a Google News publisher, you've tried to access it, because what you can do is update and edit your site's name, so really get control of your branding. If you decide to capitalize or lowercase certain characters in your name, we want you to be able to accurately reflect that in Google News as well. We now let you add news sections to your account. So Google News can recognize if you're creating a new section for the upcoming November elections. We want to make sure that we're crawling that section to better surface that content. Another thing you can do as a publisher in the Google News Publisher Center is apply relevant labels to your source and sections. So for example, if you want to create an opinion section because we know that people on Google News love reading op-eds, we would love for you to apply that label to better signal to our crawl what type of content this is. And then lastly, this is really just, this is the start. It's a really good foundation, a foundation tool, and we're going to be really using this to develop more features that give you guys, the publishers, a better Google News experience. And again the links down there. Next slide, please John. Oh, Chris, you have a question?

CHRIS ANDREWS: Yeah, is that still just to US publishers right now, or is it--

STACIE CHAN: Very good question. I'm glad. Yes--

CHRIS ANDREWS: --rolled out to other countries?

STACIE CHAN: It is to US publishers in English. The next roll-out is going to be English publishers in whatever country you're in, and then we're launching this internationally. So yes. I apologize, it's just kind of the way we do roll outs, but this will be available to every publisher in Google News very soon. When I get hard-- well, dates are always a little bit tricky because we always have an estimated date. We don't always launch, for various factors, but very soon is actually what I can promise. Definitely, definitely by end of year. Good question Chris, thanks. Next slide, John. OK. So skip one back please. OK, great. So the question we always get to this is, well how do I access the Publisher Center? Again, the link is down there but a few things to make your lives a little bit easier before you just try going to that link. You to make sure your site is in Google News. If it's not, we highly encourage you to apply. You just go to our help center. I don't have a link up there, but if you just search Google News help center, click on it, in the top right corner click Contact Us, and then you can apply if you believe that your site meets all of our quality and technical criteria. The second step then if you're in Google News is to verify ownership of your site in Webmaster Tools. I highly recommend visiting the Webmaster Tools Help Center because there are few different ways you can verify ownership, but the way we recommend it on Google News is to do the Domain Name Provider method. This really helps us if you decide to later on add subsections. Proving ownership at that domain level is just much simpler in future. If not, you could also do HTML file verification method. And then lastly, you need a login with the same email account that you use to verify ownership of your site, and then you should be able to access the Publisher Center. If you're still having trouble, again there's a Contact Us button in the Help Center and someone should be able to help you out. And if anyone has any Publisher Center questions, I'd be happy to answer them after this brief presentation. I promise it's only a few more minutes. OK, next slide please. OK. So other tools that are really beneficial to publishers and help you guys control your content is through new site maps because you have things like time stamp, and you have meta tags. It really helps us discover and classify your content better. That's not to say that we won't crawl your content otherwise your new sections, but this is just an additional tool that you can use. If you choose to do Site Map only crawl, it really helps us differentiate between your news and non-news content. Also by submitting a news site map, which has separate types from a regular site map, you can see your article specific errors in your Webmaster Tools account. So it's really neat to be able to see why this article wasn't crawled, was it because it was fragmented? Was it too long, too short? The errors can actually get it pretty specific. And then finally, for those of you who are familiar with the Google News three digit rule, site maps allow you to bypass this. Essentially, we require articles to have a unique combo of three digits in the article URL for us to crawl that. OK, next slide please. OK. And we get this question a lot from publishers and I am so happy we developed this standout tag. So a lot of times in the news business, people are breaking stories or getting exclusive interviews and rightfully so they want credit for it. So we developed this standout tag for you to use on your best stories. So you would just put this in HTML header as a meta tag actually, and it's just standout. The Help Center has a few more instructions if you still have questions. People often ask us, well how often should I use this standout tag? We ask that you use it very judiciously. No more than once a day. I like to say just as a newspaper would only have one front page story, you're likely not going to have more than one standout story a day. And when you use this tag and if we verify that it actually is a really good story, you can see that you'll get the featured tag right by the story as it appears in Google News. So the prime example use is when The Guardian broke the story about Edward Snowden and all the leaks. So that was most definitely a standout story and The Guardian used the standout tag very accurately and effectively. OK, next slide please. OK, and Editors' Picks. This is probably my favorite section on the home page. It's the one spot where news publishers actually get control over what content goes here. So Editors' Picks is just as the name denotes. If you're a news publisher and you want to make sure that certain stories that your publication report on our noticed, that's an Editors' Pick. So it takes the form of an RSS feed. It's a really simple RSS feed that you can submit to our team to highlight your five top stories. And we don't tell you which stories to pick, it's completely up to you. Currently we do ask that they are text only stories, but other than that, again, we know that some publishers produce dozens and dozens of stories. It's completely up to you which five you pick, and those will circulate on the homepage depending what the user adds as their preferred sources. So again this is something great for your existing users, but also something really cool for Google News users who stumble upon your content. You can convert them to big fans of your publication. OK. Next slide please. And this is something new that we will that we recently as well, it's section based Editors' Picks. So we know that there are a lot of niche publications out there and we want them to also be able to surface their five best stories. So for example, CNN Money has a Business Editors' Picks feed, and Tech Crunch has a Tech based Editors' Picks feed. You can actually have one main Editors' Picks feed, a business feed and a tech feed if your publication also is much more broad based and you want to have multiple feeds. So what you would do is when you write into us with your Editors' Picks feed, you just tell us which one it is, and then it would surface on the business section or the technology section once you expand and click on it. So ideally we would expand this also to all sections that we have in Google News, it's a matter of time. We need to get enough critical mass of entertainment feeds or sports feeds before we actually launch those. So keep them coming and hopefully we'll launch Editors' Picks to every single section on Google News. Next slide, please. OK. And a lot of people ask us about Google+ posts. Just as-- whatever is going on in industry, Google News really tries to mimic that. So we saw that social was a huge place that people were getting their news, so we felt it was the best decision to incorporate Google+ posts onto the Google News homepage. So we highly encourage every publication that has a Google+ page to really post their articles, because as you can see from this example cluster of news, ABC's article wasn't featured-- ABC's text article wasn't feature, but their Google+ post did get featured on this cluster. And it's really prime real estate where this Google+ post exists. So again, highly recommend putting all your content on social, which I'm probably echoing things that you guys already know. But just wanted to reiterate that social is another important signal to Google News. Next slide, please. OK, and multimedia is obviously hugely important. It's another medium that a lot of publishers are leaning towards in addition to regular HTML text. So we want to be able to surface this really quality content. So we highly encourage publishers to submit a YouTube channel, because in that media strip at the bottom of each cluster, the first three slots if there are enough videos are reserved for YouTube videos. If you don't have a YouTube channel, we will still crawl your embedded videos and those can also appear in that media strip as well. But again, if you're going for top results, the YouTube videos get prime placement before other types of videos. OK, I think that might be it. Next slide, though. Do I have any more fun features? Oh OK. No, so that's it. Lots more information that I didn't cover available in the Help Center. There's the URL. Tons of information about the Publisher Center if you have questions, site maps, Editors' Picks, Google+ posts, YouTube videos, all that. Also, I wanted to give a shout out to the forum and our TCs who do such diligent work and are extremely helpful. That's the next slide, please. You can go check out the form as well, if you want. A lot more conversation, interaction, myself or the TCs are pretty good about getting back to you guys if you have specific questions. So that's the end. Thank you for sticking with me, I know it was a bit long. But now I'm happy to answer any Google News questions you may have. And I know John, you probably want to leave some time for general Webmaster questions too. So I think we're going to start with Google News questions though.

JOHN MUELLER: OK we have time to Q&A set up, and most of the questions there seem to be generic for websites. Let me just double check to see if there's anything news related here. Is it OK to publish content to Google News using a blog sub-domain, or is it more effective to build a dedicated URL on the domain itself?

STACIE CHAN: The question just jumped. Who was that by, John? I just want to go to read that as well.

JOHN MUELLER: VaporMZ. I don't know.

STACIE CHAN: Where did you go?

JOHN MUELLER: Vapor Nation.

STACIE CHAN: I just want to re-read it. OK. OK, you just push it to the top. Awesome. Is it OK to publish content to Google News using a blog sub-domain or is more effective-- good question. Because when you submit your application to Google News, we ask that you only submit your news sections. So it actually is OK to submit a sub-domain from an existing blog. One thing I will say, you know if you're asking for more effective or better, it's hard to qualify that. But what I can say is when we're looking at your section, we sometimes also look at your site as a whole, again to provide a better user experience. One of the criteria we have to get accepted into Google News is readability and navigability. So again, put yourself in the user's shoes. If you think a dedicated news URL would be better and a better experience, go ahead and do that. But it is OK to submit an application with just a blog sub-domain.


STACIE CHAN: I hope that answers your question.

CHRIS ANDREWS: I saw another question in there that was about a site that had been turned down, and instead of going through all that in the video here, what you can do is stop by our forum. And I'm one of the TCs. Either I'll take look at it-- we're going to look at it and then give you specific feedback on why it might have been turned down.

STACIE CHAN: Thanks for the plug, Chris. That's absolutely true. If you guys are applying for Google News and you want a second expert opinion, go ahead and post it in the forum. Again, the TCs are wonderful at taking a very thorough look at your site and providing specific feedback if you should seek it out before you apply to Google News.

JOHN MUELLER: OK, here's another one. How often should I post content in order to qualify for inclusion?

STACIE CHAN: That's an interesting question. I don't want to be cliche, but it's really not about quantity, it's about quality. We have a lot of monthly magazines, for example, in Google News who you can tell, they have a huge spurt of published articles at the first of the month, every month because that's when they release their magazines. But for the rest of the 28, 29, 30 days of month, they don't really have a ton of content. But at the same time, if you're a source looking for inclusion and you haven't published within the past three months, we ask that you publish timely, relevant content. So again if you're a tech publication and you haven't written about a tech company in a month, that doesn't seem very timely to us, because we know that there is tech news happening pretty much every hour. So I don't know what kind of content you're writing about, but follow the news cycle, and I think that that's the best advice I can give for how often sites should be publishing.

JOHN MUELLER: Alright, I had another one here that just popped away. Let me see if I can find it again. Changes to the Google News inclusion criteria. So what are the recent changes to Google News inclusion criteria for other sites like Reddit and various blogs that haven't been included previously? Have there been changes?

STACIE CHAN: That's a good question. I'm glad someone brought this up, because there-- to clarify, there have been changes to the Google Search homepage. I think a lot of people have started seeing more nontraditional sources of information like Reddit pop up in the news box. That doesn't mean that Reddit is a Google News source. So if you go to and you type

in, you won't see content from Reddit because they don't meet our existing Google News criteria, which is-- you know, one of the things I can think of off the time of my head, Reddit doesn't vet who posts on their site. We require credibility and authority as one of the criteria to be a Google News site. So I could go into the laundry list of criteria, but I think the easiest way to check is our Help Center. So if you just search quality guidelines, I believe, that should pop up the page where you can see the five main criteria that we try to bucket our requirements in. But again, we're constantly expanding the types of sources because we believe that information doesn't exist solely in newspapers anymore. It really is everything from blogs to YouTube videos to the more traditional newspapers. So our criteria in quality hasn't necessarily changed, but we're trying to expand the types of sources that we allow into Google News, because again we're trying to reflect how users are actually consuming their news.

JOHN MUELLER: Awesome. Let's see. I think there's some more here. We've seen a major drop in traffic from Google News to a majority of our newspaper sites, over 50% in the past five months. No penalties, content is getting indexed, Google Search traffic is healthy. What reasons could cause a drop to 8 major daily newspapers?

STACIE CHAN: Hmm. I think it's hard to answer that without knowing what the publications are. Obviously that's very concerning to us if-- we want, again, we're a go away site. We want to send as much traffic as possible to quality sources. Let's see, who-- OK. Yeah, Jane if you're on the call or if you're watching, happy to help out. Send our team an email through the Contact Us form. You can even address it to me, say hey, you know, wrote in this question during office hours. Can you address this? Because it's hard for me to tell without knowing the exact URLs, because again, we don't make any changes that we think would adversely affect the top publishers that we have in our database. So that is really hopefully an unintended consequence, or something that we can work together to fix. But drop me a line.

JOHN MUELLER: Alright, let's see what else we have here. Schema and microformats are becoming more commonplace in standard Google results. Will these be more prominent Google News as well?

STACIE CHAN: Let's see. Again we-- Google News has no news editors. We are simply trying to aggregate and crawl the content that publishers produce. So again, we primarily crawl HTML text articles, but as we see more and more publishers produce diverse types of content, like multimedia, what have you, we are working to better surface and crawl that. So if it is starting to become an industry trend, that is something that our team is always keeping an eye out for and we do our best to surface that kind of content. So good question. I know that answer was a little ambiguous, but we are noticing trends like that.

JOHN MUELLER: OK. Let's see.

CHRIS ANDREWS: If I can jump in here for a moment.


CHRIS ANDREWS: I see there's a question from Panos, I believe it is, that is asking about how to add an additional language version of their website and they need to do with Google News, and that comes up pretty often. Stacie, can you address that?

STACIE CHAN: Sure, it was from Panos. Is it near the bottom? I'm trying to scroll to find that.

JOHN MUELLER: So many questions.

STACIE CHAN: Oh, I see it. OK. If I have an existing site index in Google News and want to add an additional language what would be the best way to go? Good question, Panos. Thanks for seeing that Chris, because we do get a lot of those questions on the form, as well. So this would actually require you to apply for that additional language into Google News. The first thing though, is we ask that you separate it. So if your site, has both English and Spanish articles just interwoven on that domain, we ask that you would separate it out to and just put your Spanish articles there. And then you would apply for that site for inclusion in Google News. And again that's the same way you did it with the first You just go to Contact Us form, list this site URL and list the language. The reason we do that is it helps us categorize your content by edition. So we find that even though I happen to be bilingual love to see English and Spanish articles on the US edition of Google News, most English speakers don't speak Spanish, so if they started to see Spanish articles because you started listing Spanish articles on it would be a pretty poor experience for the users. So again if you do have an additional language, we ask that you separate it on a subsection or even break it out into a new site and then apply for that for inclusion in Google News. Thanks for pointing that out, Chris.

JOHN MUELLER: OK, and I guess this other question from Adam here is could you get a duplicate content or thin content penalty for quoting someone in a news article? Is that a problem if you quote other sources?

STACIE CHAN: Not at all. I used to be a journalist. I would quote people all the time. It's how the news industry works. Not everyone can have the original, exclusive story. But what we do ask is for proper attribution. So if you ripped a quote and not only attribute it to yourself but didn't even attribute it to the right person, we would consider that not in accordance with Google News' quality guidelines. So I think not everyone is going to be on the ground with the microphone in that person's face, but what you can do is attribute it to CNN, New York Times, whoever did actually quote that.

JOHN MUELLER: OK. Here's one about applying to Google News. We applied for acceptance some days ago. Our site was not accepted but we only got a text pointing to the news guidelines. Are there any chances to get a little bit more information about the cause of the denial?

STACIE CHAN: That is a good question, and I know currently our rejection emails are a little vague. That is something we are actually working on, because we really do want quality publishers who were kind of on the fence to get constructive feedback. So on the Google News side, we are looking at ways to be more specific in our feedbacks, but as Chris, our TC mentioned before, there always is the forum and the TCs do an excellent job of providing specific feedback on why your site was rejected, or why they believe your site was rejected and then ultimately feedback to really constructively, hopefully for the next time you guys apply, on how to improve your site.

JOHN MUELLER: Alright. Let's see what more questions we have here. If I have an existing site index in Google News and want to add an additional language-- oh, we just looked at that one. That was easy. Let's see.

STACIE CHAN: I saw a few. Things are jumping around.


STACIE CHAN: You guys got a lot of good questions. I see a lot of panda questions, though. I think that's really, John, what they want to be talking about.

JOHN MUELLER: Yeah. Do Google News publishers get priority in the news box in web search.

STACIE CHAN: Hmm, very good question. Priority-- it's hard to define priority, because there are many signals as we know that go into the algorithm to determine who gets those spots. Timeliness, in addition to quality is a big one. So I would say priority is really hard to define. I can't say that there's priority given to any source, because we try to in those results-- when I say we, I mean Google Search and I'm not on that team, so I can't quite speak for them, but I'm sure Google Search is trying to surface the most relevant, informative, accurate results. And if that is a Google News source, then great. But if it's a Tweet or if it's a Google+ post, then I think the algorithm is going to detect that as the most relevant search result.

JOHN MUELLER: OK. That sounds good. Let me open it up for the others as well. And in the meantime if there's something common that you found in the forums Chris, for example, maybe it would be a good time to ask those questions as well.

STACIE CHAN: Sounds good.

CHRIS ANDREWS: I don't have anything in particular right now, but it does look like a lot of good penguin questions here. That'll be interesting.

STACIE CHAN: I do have a couple-- I have one question that's kind of interesting, John if I could just ask this one.


STACIE CHAN: Someone wrote, how does Google treat duplicate content-- oh, sorry. I thought that was Google News. OK, I'll leave that-- I'll open it up. I could've answer it if they were asking about Google News, but I don't want to speak for Google Search. OK, and quickly, the standout tag. Where do you insert the HTML? On the page or on the site as a whole? So it would be on the article itself, in the HTML header. Because again, it's really for news articles that are exclusives or originals or breaking news.

JOHN MUELLER: OK. Wow that filled up quickly. OK, you guys must have been waiting here all this time.

STACIE CHAN: I saw people trying to get seats up front is what people are saying in the--

JOHN MUELLER: Yeah, I started a thread where people could sign up. So oh well. OK, let's grab some of the questions that are left. Is [INAUDIBLE] implementation possible between pages of two different domains targeting different languages? Yes, you can do that. Just keep in mind that the [INAUDIBLE] tag is per page and not per domain. So just put it on the homepage. Make sure it's really page by page. We must know, is penguin rolling out? Yes. I think we confirmed it for Barry as well. Yes.

AUDIENCE: Yeah, thanks for confirming it. Appreciate it. Could you give us details on that, like percentages impacted, or anything like that.

JOHN MUELLER: Not at the moment, no, sorry. I don't know how much more details we'll have for you guys, but we're looking into what we can do there.


JOHN MUELLER: How does Google treat 301 redirects between different domains now. I see a lot of redirected domain still appearing on the index. We essentially follow as redirects and we try to pick one of the URLs to keep as the one shown we show in the search results, and we understand that sometimes there are multiple URLs associated with the same content. So if this is, for example, one brand that redirect to a new website, if you search for the old brand name, we'll probably try to show you content from that old branded [INAUDIBLE], just because we think it matches more of what you're expecting. So that might be something that you're seeing here. If you're searching for the old website specifically, if you do a site query, if you search for the domain name then we'll try to show that to you, even though we have followed at 301 redirect.

AUDIENCE: John, can I ask a question?


AUDIENCE: Will structure snippets have some special structure markup for the webmasters to be able to implement it, like the bread crumb structure markup.

JOHN MUELLER: I'm not aware of anything specific in that regard at the moment. I don't know.

AUDIENCE: So for now Google is picking up what he believes is right for those structure snippets. So I was wondering if you're going to make it up like the structure markup data or something.

JOHN MUELLER: I imagine that's something that we do try to take into account there, but I don't know if there's any specific markup that you would need to use for that. So I don't have anything really concrete at the moment, but I'll double check with the team to see what we can find there.

AUDIENCE: OK, thank you.

JOHN MUELLER: Do you guys, any of you, have any Google News specific questions that we need to ask Stacie?

AUDIENCE: I see that there's a local company in my area. They're releasing News that is kind of like irrelevant but I guess they got accepted. I guess it's from their blog. So I was just wondering, is it-- do you give preference to specific people? I mean it's just a blog about, you know, SCO.

STACIE CHAN: No we don't give preference to any specific site, and just to avoid naming names, we really try not to do that, but I'd be happy to take a look at the site if you could probably direct message me on the forum is the best way. What we do believe though is that companies, even if they're for profit businesses, can have just as quality news, information as other sites. So without looking at the site I can't exactly judge the quality, but sometimes what we'll have to do is apply a press release flag if we believe that the content that they're serving better falls into that category. But happy to take a look, because we don't want to be providing poor quality information to users.

AUDIENCE: OK, I can ping that URL to John right now.


JOHN MUELLER: I'll pass that on. All right, more news related questions from you guys. Anything specific? You're in Google News Barry, right?

BARRY: Yeah I am. I can make up some questions if you want. So just so people who are watching, the Google spiders that crawl, there is a Google News bot, but I think they share data between each other, the regular Google spiders a the Google Newsbot. So does that makes sense? Am I saying that correctly? So if you are in Google News, you're probably going to get indexed more frequently and show up in both the web and news results pretty fast.

STACIE CHAN: In terms of spider share, yeah I think that's a pretty fair analogy. Again Google Search uses over 200 factors for their algorithm and they're always trying to look for good signals that determine quality. Google News has an application process, so we like to think that by being a Google News, you are a higher quality source than even if I just created a random site on the internet, and I'm not going in Google News. So it is a signal that I'm sure the Google search algorithm uses.

AUDIENCE: So Stacie, if I have a YouTube channel and specifically, basically let's say there's no website. It's just strictly on YouTube. So I can just submit an application just for the YouTube, right? Just from the YouTube channel, can I do that? Or do I need to have a website even though I have a YouTube channel?

STACIE CHAN: Currently you need to have a site, but that is a very good question. It's something we're looking into to see if you can just apply with a YouTube channel. So I can't say for certain if that's ever going to happen, but it is something that we've noticed that publishers are doing. They don't necessarily have a standalone site anymore, but they do have quality videos on a YouTube channel. But the existing process is you do need a site attached to your YouTube channel.

AUDIENCE: Because even like Miley said in one of her instruction videos there that a website is not a necessity anymore. So that's why I'm asking.


JOHN MUELLER: I think she said--

STACIE CHAN: You know what, then I will have to get back to you, because I don't want to have conflicting information.


STACIE CHAN: Or John, do you have any--

JOHN MUELLER: I think that Miley's video was mostly about like small businesses, though. So maybe not-- I don't know, I haven't seen her Google News video in quite some time. That's a few years back.

STACIE CHAN: I think envisioning the application form in my head, you do need to type in a site URL and I just anticipate our crawler wouldn't be able to do that quite yet, but it is a very good question and I will definitely follow up with you on that.

AUDIENCE: OK, thanks.

BARRY: Back to Google News, Stacie, you said that you are confident that Google Web Search uses a factor or has a signal saying this site is part of Google News. John, would you comment on that? You [INAUDIBLE].

STACIE CHAN: John, can you comment on exactly what I said?

JOHN MUELLER: So I think this is something that's mostly around how quickly we crawl those pages, and usually if a site is in Google News or if a site has news in general and is fast updating, we'll try to take that into account for Web Search for general crawling as well. So that's something where we pick up the content fairly quickly. With regards to ranking that's generally a bit of a different question. That's not something where we'd say, oh this site is in Google News, therefore we'll show it in the news one box and ranking it higher. That's something we'd probably treats separately. But the crawling speed in general is probably something where there's a lot of correlation between a website that updates very quickly, has a lot of really great content, and the sites that are in Google News. So that's something that kind of falls into both of those buckets. But I wouldn't necessarily say that just because you're in Google News means you'll get preferential treatment in Web Search. Usually that's just because your site is a little bit better, is something that we see as something that's kind of higher quality, that's updating quickly, has a lot of good information.

BARRY: I mean, Stacie kind of implied that since these are vetted by humans at Google that they're authoritative sources and thus should have some type of benefit I guess, or you're saying not.

JOHN MUELLER: I think from a Web Search point of view there is just a lot of correlation between those two sides, where if this is something that someone really reviews and they say this is a great website, then that's something where we should be picking up other signals that also imply the same thing for Web Search. And you probably see a lot of overlap between those kinds of sites.

BARRY: Anna has a question in the chat about what's the criteria for an article to long error message in Google News.

STACIE CHAN: Very good question, because I think the hard part about that is people go, well this article is only 600 words, too long. But it's really about-- here let me pull up the exact Help Center page. What happens is that-- I'm glad publishers do this-- but they'll allow comments on the bottom of their pages, and they don't enclose them in an iframe, so it looks like it's an infinity page because you've got 200 plus comments. And that's when a lot of times the page will generate an article too long error. Or I've seen this a lot on other articles where you'll just keep scrolling and it'll keep populating with other related articles. Sometimes that might produce an article too long error. So there are a few things you could do in regards to the comments. Like I said, you could enclose them in an iframe if you can expand it after a click, or even move them to a separate page will sometimes solve the error. But I think it really is on a case by case basis. So again, happy to look at that specific page or that specific publication, Anna. If you want to message me after I can take a look into that.

JOHN MUELLER: All right. We have five minutes left and a gazillion questions, so let me try to run through some of these as quickly as possible. I want to know if Penguin has updated completely or whether it's still rolling out. As far as I know, it's updated completely.

AUDIENCE: Are you going to run-- basis?


AUDIENCE: Are you going to run it on a monthly basis like Panda?

JOHN MUELLER: We'll see how far we get it. I mean, The holiday season is coming soon and I don't think we want to like cause too much fuss there, but we're definitely working on speeding up the updates. So--

BARRY: So was this a refresh? Just that signal added-- you can't tell us anything yet.

JOHN MUELLER: I don't have anything more on that at the moment, yet. Sorry. How's the progress with better Webmaster Tools data? That's something we're also working on. I imagine expanding into a longer time frame will take a little bit longer, but we're definitely working on the individual features to see what we can do to kind of make that data more useful and more accessible for you guys. We're also adding some cool new features that we'll hopefully see, I don't know, in the next month or so. I've recovered some from the new Penguin update. I went from nowhere to page two and three. Can I expect to stay there, or will they get better as this update rolls out more over time? I think you can expect to see constant change in Web Search and you shouldn't assume that any specific ranking will stay there forever. So I can't really promising that your site will rank on page two or that it'll jump up to one. I think you have to assume that these things will continue to change over time. Is it safe to say that videos hosted on YouTube have preferential treatment in the search results over those hosted on other platforms even if the video site maps are correctly completed? No. I would definitely not say that with regards to Web Search and with regards to video search. We can generally recognize videos on YouTube very easily. We know that technically the platforms is fairly sound. But you can host videos yourself. You can host it on other platforms, and they'll show up in Web Search just as well. So it's not that YouTube has any preferential treatment. We just know that YouTube has a very technically well made foundation to kind of work on. So you can host it wherever you want, provided you're actually providing something technically correct.



AUDIENCE: Can we expect any more information on Penguin in the future, or is Google not going to be printing much more information.

JOHN MUELLER: I don't know. Probably. So my hope is we can provide a little bit more information about what has been changing there, kind of what kind of results we're seeing there, but I can't promise you that at the moment. And generally when we do know when we're going to share more information, we'll just share it with you. I don't think this is something that we try to pre-announce and say, oh tomorrow we'll share this number with you. We'll just give you the number.

AUDIENCE: Of course. And last thing, there has been some talking about negative SEO with this version of Penguin. If I have any examples of people who claim to have been negative SEOed through this, do you want me to send those examples along to yourself.

JOHN MUELLER: Sure, that sounds great.

AUDIENCE: OK. Because I have a few.

JOHN MUELLER: Good, yeah. I have a big inbox.

AUDIENCE: Alright, great.

JOHN MUELLER: OK, this kind of goes in the same question here. Someone's been building that bad backlinks against my website. I've been doing a monthly detox and building a disavow file that I upload in Webmaster Tools. Today it seems like Penguin him my site as all my rankings are gone. Help. Like with Josh, if you feel that something like this is happening with your website and you feel that Google isn't picking up on it properly, you're welcome to send it to me. You can send it to me directly on my Google+ profile and I'll share that with the team here.

AUDIENCE: John, can I just ask a follow up on that YouTube--


AUDIENCE: I think the question asked about video site map and hosting on YouTube. I thought a video site map only applied if you host yourself.

JOHN MUELLER: You can submit a video site map for content that you embed on your website, even if it's hosted somewhere else. So you could host your videos on YouTube and embed them on your website and submit a video site map for that. So that's kind of a combination of a set up. So you don't have to host the videos yourself. You don't have to worry about bandwidth for these locations. You're just essentially providing the landing page for those videos.


JOHN MUELLER: All right, and with that we're out of time. I have some people running for my room, so I'd like to thank you all for all of your questions, and thank you Stacie for joining us. It's been really insightful, really interesting.

STACIE CHAN: This was very fun. Thanks for inviting me.

JOHN MUELLER: Yeah. I hope you guys have a great week. And we have another Hangout planned for Friday, so maybe we'll see some of the questions that we missed on Friday then.

AUDIENCE: Thanks, John. Have a good week.


JOHN MUELLER: Bye. | Copyright 2019