How to change my URL's to Google News compliance, 3 digit unique number?

Topics: ASP.NET 2.0
Feb 19, 2015 at 1:43 AM
Edited Feb 19, 2015 at 1:54 AM
I'm trying to get into Google news and I've been denied twice, I'm pretty sure the URL's are not compliant, they are in the format

blog/post/2015/02/18/NAME.aspx

Google News requires a unique number at least 3 digits in the URL's, so ideally I would like it to be:

blog/post/NAME-19394.aspx

and then my second task would be to somehow do 301 redirects for the old links. Is either of these requests possible?
Feb 24, 2015 at 7:47 PM
anyone know this? Please? Is there a mod perhaps that can do this?
Feb 25, 2015 at 2:26 AM
Hi Marshill,

Two things you can do.
  1. Create a view just for Google and include this in the master.site or view
<%=Post.PermaLink %>

That would give Google an URL like the one below:

http://seo.bloggersonline.com/post?id=922d2790-ad2d-4e66-85fa-1c298cf6c916

It has Numbers in it.
  1. Other thing would to actually put the Numbers at the end of the actual post URL when creating the post.
This can be done manually in the editor.

Or you can do this programmatically on save and have a random 3 numbers generated to add to the URL.


This can be done this way:


https://blogengine.codeplex.com/SourceControl/latest#BlogEngine/BlogEngine.Core/Providers/XmlProvider/Posts.cs

writer.WriteElementString("slug", post.Slug +RandomNumber()); <--- Add RandomNumber() Function In theory this should work :)


Just some ideals to get flowing here.

If you have any questions please ask.
Feb 25, 2015 at 2:29 AM
Feb 25, 2015 at 3:38 AM
"Article URLs. To make sure we only crawl new articles, please make sure your URLs are unique with at least 3 digits, and are permanent."

Getting into Google News
https://support.google.com/news/publisher/answer/40787#ts=3179198,3179239,3179205


The URL requirement is not the only requirement, being denied can be for other reasons too.

News content.

Sites included in Google News should offer timely reporting on matters that are important or interesting to our audience.

We generally do not include how-to articles, advice columns, job postings, or strictly informational content such as weather forecasts and stock data.

Stick to the news--we mean it! Google News is not a marketing service.
We don't want to send users to sites created primarily for promoting a product or organization, or to sites that engage in commerce journalism.





Can you provide the URL to the News website?
Feb 25, 2015 at 12:43 PM
Edited Feb 25, 2015 at 12:49 PM
Hi Arthur,

Wouldn’t it be helpful if Google were even slightly specific about why they say no?
This is interesting, because the answers would benefit other BlogEngine users if it turns out that adjustments are required for the platform to conform.

If you look at the URL’s of items included in Google news, the formats vary:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sarah-bateup/uk-suicide-statistics_b_6734388.html
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/24/us-usa-oklahoma-conversion-idUKKBN0LS2P820150224
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/feb/17/price-mental-health-money-counseling-therapy-psychology

But they are unique with at least 3 digits in the URL and something else Google are stressing PERMANENT.
That’s a puzzler, even if Google are looking at the blog homepage (in most cases an ever changing post list) the links on that page still lead to something like domainPart/blog/post/2015/02/24/title.aspx - Which looks to fit the bill. Interestingly in your case you actually include a permalink for each post in the post lists.

As a matter of curiosity, on checking a site today that follows the typical blog format (post list on homepage) they have items appearing in Google News and the link appears to be very similar to the format that BlogEngine uses. The article in question being: http://www.intomobile.com/2015/02/21/ipad-mini-case-disappearing-keyboard-now-pre-order/

Before committing to redirects why not dip your toe in the water and try removing the permalink and append say the first 8 characters of that permalink to the post title-xxxxxxxx and run with that for a while. So if that doesn’t work no harm done, revert back and just leave trial posts as they are. I don't actually know why Google can't just tell folks what they need to change, surely a helpful pointer wouldn't blow the algorithm wide open to abuse.

Looking at the actual content of your site, it’s current, fresh, unique, authoritative and from a variety of authors updating frequently. Hard to say how Google classify news from the generalized guidelines they provide and from that if there might be some specific criteria not being met by your content that Google algorithms happen to be scanning for– anybody’s guess.
Feb 25, 2015 at 2:37 PM
Hi Andy and Marshill,

I am also curious about Google News inclusion and applied to have one of my blogs included.

So just waiting to see what they say :)

After looking at the Google guidelines and also having experience working for Google I can 95% say for sure it is not the URL structure that is causing the issue.

The news section is looking for "News" that happen on a daily bases.

So articles on how to do things and for those that don't "expire" or does not matter if it was reported today or 2 years from now would be the same to the user.

Point being article have to have information that is time sensitive.

Like


Drones seen over Paris for second night
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/02/25/drones-fly-paris/23985071/


That article "Usefulness" or "Utility" to the user would be none in a week or two from today.

Another example:

Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, Defying GOP
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/congress-sends-keystone-bill-obama-plans-veto-29181671


If a Republican gets elected in 2016 and passes the Keystone XL Pipeline that article would be useless to a "typical" user.


I hope this clears things up a little bit :)


Key thing to think about is this:
  1. Does the information presented is time sensitive?
  2. Would the information be useful in a year from now? (if so it is not "news" in Google eyes)
Feb 25, 2015 at 8:34 PM
Hi KBDavis and Andy. Your replies are extremely helpful. Thanks so much! Great to talk to you again Andy. I'm glad you are still here mate. Always nice to run into you.
I have been on the Google News forums and they are saying the same thing that KB is saying, that its not the URL's preventing us from being included. They are saying that we would first be included and then we would need to address the URL's or make a Google News Sitemap. So the reason of being rejected seems to be content. google, in its confusing "wisdom" does not tell someone WHY they are rejected, which is frustrating, it leaves me only to guess. here is the blog: http://bit.ly/18rR4su The URL's definitely are non-compliant, but was that the reason we have been rejected? I'm guessing it is content. This is unfortunate as we work hard to write great newsworthy items, but it seems we have more work to do in that arena. So frustrating!

I will leave the URL's for now and I will go with what KB says, that our rejection was for other reasons.

however, just a small note for the future development of BE.net that Google does require the unique digit in URL's unless you go the extra work to make a Google News sitemap.
Feb 25, 2015 at 8:35 PM
Edited Feb 25, 2015 at 8:38 PM
Hi Brian,

That’s actually more informative than most of the stuff out there.

Beyond any kind of generalised guidance there seems to be a real dearth of any practical examples or specifics. After looking more into this today and reading a variety of different sources on the subject -excluding your clarification above- I think I'm now actually less informed. Came across a discussion on Google Groups entitled “After four unsuccessful attempts, I'm at a loss” and thought it looked promising – it started well with a very reasonable initial request for help that begged an answer.

Anyways, good luck with your application.

Edit
One minute overlap - timing is everything.
Feb 25, 2015 at 8:37 PM
its a shame our blog http://bit.ly/18rR4su got rejected (due to content?) in Google news, and yet this one, a competitor, got accepted. http://bit.ly/1LEoQdQ how is their content any different qualitatively than ours? They do have the unique URL's, so that is why I figured we got rejected. Our article content is not different than theirs. makes no sense, oh well, just the mysteries of Google. I will keep trying though!
Feb 25, 2015 at 8:57 PM
Hi Arthur,

Maybe you should change your tag line to something like "The Latest in Therapy News and not just Good Therapy but Better Therapy".

Seriously, for what it's worth I don't see any qualitative difference either.

The devil is in the detail as they say.
Feb 25, 2015 at 9:19 PM
Yea I know Andy. Its so frustrating. Its costly to have these writers put out every day. And then google slams the door twice in a row! We have to wait 60 days between each submission. So for what its worth we are directing our writers to be more 'time sensitive" (going by kb's suggestion)

for example:

“New Study Suggest Anger Can Trigger Heart Attacks”
“Now Dez Bryant? The NFL's worsening domestic abuse problem.”
“188M powerball winner Marie Holmes will face new relationship challenges”
“Autistic Child critically beaten in a school cafeteria shows bullying is alive and well”

After that my hands are in the air. But its looking like its not a BE URL thing after all. I didn't even want to think about the nightmare of changing all our URL's lol
Feb 26, 2015 at 6:28 AM
Hi Marshill,

I did a review of your website:

http://bit.ly/18rR4su

I made a screenshot below with notes on it for you to look at.

Did the review based on what Google sees and their point of view.

I use to be a Rater for Google which Google News were one of the areas we rated websites, so based on those requirements
I noted what Google thinks.

Screenshot:

http://awesomescreenshot.com/0484hpf81c


On your front page only 1 article would be considered "News" the rest were Information Research type of content.

Your content is very professional, but it is of "Research" type of content where the information does not change, it is useful today or in
5 years from now.


If I were you I would do the following:
  1. Create a "News" Category so that you can have all of your "News" posts in one location for Google to crawl.
Example:

.../blog/category/News.aspx


Submit only that URL to Google News.


Currently if only using your main index page "Default" page Google as of now will see Mix content types and will auto reject your site
right then and there, which I bet 95% chance that is what happening now.

They have actual human beings reviewing about 80% to 95% of all of the sites, and based on the rules at the time I was working what Google
gave us, I would had rated your site as "Non" News Site based solely on your index "default" page.


You have

Research Based Content
Blog
2 Possible "News" content*


Google News Crawler only wants to see the "News" content and not have to dig and figure out what is news and which is not.

So creating a News Category will go along way as long you only put "News" posts in that Category.

  1. I would not solely just focus on "News" content, you have excellent content that has a long life time which you should take advantaged of.
So I would change the Main Blog Site Title, and just the current title you have for your /Catgeory/News.aspx page title.


More suggestions later on :)


Give you some time to read and process this.


Have a great day!

Brian Davis
http://BloggersOnline.Com
Feb 26, 2015 at 7:06 AM
Edited Feb 26, 2015 at 7:07 AM
marshill wrote:
a competitor, got accepted. http://bit.ly/1LEoQdQ how is their content any different qualitatively than ours? Our article content is not different than theirs. makes no sense, oh well, just the mysteries of Google. I will keep trying though!
The devil is in the details.




There are some differences between your site and your competitor's site.
  1. They integrated their Main site with their Blog by basically using the same Theme for both.
Your site when going from Main site to Blog when you switch between the two they are different.

To the End-user it is best to have it as close as possible to being the same this making appear as "One" website and not Two different ones.


Main differences is in the Header, the Header should be the same as the blog.
  1. At the end of each post the competitor has thumbnail images for their related posts at the bottom and no Ads.
On yours just text links, and you have a section that has ads at the bottom.

I would move that to a different location and not so many ads in one section.
  1. For "News" content the posts are way too long. Need to try to have all of your content above the fold line.
  2. Your FrontPage has massive Keyword stuffing.
<meta name="keywords" content="Addiction,Aging,Alternative Mental Health Treatment,Anger,Anxiety,Binge Eating,Bipolar Disorder,Body Image,Boundaries,Bullying,Cancer,Career,Caregiving,Children,Cognition,communication,Conflict,Coping,Current Events,Depression,Development,Diversity,Divorce,Dreams and Healing,Eating Disorders,Education,Emotional Eating,Executive Counseling,existential,Family & Parenting,Family Issues,Fina

I bet you are using BE 2.9 or lower?

The default settings of BE 2.9 and lower is to use all keywords on the site as the keywords for the List Page "Default" Index page.

But, Google does not care, all it sees is Keyword stuffing and would rank your site much lower because of it, can even mark it as spam.


BE 3.0 I had submitted a pull request that has some SEO improvements and fix the Keyword stuffing issue for BE.

Notice you also have too many keywords on your main site too.


Max I would have is 7 Keywords.

But, the key is "long tail" keywords through not single word.


Like you have here:

christian counseling, marriage counseling, family therapy, grief counseling

Just having "counselling", "marriage" and etc listed as "single" words for your main site has to complete with 1,000's of others that are also using the same thing.


By using "Long Tail" keywords you reduce the amount of sites you have to complete with.


Single Keywords you want if you are to use them at all would be in your individual posts and pages.


But, your content within the posts should have those keywords already, so don't need to repeat them in your meta Keyword tags.



Another thing you have to put yourself in your Readers / Users / Web Visitors shoes


and think


What is the user looking for?

How are they going to find it?


What will their Search engine query be?


You want to cast a wide net on the internet, but not too wide to catch every thing :)


You want to limit some of what users you catch in your net.


Examples:



Search Query: "counseling" <------ Too Broad and User not sure exactly what they are looking for, want to avoid these users


Search Query: "Alternative Mental Health Treatment" <--- User pretty much knows what they want and these are the users you want.


Why do you want to avoid some users and attract others?


Your Bounce rate.

Query #1 with such a broad query the user would likely click a search result and leave within a sec looking for something else.

They themselves don't know exactly what they are looking for and in that case how can a website also help them out?

Leave those users to another website :)


You want users that know what they want, and for those it is easier to write content for.


Query #2, A more specific query, user knows what they want, If your site has it, they will stay and read.

This resulting in a lower "bounce" rate.


Bounce rate is very important signal to Google :)





Have a great day!

Brian Davis
http://BloggersOnline.Com