Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Google News publishers have long made use of Webmaster Tools to submit and update their News sitemaps, as well as learn more about how Google is crawling their site. Recently, the Webmaster Tools site underwent a major makeover designed to make it easier for publishers to use. As part of this process, Google News is working to improve our interaction with Webmaster Tools and help news publishers take advantage of some of WMT's helpful new features.
Unfortunately, this also means that there are currently a few issues that publishers are seeing. We wanted to let you know what they were, and reassure you that we're working on them. While there may be some sawdust and loose nails lying around at the moment, it won't be long before a sturdy new edifice has been completed, and we think publishers will agree that the hard work will have been worth it. For the moment, however:
- Webmaster Tools may report an incorrect "Last downloaded" date for News sitemaps, display a strange number of articles indexed, or display a News sitemap as "Pending" () even though Google News is already crawling the sitemap. The best way to determine if we're crawling a sitemap or not is to check your server logs for Googlebot.
- From time to time, it may become necessary to resubmit your sitemap (for example, if the Type switches from News to Web). In order to do so, don't click the "Resubmit" button at the bottom of your sitemap list; instead, click the "Submit a Sitemap" link, select Google News from the Type dropdown box, and give us your sitemap's URL.
We apologize for the inconvenience these issues may be causing you. We're working hard to improve the sitemap submission experience, and think you'll be pleased with the results.