Glenn Gabe noticed that if you try to block Google from showing your news stories in just Google News by blocking Googlebot-News, it no longer works. So if you want to follow the old advice (I do not see new advice) to block Google News, you can no longer use the feature to block Googlebot-News. Just to be clear, this is specific to using noindex for Googlebot-News.
Here is Glenn’s tweet:
@JohnMu @dannysullivan Hi John & Danny. Hey, with the release of the new Publisher Center & announcement that all sites are eligible for G News, there are reports that content once blocked using noindex w/Googlebot-News is no longer working. Those articles are showing up in News.
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) December 17, 2019
The specific help document does say “To prevent your site from appearing in Google News, block access to Googlebot-News using a robots.txt file.” But this is not working in practice. Last time Google changed this was in 2011 but the docs still communicate that messaging from back then.
As Glenn said, it might be related to the news that Google News is indexing content from web now and not requiring submission. So maybe this is another overlooked repercussion of that change, including the site command breaking. I am not sure.
Danny Sullivan from Google acknowledge he received this complaint and will pass it along:
Thanks I’ll pass it on
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) December 18, 2019
Forum discussion at Twitter.
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