Google News just unveiled a publisher center that could have a significant impact for sites that depend on referrals from the news discovery portal.
Specifically, the new tools will allow publishers to update site details like name and type (i.e. "blog," "satire" or "opinion"), as well as URLs and labels for newly created sections on a site.
Google may not have picked up those changes on its own or may have categorized them improperly before. Publishers would have to contact the company directly to get the changes updated—a potentially difficult process that could result in traffic losses while the issue was sorted out.
"If you are a news publisher, your website has probably evolved and changed over time. Until now, when you made changes to the structure of your site, we might not have discovered them unless you told us. And that meant they might not have shown up in Google News," says Eric Weigle, a software engineer for Google, in an announcement. "Ultimately, our goal is to make this a platform where news publishers and Google News can work together to provide readers with the best, most diverse news on the Web."
The publisher center is only available for U.S.-based sites right now, but Google has plans to introduce it other countries soon. More features are on the way too, they note.