Google News approved websites & domains: some insights

Google News is one of the best traffic generating news aggregation services with millions of impressions daily and one of the best sources of organic natural traffic for thousands of online publishers. The key thing about Google News is that small, medium and large publishers all manage to garner a fair share of the traffic pie as long as they continue breaking news stories and keep posting unique and interesting content. Here are a few common questions that I get asked every now and then regarding G News.

Question: What makes Google News different from other news aggregators out there?

Answer: Google has designed Google News in such a way that it helps users seamlessly find news stories while they are making a generic search over on This effectively means that Google offers search users a window to the world of news through Google News alongside the generic search results. The algorithms behind Google News ensure that only the latest news stories from select few publishers are indexed and presented alongside generic search results. Further, the categorisation of Google News is quite simple and easy to follow and in almost all cases the stories are perfectly indexed according to the applicable category.

To be included in Google News there are a few requirements that need to be fulfilled by publishers and that’s one of the major differentiating factors with respect to other aggregators. Other news aggregation services do not have such requirements and they index articles even from sites that are not strictly in the media industry. Because Google News only indexes news reports from publishers that have been screened for quality and technical compliance, it is a much more refined source of news.

Question: How many sites are currently accepted under Google News?

Answer: While the answer to this question can’t be precise as Google doesn’t reveal this information, according to information from different sources there are only approximately 65,000 websites that are currently being indexed in Google News.

Question: Why is it that all those publishers who apply are not being accepted in Google News?

Answer: Google News has a set of requirements with respect to quality. Publishers who comply with those requirements are accepted. However, these requirements haven’t been mentioned specifically and this effectively leaves publishers in the dark about the things they need to keep in mind before applying for inclusion in Google News. The lack of precise guidelines have been one of the major reasons why publishers are not being accepted in Google News.

Question: Is it legal to buy Google News sites from other publishers?

Answer: This is a question that I have been asked ample of times. For all those who have been through the approval process would know that Google News acceptance criteria is based on the domain, and the content that is being published. The quality guidelines indicate the type of content that is required to be posted, the authors, editorial requirements, among other things. This effectively means that acceptance in Google News depends almost entirely on the content. If the site is sold and the new owner continues to publish content in line with the original theme of the site and follows the requisite editorial guidelines and journalism practices, there is nothing that could cause the de-listing of the site from Google News.

As far as legality of the sale of Google News site is concerned, Google News approved website or a domain is just like any other website or domain and there are no rules or policies from Google that prohibit you from selling the site. What if the publisher doesn’t intend to continue their operations and wants to sell off the entire business along with the Google News approved site? What if a small publisher and all their assets are acquired by a bigger publisher? These are business transactions that are outside the purview of Google and this means there is no illegality involved in selling or purchasing Google News sites.

Question: How much does a Google News site cost?

Answer: The pricing depends on the domain name, the amount of traffic it gets, the amount of advertisement revenue it is generating, etc. A Google News approved domain could cost anywhere between $2.5K to $1 million depending on the factors I just mentioned. If you are interested in buying a pre-approved Google News domain, you can get in touch with me and we can analyze your requirements and proceed further.

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