An update rolling out soon to the Google News app will send users directly to publishers’ own webpages in addition to AMP pages.
Google will continue to use AMP pages in Google News, now it’s incorporating non-AMP web content as well.
Google announced earlier this year it would begin supporting non-AMP content in Google News as part of the page experience update.
The update started rolling out in June and was completed at the end of August. During that time there was no further update from Google regarding expanded support for web content in Google News.
Google is only now giving news publishers a heads up via email that this update being available within weeks:
“As part of [the page experience] update, in the coming weeks the Google News app will improve its support for web content, displaying both AMP and non-AMP web content with more regularity from sites worldwide. No action is required of you to enable this.”
Here’s a screenshot of the full email sent from Google:
This update is coming much later than originally announced, but it’s on the way.
As Google says, if your publication is already included in Google News there’s no further action required.
Here are a few other important notes about this update.
Google News No Longer Relies on RSS
As a result of the shift to surfacing publishers’ webpages, Google News will no longer directly render article text provided in an RSS feed.
With that capability being removed, functionality in Publisher Center relating to feed-based article rendering will also be removed.
This includes custom Analytics tracking IDs and 3rd party tracking pixels used to track in-app reads, as well as custom RSS styling and feed ads.
Refer to the image below to see exactly what’s being removed from Publisher Center:
What is Not Changing?
Google assures publishers there will be no change to how data is tracked.
When this change rolls out, you will still be able to track and measure your Google News traffic through your existing analytics tracking.
Google News performance reports in Search Console will be unaffected as well.
The Publisher Center changes are expected to go into effect in early November, the rendering changes are rolling out now. Google will remind publishers about this change again before it goes live.
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