Since Telapost broke the news of “Top Stories” in desktop search I have received emails from journalists, publishers, and news organizations all over Russia, the Ukraine, Pakistan and Italy. Their complaint is always the same: their (Google News approved) website is not displaying in the Top Stories carousel.
The major change occurred around November 23, 3016, at least in the United States, but I am hearing that Google News websites lost their carousel even earlier in 2016.
The sites are still in Google News; if you click on “news” in Google search, you still see the news articles.
Of course, this results in a drastic reduction in organic search traffic and click through rates.
Top Stories is no longer just for Google News
On January 6, 2017 I also noted that top stores is no longer only for Google News sites. This was an alarming discovery, if you ask me.
Common problems with Google News sites
- Lots of news sites are upgrading to HTTPS which will cause problems.
- Sites with poor advertising on them or too many ads above the fold can lose their Google News status.
- I have heard that Google News sites utilizing AMP get more exposure in 2017, but this still doesn’t explain everything.
But this does not explain why some Google News approved websites are not showing in the Top Stories carousel.
It may have something to do with a new “top stories” algorithm based on how hot a topic is or potential organic search traffic. If a topic isn’t “newsworthy” there may be NO carousel.
This is just a theory.
In the meantime, webmasters can submit tickets to Google in their news console for assistance.
If you have suffered from this problem or know the solution please comment below.