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.
Ref: Google replaced ‘In the News’ box with ‘Top Stories’ on desktop.
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.
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It is confirmed that Top Stories algorithm and inclusion is different to the Google News. They are possibly using AI… I dont really understand why upgrading to HTTPS is going to cause problems… Do you mean it is going to cause problems when the transition is happening on Search Engine end?
Oops, I should have been more clear. HTTPS is fine for news sites, although there can be issues during the migration which can cause problems with content making it to Google News. To be honest, I’m not usre where I was going with that.
I DO however have a lot more insight on this and the Top Stories algorithm. I will post a comment here with a link to that article once I get it up. To make a long story short- most people, prior to November 2016, were used to just sticking up articles which would show up in the “Google News” section. This is no longer the case for “Top Stories”. I have told about a dozen publishers the problem – their content just isn’t newsworthy. They pretty much hate hearing that and move on in denial. lol. If you break something newsworthy though you can be in Top Stories. This site has been in Top Stories on multiple occasions now & I’m not in Google News.. More to come on that shortly…