Google Publisher Center to stop allowing you to add publications

Google will stop allowing publishers to add publications to the Google Publisher Center manually. Instead, Google will automatically add eligible publications pages later this year.

This change will likely lead to even more confusion around Google News inclusion, which we have had for years since Google changed the inclusion process back in 2019.

What Google said. Google wrote:

Starting today, publishers can no longer add publications to the Publisher Center. We are making this change as part of a transition to roll out automatically created publication pages later this year.

Google added that previously this feature allowed publishers to manually create a source page for users to follow. But going forward, “publishers with manually created publication pages will continue to have access to customization features until later this year, when pages will shift to being automatically created. Users will continue to be able to follow their favorite publications.”

“Content from publishers that adheres to our content policies is automatically eligible for consideration in Google News and across News surfaces,” Google added.

What it looked like. Here is a screenshot within Google Publisher Center of how to add a publication – note this is going away:

Why we care. I expect this change to cause more frustration and confusion amongst publishers. As you know, the whole Google News inclusion process, which was once a clear and straight forward process, is now automated and very unclear and completely not transparent.

This will only make things even more confusing for publishers.

Postscript. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, replied on X about this. He wrote:

To clarify (some people get this, I know — but others get confused)….

Content is automatically considered for Google News and news surfaces, as has been the case since Dec. 2019. That hasn’t changed.

Publisher Center offered a way to create source pages manually, which did not somehow get content overall considered for Google News and news surfaces.

Some who made these pages would get confused and think source page = content in Google News and news surfacs. We’ve tried to clarify this more over the years, such as with this blog post (I’ve screenshotted the key part).

Despite that, some still get confused because … yeah, it’s confusing! So part of this change is eliminating that confusion. Sites small and big are still automatically considered, as the update says (also screenshot attached).

Also, anticipating those who say we should do more to include more news sites — moving to automatic consideration has helped, versus the past where someone would actually have to know to apply. That said, yes, there’s always more we can do — it’s something I push on (and I’m not alone) especially in cases where sites are not having their content appear at all in news queries but are referenced by other who do. I’d really like to see us improve with this.

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