Secrets of Google News...What I learnt the hard way!

Just now I noticed an interesting post from seroundtable on my feed-reader and it immediately caught my attention. Nice to hear things directly from the horses mouth, most of them are what I assumed. searchengineland also posted some comments on this issue.
Having an image next to your article improves your ranking: MYTH
Having an image in an article might not improve your ranking, but it is a very important aspect for a Google News Publisher. Say if you are reporting on a story which has many sources, you stand to get greater exposure in case the image from your site is picked up for this story. Once, a story I had about "Britney Spears" had an image of her. Now the news story which showed up on organic SERPs for "Britney Spears" had the image from my site. Got shit loads of traffic on it.
Updating an article after posting it will create problems with Google News: TRUE
Google said it would re-crawl the articles for updates in the future. This is good for me as some websites (including a popular English newspaper in Thailand) simply remove most stories after a couple of days of publishing and they still show up in the Google News search. This sux. They would be un-indexed if Google started to re-crawl news stories.
Timing the publication of your article improves your article ranking: MYTH
I don't necessarily agree. It may not affect the ranking, but would definitely affect the traffic. Well Google does give some storyrank based on the freshness of the story. If my major target were the Americans, and I post a story during morning(Thai time), the story might get lost/replaced by fresher stories by the time the Americans wake up. <-- This is something I haven't researched a lot, but my common sense says so.
Articles that are just images or video won't be included: TRUE
Agree 100%
There's no way to see why my articles weren't included in Google News: MYTH
As the Google's blog post says, the web master tools does an excellent job in finding potential issues with the crawling your site.
Publishing a sitemap helps my rankings: MYTH
But... it does help Google find new stories. or a story which they might have missed on the website.
Redesigning my site may affect my coverage in Google News: TRUE
AFAIK this should not be such an issue. I launched a new section on an entirely different CMS and from the first minute Google has had no issues in crawling the content. I even make tweaks in the template here and there and they don't have problems. I think the problem occurs if your layout is crappy with lots of junk in it. But for most properly done sites it shouldn't be an issue.
If I put AdSense on my site, my article rankings will improve: MYTH
We have faith in Google. Even if the Google blog said this were true I wouldn't believe it ;)
Tags: google google news news ranking
Categories: SEO