Google threatens to remove news sites in new guidelines

A Google logo on the wall of The Gasworks building in Dublin, Ireland taken on September 2, 2008 Carlos Luna/Flickr

Google will finally be taking down news articles and websites that do not divulge real information about their ownership, country of origin or primary purpose.

In a set of new policies, the search giant stressed its goal to orchestrate news from around the globe and deliver them to readers in the best possible experience. Thus, Google is now calling online media outlets and news providers to be honest about their entire operation.

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"Do not misrepresent yourself or your purpose. Sites included in Google News must not misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about their ownership or primary purpose, or engage in coordinated activity to mislead users. This includes, but isn't limited to, sites that misrepresent or conceal their country of origin or are directed at users in another country under false premises," reads Google's new policy statement.

The company has underscored that original reporting and clear and proper source attribution are crucial to being included in the Google News index aside from datelines and bylines in the writings. For aggregated content, it recommends separating them from the website's original work or better yet, cut Google's access to them using a robots.txt file.

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Also, Google has tipped that news sites with author biographies, readily available contact details, email and physical address are given a higher value more than anyone else. Additionally, the number of advertising and other paid promotional material on news pages should not be more than that of the website's own content.

Once all these guidelines are violated, Google has warned to remove the articles, or the entire site, from Google News.

This article was first published on December 18, 2017