Google News has undergone a recent SEO change, according to an article published by Search Engine Watch.

The service will now utilise the commonly-used Googlebot, rather than using its own dedicated crawler, to inspect newly published content.

While the change isn’t anything to drastic, – with the basic elements of web crawling staying the same – Google’s official Webmaster blog has indicated that there will be some minor alterations.

Googlebot will perform the same task, in the same way, as the former crawl system – Rob D Young writes: “A negative ‘Googlebot-News’ entry in the robots.txt file will still halt just the news crawling, sitemaps will still be crawled, and all analytics for actual visitors will remain the same.”

More noticeable changes will become clear when examining site logs; now users will only be able to view the Googlebot user-agent – making it much more difficult to be aware of whether your website is being indexed and featured on the Google News feed.

As expected with this type of change, all guidelines traditionally implemented for Googlebot will apply for news content too – this will mean that pages will not be fully indexed if they require a payment for access.

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