Google News decapitated my site… Helpful Content, update, censorship?
An update or issue on Google News cut my site’s audience by 10. Is this worth continuing?
Since September 13, 2023, none of my articles appear in Google News. This site has been included since 2015 and it has worked, with ups and downs, without much problem. But on September 13, no query displays my articles, unless you copy and paste the entire title. There is clearly a problem and there are several reasons.
First hypothesis is that I suffered a penalty from Helpful Content, a new version of which was deployed a few days ago. It started on September 14 and will last 2 weeks. However, I don’t see why my site would be penalized. My articles are good, they are not ultra-optimized for SEO. There is translation, but like many news sites that rank very well. Additionally, I always offer added values like my personal analysis, images, additional sources, etc.
In addition, if it is Helpful Content, then my site should also disappear from traditional search results. And there, there are no changes, apart from the usual small variations. I also thought about manual censorship regarding my site, because politically, I am against the dominant media. But I would find that very dumb, because my site is not the cosmological den of “conspirascists” either. And then you have sites like Sputnik Africa which still rank very well.
I also thought it was a technical problem, but on my side, everything is fine. Knowing that on the forum intended for Google News publishers, there are a few sites which have the same problem. But they point to Helpful Content, but that shouldn’t impact Google News as much, because there, I’m totally invisible. And suffice to say that it’s my most visited site, so Adsense was already bringing in shit, now it’s even worse.
Obviously, we are not notified anywhere, whether in Search Console or via an email from the Google News team. We are left in the dark, without telling us why we were convicted. It looks like a Pfizer contract… The most astonishing thing, if it’s Helpful Content, is that I have other sites, much less qualitative, which have not suffered anything. They are not in Google News, but they are pretty decent in classic search.
It was also pointed out to me that I relay existing articles from other sites. Yes, but that’s only a minority of my content and it helps readers get the big picture and makes my content more cohesive. And above all, reproaching me for relaying articles from time to time while the dominant press copies and pastes AP content all day and they never have the slightest problem is really making fun of me by looking straight at me.
The lack of human contact at Google is a real disaster. No matter what service we use, there is no one who can give us direct answers. That’s what’s infuriating.
If you have sites in Google News, have you seen fewer changes? Or is it just me who’s been screwed for months?