Google has been removing publishers from Google News index for vague reasons because of new policy reviews. This was confirmed by a recent tweet from @mattcutts where he said:
@AuctionBytes I’ll mention this. The news folks are actually starting a nice crackdown on low-quality/spammy news sources.
So what is low-quality and spammy according to Google? Search Engine Land has an answer for that where they got an update from a Google News spokesperson who said “Yes, we recently removed a number of websites from Google News that we determined were not following Google’s quality guidelines”
So what exactly are those quality guidelines? According to several forum posts on the Google News forum, quality websites are those who write original content. And what is original content? A post on a site which does not reference anyone else through links or otherwise. So sites which link to other sources provide low-quality news?
In my experience, one of the biggest spamming in news occurs for trending topics in Google search. Several hundred websites follow these trends and then post accordingly about them. Now the problem here is not those websites, it is with Google who display “Google News listings” above organic listings in Google search results.
Anyone with a bit of brain can game Google and write original pieces of news without attributing anyone and get tons of traffic. The throw in your face news results acts like a tonic for spammy publishers to push content and game the system.
I have been counting thousands of sites which do this everyday along with posting duplicate content on the same topic to get on top of the listings once they have been forced down by another site. This was a known fact but was more in news after CNET and Search Engine Land wrote about it.
This is one of the biggest reasons why sites which are originally good become spammy after they have tasted the traffic dose from Google. My one and only suggestion to Google is to not display Google News results in search results. Give everyone a level playing field and you will automatically see less spam in your index.
Of course, Google wants to do all the real-time fancy stuff too, so just display the Google News results there or post a link to the Google News search or provide it as an option, that too opt-in and not opt-out.
Once Google does this, we will all see less spam in the index. Removing websites from listings is just a way of telling publishers that we control the internet and will do as we want without caring about you. Sadly that is the attitude Google has right now.