Per a recent Webmaster Central blog post, website owners no longer need to submit their website to Google News for their content to appear in the Google News and Related Stories SERP features. Per the blog post:

Content for News will now come directly from the web, just as it does for Search.

The Google News support documents also now mention that all content published on the web, as long as it meets Google’s technical and content policies, will be considered eligible for Google News.

Google automatically considers any content published on the web for inclusion in Google News; there’s no need to "apply."

Google has also changed the way news stories are displayed in search results, clustering stories by topics and displaying them in carousels. See the side-by-side comparison in the gif below to see what this means.

Example showing new Google News story clusters in mobile SERP

The cards displayed in the carousels will also feature extra information such as quotes and relevant opinion pieces.

Google News Uses BERT to Understand if Content is News

The updated Google News functionality is powered by (what else?) its BERT technology. BERT’s story-understanding technology seeks to understand the people, places and things that make up a news story, how they relate to each other in the context of that news story and then group individual articles into clusters according to how they relate to those entities.

The new structure, according to Google, will allow search results to display more high-quality content instead of the most recent coverage. It will also help them include a set of more diverse sources for each story.

So How Do You Get Your Content into Google News Without Submitting It?

Once you’ve published content online there’s nothing more you have to do in order to make it eligible for Google News. As stated above, that happens automatically as long as it adheres to certain guidelines.

These guidelines include technical and site structure requirements:

  • Make sure your URL for your news category page (or pages) is permanent. So, for example, your URL should always be example.com/news instead of something that changes, such as including month or year.

  • Make sure each article has its own unique and permanent URL. If your site displays multiple articles on one URL, or changes the articles shown at a URL, it won’t be eligible for Google News. This includes republishing previously published articles, even if they’ve been updated.

  • Only write your articles in a single language. If your site supports multiple languages, publish each version separately and use the hreflang tag to tell Google how they’re related.

As well as content-based guidelines:

  • Content must be original, not copied from another source.

  • Include clear dates, bylines and author information. Publisher websites should also include information about the company. When in doubt, err on the side of transparency.

  • Don’t publish more paid or sponsored content than original news content. Any sponsorship (like affiliate links or native advertising) should be clearly disclosed to article visitors.

  • Identifying and other sensitive personal information (medical, financial, etc.) is not allowed.

  • Content that aims to provide medical advice and/or diagnosis and content that is harassing, hateful, explicit, illegal or deceptive is not allowed in Google News.

If your website and content check those boxes, there’s nothing extra you need to do in order to appear in Google News. All you need, as Google likes to say, is to produce high-quality content.

These updates right now are available for users searching in the US, in English, using a mobile device. More languages and locations will be added in the future.