Being a Google News publisher requires a certain level of quality with your news posts. You have to maintain that quality in order to be accepted into Google News, and then keep the levels high in order to remain as a publisher.
The quality of your content is just one of the factors to being accepted, and remaining, in Google News. There are many technical requirements as well. As with everything Google does, these technical requirements can, and do, change over time. One of those requirements is with the Google News Sitemap.
Unlike a regular sitemap, there are some special rules to the Google News Sitemap, such as the number of URLs that can be included, and the maximum age of these URLs. Google has also made some additional changes recently, which it mentions below in a correspondence we received from Google.
Recently, we introduced updates to the Google News Sitemap format to help you more easily manage your News Sitemap and articles. To avoid interrupting the inclusion of your articles in Google News, we will need your help.
Although we will support your current Google News Sitemap during the transition period of six months, you should re-submit it under the new format as soon as possible. For more details on how to submit your Sitemap using the new format (including how to add new tags to each entry in your Sitemap, to provide more information about individual articles), please visit the Sitemaps section of our Help Center at: http://www.google.com/support/news_pub/bin/topic.py?topic=11666.
Once the transition period is over, we will no longer accept News Sitemaps created using the old format and any old News Sitemaps in your Webmaster Tools account will be rejected.
We encourage you to make these changes as soon as possible in order to avoid interrupting your content’s inclusion in Google News. To get started, please visit our Help Center at: http://www.google.com/support/news_pub/bin/topic.py?topic=11666.
Keeping a watchful eye on Google’s requirements for Google News Publishers is just one important thing that we do in order to keep ahead of the game and to make sure that Google’s ever changing rules don’t cause problems, for us or our clients.