But while the ticket was progressing it turned out that it wasn't just about adding a domain to the Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) but about adding it to the Google Publisher Center to make it show up on Google News.
While all our domains already have Google verification TXT records in DNS and we do use Search Console, this is the first time ever a domain/project would be added to the Publisher Center.
It is not just a few mouse clicks to add a domain but far more involved. It requires setting languages, legal country of the publisher, having square and wide logos in specific sizes, picking categories, adding sections and more.
Most notably it also has settings for ad revenue and means Google can add ads to Wikinews content when showing up in Google News.
"Google can sell ads to show in your publication in the Google News app. Control how much of your ad inventory you want Google to manage."
^ This defaults to 30%.
This is not something SRE can offer to handle (manually). Especially not for all other language versions.
It seems this needs one or more of the following:
- discussion whether (all) Wikinews sites should be added to Google News (incl. the ad part of it)
- legal review (regarding the legal country of the publisher, ads, etc)
- a dedicated SEO person at WMF (is there one?)
- discussion whether it's possible to delegate access to Publisher Center to volunteers
- some automation to use a Google API to add sites