Google news results have an acompanying thumbnail next to articles that show up in the results.

If Google's crawler can't find a thumbnail to pull from our site, it uses its next best guess from another site, therefore linking the image to another site but still uses our headline.

Example: Headline from Reuters, Image from Livemint: enter image description here

Our pages absolutely have images, they are not massive in file-size or dimensions, yet we are not having them pulled / crawled correctly. We have read up on the suggestions from Google, and from others around the web and nothing is panning out.

Has anyone had any experience where they can ensure Google news will pull a thumbnail of our choosing?

  • 1
    You don't indicate what you have already tried. I found several other threads about this issue and consolidated all the advice into an answer, but I have no way of knowing whether or not you are already doing everything these particular sources suggest. Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 14:20

2 Answers 2


Google recommend using the Schema.org Article Markup for "in-depth articles" and the same should apply to news. Schema.org even state that the Article schema is for:

An article, such as a news article or piece of investigative report. Newspapers and magazines have articles of many different types and this is intended to cover them all.

If you make sure to include the image property when tagging your article then I can't think of any better way to tell Google exactly which image relates to your article.


Here is the official advice from Google about getting images included in Google news:

  • Use standard image formats, like JPEG, and standard filename extensions, like .jpg or .jpeg.
  • Make sure that your images are fairly large in size, at least 60 pixels by 60 pixels.
  • Use images that have reasonable aspect ratios.
  • Ensure that your images are inline.
  • Ensure that your clickable images link to a URL with a .jpg or .jpeg extension.
  • Place your images near their respective article titles.
  • Label your images with well-written captions.
  • Ensure that a robots.txt file isn't blocking our access to your images.
  • Make sure your images are on a domain included in Google News. If your images are hosted on a separate domain from your site's main domain it's very unlikely we'll be able to crawl them.
  • You may want to also submit your images by using a Google News Sitemap.

There is a thread of WebmasterWorld about this with the following advice:

  • Robert Charlton says: use tightly composed images such as closeups that look good at a small size
  • Robert Charlton says: use images that are also popular in Google image search
  • erthlng says: Photo should have a maximum height or width of about 300 pixels at 72dpi
  • erthlng says: Include keywords from the article in the filename of the image
  • erthlng says: Include the image online at the exact time time that the article is published. If you add the photo later, it does not get indexed by Google news
  • erthlng says: Try to keep the image at around 50k in size

There is a thread in a Google help forum where user caldernet reports his images are not showing up and theorizes that Google seems to not use images from certain sites:

I'm getting the impression that Google simply doesn't try to get images from some sites while going out of its way to include images from others.

  • Really appreciate this answer, I can conclusively say that we have done everything that google news suggests, and everything that was found in the webmasterworld. We have utilized both of these resources when debugging / attempting to fix the issue. As for caldernet, we have had google index images before, so we do not fall into this bucket.
    – Anthony
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 15:01

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