Google News is a popular platform that aggregates headlines from news sources worldwide, making it an excellent platform for publishers to gain more visibility. One of the ways to get your website content on Google News is by adding your RSS feed to it. However, sometimes you might encounter the error message “You haven’t added any content to this section yet” or “There are no articles in this section.“. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to troubleshoot and fix this problem.
Understanding the Problem
The error message “You haven’t added any content to this section yet” or “Section missing content” typically appears when Google News cannot find or recognize the content from your RSS feed. This might be due to several reasons such as incorrect RSS feed URL, problems with your website’s RSS feed, or issues with the format of the content in the feed.
Follow these steps to troubleshoot and resolve the issue:
Step 1: Check Your RSS Feed URL
Ensure that the RSS feed URL you’ve entered is correct. An incorrect or broken URL might be the cause of the problem. Test your RSS feed URL in a browser or an RSS reader to see if it’s working correctly.
Step 2: Verify Your RSS Feed
The RSS feed itself might have issues that prevent Google News from accessing the content. Use an RSS Feed Validator tool to check if your RSS feed is well-formed. These tools can identify syntax errors or issues that might be causing the problem.
Step 3: Ensure Your Content is in the Correct Format
Google News has specific guidelines for the format of content in your RSS feed. Ensure that your RSS feed includes both the title and the full text of the news articles. Additionally, make sure that your content doesn’t contain invalid characters or tags that Google News doesn’t support.
Step 4: Check the Refresh Frequency of Your Feed
If your content updates are infrequent or irregular, Google News might not always find new content in your feed. Try to maintain a regular content update schedule for your website.
Step 5: Resubmit Your RSS Feed
After making any necessary changes, you need to resubmit your RSS feed to Google News. After resubmitting, it may take some time for Google News to update and start showing your content.
Step 6: Disable hosting blocking bots
This is what has helped me personally. I have struggled with the issue of “There are no articles in this section.” for a month and I finally found out what was causing this problem.
My web hosting has modsecurity rule that blocked a lot of bad bots and mistakenly it also decided to block the Google News Bot. In the error logs I found this:
[Sat Jun 03 02:53:49.276836 2023] [error] [client 188.8.131.52] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 403, [Rule: 'REQUEST_HEADERS:User-Agent' '@pmFromFile /etc/modsecurity.d/badbots.txt'] [id "377901"] [rev "1"] [msg "BAD BOT - Detected and Blocked. "] [severity "CRITICAL"] [hostname "mydomain.com"] [uri "/feed/"]
This bot could also be blocked by a security rule in .htaccess file or robots.txt file, so be sure to check them.
This error can be fixed by disabling the modsecurity rule, easiest way to do it is just contacting your webhost provider directly.