Google has announced, if not quietly, in its Google news forum that a new URL referrer source has been added that news publishers should be tracking to get a “comprehensive view of traffic from Google News.” Not only can referrals be tracked from news.google.com, publishers should also track referrals from news.url.google.com.
There seems to be a connection between the change and the new RSS feed changes with Google News that was reported on recently.
According to Google, referrals from the source “news.google.com” includes traffic from native mobile apps, mobile web and RSS feeds that are set up with the legacy URL pattern. Any referrals that come from the “news.urlgoogle.com” source includes traffic from desktop and RSS feeds set up with the new URL pattern.
Has Google Analytics been updated to support the new referral changes? It’s currently unclear. It would make sense that it would be one of the first analytics to update its tools.