Archive for the ‘Google News’ Category
Posted by Rudy Galfi, Product Manager
Last year we updated Google News to make it easier for you to scan for stories that are interesting to you and let you dig deeper when you find them. Today we’re announcing an update that brings some of those same ideas to news search.
Over the next few days we’ll be rolling out the following features:
- Click-to-expand news results clusters: Each news results cluster is collapsed down to one result with the exception of the first cluster. Click on the “Show more” link to see articles from more sources. This improvement makes it much easier to scan through the search results to find just the collection of news coverage you’re looking for.
- Multimedia: Within some of the expanded results clusters you’ll see a bar of videos and photos that relate to each cluster’s content. Click on any of these for more coverage of the story.
- Layout updates: The cluster image now appears on the left and the source information has been moved to below the article links for better readability.
Google News launched on September 22, 2002—exactly a decade ago.
Inspired by the widespread interest in news after the September 11 attacks, we invested in technology to help people search and browse news relevant to them. Google News broke new ground in news aggregation by gathering links in real time, grouping articles by story and ranking stories based on the editorial opinions of publishers worldwide. Linking to a diverse set of sources for any given story enabled readers to easily access different perspectives and genres of content. By featuring opposing viewpoints in the same display block, people were encouraged to hear arguments on both sides of an issue and gain a more balanced perspective.
In the last ten years, Google News has grown to 72 editions in 30 languages, and now draws from more than 50,000 news sources. The technology also powers Google’s news search. Together, they connect 1 billion unique users a week to news content.
As we have scaled the service internationally, we have added new features (Local News, Personalization, Editors’ Picks, Spotlight, Authorship, Social Discussions), evolved our design, embraced mobile and run ancillary experiments (Fast Flip, Living Stories, Timeline). In parallel, we have monitored our quality and challenged our engineers to improve the technology under the hood—increase freshness, group news better, rank stories more accurately, personalize with more insight and streamline the infrastructure.
Take a look back at the past decade in Google News through the top stories from each year and a few notable features that have launched in the interim:
It’s undeniable that the online news landscape has changed immensely. Smartphones and social networks have transformed how news is accessed and sourced, and shifted the relationship between readers and authors. Open journalism is the norm, and aggregation by humans and machines is an integral part of the ecosystem. New technologies such as Hangouts on Air have the potential to connect users, journalists and opinion makers and transform how stories are discussed.
Opportunities abound, and we are excited for where we can take this product in the next decade. While change is inevitable, one thing remains the same: our mission is to bring you the news you want, when you need it, from a diverse set of sources.
The day after the historic 1929 stock market crash, Variety bannered their front page with these words: “WALL ST. LAYS AN EGG.” It’s a great headline: pithy, catchy, and expressive of the substance of the story as well as the scale of its consequences. It’s also worth noting that Variety’s editors had a full day to write the headline—millions of readers weren’t trying to search for the story within seconds of hearing about it.
The Web has transformed both how news organizations report information and the way users find it. Imagine if “WALL ST. LAYS AN EGG” were used as a headline today by an online news site. Since the headline is a sequence of text that’s only readily understandable by a human, most machine algorithms would probably attach some sort of biological association to it. In turn, this would make it difficult for millions of curious users who are using Google.com or Google News to find the best article about the stock market crash they just heard about.
To help solve this problem, today we’re excited to announce a news_keywords metatag. The goal is simple: empower news writers to express their stories freely while helping Google News to properly understand and classify that content so that it’s discoverable by our wide audience of users.
Similar in spirit to the plain keywords metatag, the news_keywords metatag lets publishers specify a collection of terms that apply to a news article. These words don’t need to appear anywhere within the headline or body text. Taking the Variety example above, news keywords such as “stocks”, “stock market”, or “crash” would be helpful in allowing Google News to better understand the article content for ranking without forcing the editors to water down the creativity of a great headline. Because the metatag appears only as part of the HTML code of a page, visitors to a site won’t ever see the magic under the hood.
Keep in mind that this metatag will be one signal among many that our algorithms use to determine ranking. The news_keywords metatag is intended as a tool — but high-quality reporting and interesting news content remain the strongest ways to put your newsroom’s work in front of Google News users.
You can learn more about getting news_keywords set up by reading our Help Center article.
Posted by Paul McDonald, Product Manager
Whether we’re getting the latest election news, making sense of the day’s stock market activity or looking for an update on our favorite celebrities, we rely on publishers to inform and entertain us. Online publishers often fund the creation of this content through ads; sometimes they ask you to pay for content directly, by buying a subscription or purchasing a particular article.
Now, you may see a new option: the ability to access some of this content by responding to microsurveys, without having to pull out your wallet or sign in. When a site has implemented this option, you’ll see a prompt that offers you a choice between answering a market research question or completing another action specified by the publisher (such as signing up for an account or purchasing access). All responses are completely anonymous — they aren’t tied to your identity or later used to target ads. The prompts look like this:
Publishers get paid for hosting surveys. A number of publishers, such as the The Texas Tribune, the Star Tribune and Adweek have already started running these microsurveys on their sites.
So what’s the point of these questions? From international brands to local food trucks, every business owner wants to make important decisions with their customers’ feedback in mind. That’s why we’ve created Google Consumer Surveys, a new business-facing product that makes custom market research easy. It enables companies to ask questions (the ones you’ll later see on your screen) and get back quantitative results quickly, accurately and cost-effectively. Companies have already been using it to research everything from online shopping behavior (Lucky Brand Jeans) to gluten-free baking mixes (King Arthur Flour), and to assess brand awareness (Timbuk2) and inform product development (479 Popcorn). Google shares the money these companies spend with our publisher partners.
The idea behind Google Consumer Surveys is to create a model that benefits everyone. You get to keep enjoying your favorite online content, publishers have an additional option for making money from that content, and businesses have a new way of finding out what their customers want.
If you’re a publisher interested in running microsurveys on your site, let us know.
Do you have any feedback or suggestions you would like to share with the Google News Team? We always love to hear from you, so we made submitting feedback much easier.
Simply click the “Send Feedback” link at the bottom of Google News pages. The Google Feedback gadget will appear, and you can leave us general comments, problem reports or feature suggestions. The feedback gadget will also help you send us a screenshot if you want to draw our attention to a specific aspect of the site. Use the tool to highlight an area relevant to your feedback and black out any personal information before submitting the screenshot to us.
Although we won’t be able to reply to your comments individually, your feedback will help us create a better Google News experience. This tool will be launching worldwide, beginning with the U.S. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Who just endorsed whom? What do the latest polls say? How much money did they raise this quarter? Keeping up with the 2012 elections in the U.S. and staying abreast of breaking developments can be quite a task in today’s fast-paced news cycle.
So today, we’re excited to continue our tradition of supporting you during elections season. Google News is launching an Elections section on its homepage which will organize and present elections coverage as it grows through the general election — Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
The Elections section will be visible by default for all US users and will be located beneath the Health section. It will bring readers the latest and most relevant news stories, using all of the ranking intelligence that users have come to expect of Google. You should also check out Google’s official elections page, YouTube’s collection of candidate videos, and the elections Trends Dashboard to find out more about how people are interacting with the elections online.
Posted by Erich Schmidt, Software Engineer
Over the past few months, myriad sites across the web (including Google News) have adopted the +1 button to help start conversations. But there hasn’t been an easy way for signed-in users to see what news articles your friends are enjoying — until now.
Starting today, the Spotlight section will sometimes include articles that your Gmail contacts and people in your Google+ circles have publicly +1’d. You can see their profile pictures and click through to their Google+ profiles, just like on Social Search. And of course you can +1 the stories too, expressing your opinion and optionally sharing with your circles.
Here’s what Spotlight looks like with social annotations:
We hope this change helps you find more great articles to enjoy, and gives more power to your +1s.
Posted by Eric Weigle, Software Engineer
Great journalism takes more than facts and figures — it takes skilled reporters to knit together compelling stories. Knowing who wrote an article can help readers understand the article’s context and quality, see more articles by that person, and even interact directly with them. Whole communities can form around prominent contributors, which is why we started showing information about content creators next to their material in Google Search.
Accordingly, Google News is rolling out more information about journalists over the next several weeks, starting with English-language editions. When reporters link their Google profile with their articles, Google News now shows the writer’s name and how many Google+ users have that person in their circles. For the lead article for each story, Google News also shows that reporter’s profile picture and enables readers to add them to their Google+ circles right from the Google News homepage.
When a big story breaks, there are often over a thousand articles written about the news event. At Google News, we work hard to surface the most relevant and interesting content to you — so you can spend less time sorting through thousands of articles, and more time consuming news from a range of diverse perspectives.
For instance, since introducing expandable stories, we have added additional labels to call out special types of articles in many editions. These labels are designed to highlight different content types on Google News, and show you stories that complement and expand upon standard news reporting. The four labels we recently launched include:
- Live Updating: A live-updating article, such as a liveblog.
- Featured: An article a publisher has told us is standout.
- Fact-check: An article providing fact-check content about the story.
- Your Preferred source: An article from a source that you preferred.
Evaluating a story from different angles often provides a sharper perspective. That is why we also now highlight special types of articles in many Google News search results. Your search results will not only show recent articles, but also those from diverse perspectives that relate to a given query.
We also recently added the Translate button to non-English international stories in expandable story boxes in the U.S edition, giving you the ability to read pieces from all over the world — even if you don’t speak the language.
We hope you find these changes useful as we continue to develop opportunities for you to find more interesting and valuable content.