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Credit where credit is due
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9:00 AM
Posted by Eric Weigle, Software Engineer, and Abe Epton, Publisher Technical Specialist

News publishers and readers both benefit when journalists get proper credit for their work. That can be difficult, with news spreading so quickly and many websites syndicating articles to others. That’s why we’re experimenting with two new metatags for Google News: syndication-source and original-source. Each of these metatags addresses a different scenario, but for both the aim is to allow publishers to take credit for their work and give credit to other journalists. Here’s how to use these metatags:

syndication-source indicates the preferred URL for a syndicated article. If two versions of an article are exactly the same, or only very slightly modified, we're asking publishers to use syndication-source to point us to the one they would like Google News to use. For example, if Publisher X syndicates stories to Publisher Y, both should put the following metatag on those articles:
<meta name="syndication-source" content="http://www.publisherX.com/wire_story_1.html">

original-source indicates the URL of the first article to report on a story. We encourage publishers to use this metatag to give credit to the source that broke the story. We recognize that this can sometimes be tough to determine. But the intent of this tag is to reward hard work and journalistic enterprise. For example, to credit the publication that broke a story you could use a metatag like this:
<meta name="original-source" content="http://www.example.com/burglary_at_watergate.html">

In both cases, it's perfectly valid for a metatag to point to the current page URL. It's also fine for there to be multiple original-source metatags on one page, to indicate a variety of original reporting leading up to the current article. If you’re not sure of the exact URL to provide in either case, just use the domain of the site that should be credited.

Although these metatags are already in use by our systems, you may not notice their impact right away. We'll need some time to observe their use "in the wild" before we can make the best use of them. But we're hopeful that this approach will help determine original authorship, and we encourage you to take advantage of them now.

To learn more about how these metatags work, and how you can implement them for your site, visit our Help Center article.
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Labels: help for publishers
Enhancements to Google News for smartphones
Monday, November 8, 2010 3:45 PM
Posted by Arun Prasath, Tech Lead, Google Mobile News

Last November, we redesigned Google News for mobile access on smartphones including Android, iPhone and Palm Pre. Today, we're globally rolling out new usability and visual enhancements that we hope will make browsing news on your smartphone easier.

We expanded the story space to make tapping on articles easier and more accurate. Tapping anywhere on an article headline or snippet opens it up, and clicking on a section heading opens up that topic section on your screen.

In addition, the default view of stories is now collapsed which reduces scrolling time. You can 'expand' a story by tapping on 'More sources', which brings you to related stories from other sources. The screenshots below show the collapsed and expanded view of a story.



So, pick up your smartphone, point your browser to http://news.google.com​, and catch up on news on the go.
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Labels: features
$5 million to encourage innovation in digital journalism
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:05 AM
Posted by Nikesh Arora, President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development

Journalism is fundamental to a functioning democracy. So as media organizations globally continue to broaden their presence online, we’re eager to play our part on the technology side -- experimenting with new ways of presenting news online; providing tools like Google Maps and YouTube Direct to make websites more engaging for readers; and investing heavily in our digital platforms to enable publishers to generate more revenue.

But while we're mostly focused on working with news organizations to develop better products for users, we also believe it's crucial to encourage innovation at the grassroots level. That's why we’re giving $5 million in grants to non-profit organizations that are working to develop new approaches to journalism in the digital age. Our aim is to benefit news publishers of all sizes.

We've granted $2 million to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has a proven track record of supporting programs that drive innovation in journalism. It will use $1 million to support U.S. grant-making in this crucial area. The other $1 million will augment the Knight News Challenge, which is accepting funding proposals from anyone, anywhere in the world, until Dec. 1. Now in its fifth year, the News Challenge has supported projects like DocumentCloud, which aims to bring more investigative-reporting source material online so anyone can find and read it.

We’re eager to do even more internationally, so we will be investing the remaining $3 million in journalism projects in other countries through a similar partnership. Stay tuned for more details early next year.

We hope these grants will help new ideas blossom and encourage experimentation. As Thomas Edison once said, "When there's no experimenting, there's no progress. Stop experimenting and you go backward." We look forward to working with the journalism community to help digital news move forward.

[Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]
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Labels: announcements
Shining a Spotlight on Video News
Thursday, October 7, 2010 2:16 PM
Posted by Natasha Mohanty, Google News Software Engineer

Today in the U.S. we’re launching a new section in Google News called "Spotlight Video" that showcases popular videos from news channels on YouTube like "NOVA: The Secret Life of Scientists: Jean Berko Gleason" from PBS.

Google News has always helped users find recent articles from a wide variety of sources. But we recognize there are other types of stories that our users are interested in. So last year, we created the Spotlight section to feature stories of more lasting interest. Like the rest of Google News, Spotlight articles are selected by our computer algorithms, but they aren't your typical breaking news. Instead you'll find stories of enduring appeal such as feature articles, investigative reporting and opinion pieces. In fact, Spotlight quickly became one of our most popular sections.

So now we’re shining the spotlight on videos too. In the right-hand column you can find the new Spotlight Video section and check out recently popular news clips, like "Singer-producer Bruno Mars Continues to Rise" from the Associated Press.

If your news organization isn't already making its video content available on YouTube and Google News, we encourage you to get started. More information on how to submit your news videos to Google News can also be found in the News Publishers' Help Center. And here are some additional tips on news search engine optimization.

Side note: today you may have noticed we also modified the left-hand navigation. Now, as you scroll down the page, the navigation menu will move with you. This way, you can always see the sectional and hot topic quick links.

Please tell us what you think and we’ll keep working to improve Google News for you.
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Labels: features
Google News turns eight
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 8:02 AM
Posted by Krishna Bharat, founder and engineering head, and Chris Beckmann, product manager, Google News

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

Today we celebrate the eighth birthday of Google News. Not long after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we started building and testing Google News with the aim of helping you find current events from a wide variety of global and political perspectives. On September 22, 2002, Google News rolled out to all English-language readers, with a dedicated News tab on Google.com.

Over the years we’ve made thousands of changes to deliver more news to more users—faster, and with enhanced customization, sharing and serendipity. We’ve added video, local news, custom sections, scanned newspaper archives and a redesigned homepage. We’ve grown from 4,000 sources to more than 50,000, and from one English edition to 72 editions in 30 languages.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal users and the news publishers working hard to keep you informed. Thousands of stories are made more discoverable through Google News each day. Based on the number of articles indexed by Google News, here are the largest news stories from each of the last eight years:
The 2008 election of President Obama takes the cake as the biggest news story since Google News was born.

This year, as we blow out our candles we’ll make one wish: that we serve you—our users and publishing partners—better than ever before in the years to come.
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Extending the Associated Press as Hosted News partner
Monday, August 30, 2010 9:00 AM
Posted by Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager

We’ve extended our existing licensing agreement with the Associated Press that permits us to host its content on Google properties such as Google News. We look forward to future collaborations, including on ways Google and AP can work together to create a better user experience and new revenue opportunities. You can read more about our hosted news agreements in this post and this one.
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Labels: announcements
Google News changes reflect your feedback
Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:02 PM
Posted by Chris Beckmann, Product Manager

Two weeks ago we gave the Google News homepage a new look and feel with enhanced customization, discovery and sharing. This redesign was our biggest since Google News launched in beta in 2002.

Some of you told us that you really liked it, especially how the "News for you" section lets you see a stream of articles tailored to the interests you specify. The positive usage data we saw during our months-long tests of the redesign has continued since we introduced it to all users of the U.S. English edition, and hundreds of thousands of you have already customized your Google News homepages. But some of you wrote in to say you missed certain aspects of the previous design, such as the ability to see results grouped by section (U.S., Business, etc.) in two columns.

At Google, we’re all about launching and iterating, so we've been making improvements to the design in response to your feedback. For example, we're now showing the entire cluster of articles for each story, rather than expanding the cluster when you hover your mouse over it. We've given you the ability to hide the weather forecast from your local news section. We made the option to switch between List view and Section view more obvious. And today we’re adding a third option in "News for you": Two-column view, which shows the three top stories from each section and looks like this:

A key goal of the redesign was to give you more ways to personalize your Google News, and these changes add even more choices. A heartfelt thanks to all of you who have shared your thoughts with us. Please keep letting us know what you think, and we’ll keep working to make Google News even better.
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Labels: announcements
Extra! Extra! Google News redesigned to be more customizable and shareable
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 2:00 PM
Posted by by Kevin Stolt, Software Engineer

There’s an old saying that all news is local. But all news is personal too—we connect with it in different ways depending on our interests, where we live, what we do and a lot of other factors. Today we’re revamping the Google News homepage with several changes designed to make the news that you see more relevant to you. We’re also trying to better highlight interesting stories you didn’t know existed and to make it easier for you to share stories through social networks.



The new heart of the homepage is something we call "News for you": a stream of headlines automatically tailored to your interests. You can help us get it right by using the "Edit personalization" box to specify how much you’re interested in Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports or any subject you want to add (whether it’s the Supreme Court, the World Cup or synthetic biology). You can choose to view the stories by Section view or List view, and reveal more headlines by hovering over the headline with your mouse. We’ll remember your preferences each time you log in. If you don’t want customized Google News, hit "Reset personalization" to clear all personalization preferences. If you haven't previously customized and would prefer not to, simply save and close the "Edit personalization" box. You can always go back and change it later.

To give you more control over the news that you see, we’re now allowing you to choose which news sources you’d like to see more or less often. You can do so in News Settings. These sources will rank higher or lower for you (but not for anyone else) in Google News search results and story clusters. We’ve also added keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation, like in Gmail or Google Reader. When you’re in Google News, hit the question-mark key to pop up a full list of shortcuts.

There are the subjects that interest you and then there’s the major news of the day. To make it easy for you to find the big stories like Hurricane Alex, we’re adding links to topics that many outlets are covering. You’ll find these topics in the Top Stories section on the left side of the homepage as well as in linked keywords above headlines. Clicking on a topic link takes you to a list of related coverage that you can add to your news stream. You can change your preferences any time in "Edit personalization."

The redesigned Google News homepage is rolling out today in the English-language edition in the U.S., and we plan to expand it to all editions in the coming months. We’re making the ability to choose which sources you’ll see more or less often available in all English-language editions worldwide and plan to expand it soon. For more information about these changes, check out the video below or visit our Help Center.

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Labels: announcements, features
The Magic of a Game 7
Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:25 AM
Posted by David Smydra, Google News Online Team

Growing up a diehard Pistons fan in Detroit, Michigan, I was taught two things about the sport of basketball. First, always cheer against the Boston Celtics. Second, always cheer against the Los Angeles Lakers. Fortunately, this was an easy thing for me to do: the Pistons beat both teams en route to its first NBA championship in 1989.

Tonight, however, the Lakers and Celtics complete their twelfth championship match-up in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. This will be just the fifth time that a Lakers-Celtics Finals has reached seven games. And of course I know this by browsing through Google News Archive Search.

I can read about how Celtics coach Red Auerbach was "feeling a bit cocky" in the 1962 NBA Finals. Or about how the Celtics became the first major professional sports team to win eight consecutive championships by dispatching the Lakers in 1966. Or how Wilt Chamberlain wanted to beat Bill Russell's Celtics "in the worst way" in 1969. (He didn’t; the Celtics won again.) Or about how Lakers coach Pat Riley wanted to make history in the 1984 NBA Finals by beating the Celtics in Game 7, on the road, in the old Boston Garden. (Yet again, the Lakers lost.)

While the Celtics have history on their side, this year’s Lakers can boast a better overall record and are the defending champions, having won the 2009 Finals. Then again, they lost in the 2008 NBA Finals to...the Boston Celtics.

So it should be a great game, and well worth following. For that, be sure to check Google News.

As for my prediction, what can I say? I’m still recovering from the fact that the Pistons had their worst record in sixteen years and didn’t even make the playoffs. I guess it’s impossible for both teams to lose, huh?
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Labels: currently in the news
Krishna Bharat discusses the past and future of Google News
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 4:07 PM
Posted by Chris Gaither, Senior Manager, News Industry Relations

Krishna Bharat invented Google News more than eight years ago. His aim: help people easily find multiple perspectives on the news of the day by using computers to group together links to similar stories. Aside from a two-year stint in India to start our research and development operations there, Krishna has been working to improve Google News ever since.

Krishna visited the IJ-7 “innovation journalism” conference at Stanford University last week and held an on-stage conversation with David Nordfors, executive director of Stanford’s Center for Innovation and Communication. Below you can watch video of the conversation and hear from Krishna about why he created Google News, how it works, where it’s headed and why he’s optimistic about the future of professional journalism.

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Labels: currently in the news, features
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