Google News Tweaked For Greater Personalisation

Google News continues to be a one-stop shop for news and global events, but it has been enhanced to provide more relevant sports, weather and other information to individual users.

Anand Paka, the product manager for Google News, unveiled the additions in a 27 June post on the Google News Blog.

More Personalisation

“Did my favourite team win or lose? Should I carry sunscreen or rain gear when I go hiking this weekend? And what did I miss in the world of technology and business?” wrote Paka in the post. “These quintessential questions of the day are all ones that Google News can provide quick answers to with some nifty new features. The aim is all about making news more relevant and useful to you by surfacing content that you might need in a hurry.”

For sports fans, a new Sports Scores section on the News home page and the Sports page will provide a snapshot of “live, recently concluded and imminent sporting activity,” wrote Paka. “From this summary, it’s easy to dive in further and do things like click on a score for details of the match or on a specific team to get recent news about it.

Users can customise the sports section, Paka explained: “For example, if you prefer not to see hockey scores, you can turn hockey ‘off’ while keeping the other sports ‘on.’ You can also remove the entire section if you prefer.”

The service is first being launched in the United States, and initially it will include activity from the four major sports organisations in basketball, football, baseball and hockey, according to the post. In the future, Google will expand the section to other countries and sports.

Also new on the Google News home page is a weather section in the right-hand column where users can quickly find a four-day weather forecast, according to Paka. The weather information is delivered based on your location information so users can find the correct details wherever they are located. “We think this is a neat feature as you can track local weather conditions right next to the top stories without having to jump elsewhere to get this information,” wrote Paka.

In addition, the Editors’ Picks section is being gradually expanded beyond the existing Google News home page so that users can find the picks as they peruse other sections of the news site, wrote Paka.

Maturing Service

The Editors’ Picks recommendations “offer publishers a unique way to showcase their best work and build their brand, while enabling readers to discover great content that they might otherwise miss,” wrote Paka. Presently the picks are being expanded into the Technology and Business sections with plans to add more in the future.

Google News has been continuing a steady maturation for some time.

Back in December, Google announced that the service was available for tablet computers in English editions worldwide, which improved the viewing experience for Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and iPad users.

Google News celebrated its 10th birthday in September 2012, its development having been inspired by the widespread interest in news after the 11 September 2001, attacks, according to Google. Google News is now available in more than 72 editions in 30 languages, drawing its information from more than 50,000 news sources, according to the company.

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Originally published on eWeek.

Todd R. Weiss

Freelance Technology Reporter for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

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