Google News leaves beta, adds features

More than three years after introducing Google News, Google announced earlier this week that it had taken the site out of beta. But some features added yesterday are particularly interesting.

If you have news personalization turned on (that is to say, if Google knows who you are, probably by associating you with a Gmail login), just below the Top Stories you see a section entitled recommended for (your email address. In other words, Google is offering to cull the news wires for you and make recommendations, like Amazon does books or Netflix does movies.

Google News can automatically recommend relevant stories just for you by using smart algorithms that analyze your selections. The algorithms compare your tastes to the aggregate tastes of other groups of similar Google News users. Simply put, we recommend news stories to you that have been read by many other users who’ve also read similar stories as you in the past. The more you use Google News while you’re signed in to your Google Account, the better your recommendations will become over time.

It will be interesting to see how useful this feature proves to be. One of the articles it recommended to me was an article about Google’s self-censorship capitulation to China.

Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.