Posts Tagged ‘google news’

Google News adds badges to identify content you engage with most

July 15th, 2011

I typically associate badges with anything that is gamified, Foursquare being the best and most famous example of using badges to reward someone unlocks an achievement.

But as of yesterday in the U.S., Google has added badges to its Google News service. The badges are designed to help you keep track of what type of content you engage with most, and what you most often click-through to read.

Take politics for example: If you continue to visit Google News and consume politics content, you’ll earn a badge related to that. The more content you read related to that topic, the higher level badge you’ll receive. Badges start at a bronze level and then move up to silver, gold, platinum and ultimate. Google says it has more than 500 badges available for almost any interest. Here is a sample:

Google News badges

As you earn more badges, they begin to show up on your Google News page and you can then use those badges to create sections related to specific content.

Badges are private by default, but you can share them with friends and use the +1 features. To get started with badges, Google says you need to visit Google News from a signed-in account with web history enabled and then visit this page on the Help Center for instructions. Google says this is just the first step of what is possible with badges.

I applaud the effort to be different, and think it could definitely help people create sections that curate content based on their interest. Readers may unconsciously know they have an addiction to Harry Potter stories, but once the badge pops up it may be a more direct confirmation. The ability to create sections on the fly based on interest, is also great.

That said, I don’t think this is a huge step forward, either. People will always drill-down into a site to find content they want or they will use a search function to get it. While the badges are good reminders and direct links to find content we want and like, I don’t think they’re much different than simply bookmarking a section you’re interested in.

Also, in its current form I’m not sure badges are the most appropriate tool to promote this activity; badges typically are rewarded to people for reaching achievements, and I don’t see this as achieving anything. It may promote increased activity among some users, but for those who truly compete to earn badges, I think this initiative fails to address the real underlying reason people compete to unlock badges. I will be watching closely to see how this changes over time. It’s a good start, for sure.

What do you think about the new Google News badges?

Google News adds attribution metatags to content to give ‘credit where credit is due’

November 17th, 2010

Google News

In an effort to give “credit where credit is due,” Google has announced new metatags to be used in Google News. In a blog post by Eric Weigle, Google says it’s experimenting with tags so news outlets an define whether content is original or comes from a syndication source.

“News publishers and readers both benefit when journalists get proper credit for their work,” Weigle writes. “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.”

The two tags address two different scenarios, Google says, and both are intended to give publishers and journalists credit for their work. The metatags can be used in the following ways:

1) 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">

2) 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">

Google says the code can be implemented to point to the current page URL, or multiple “original-source” metatags on one page in the event multiple sources were used.

“Although these metatags are already in use by our systems, you may not notice their impact right away,” writes Weigle. “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.”

- Cross-posted to Future of Media

Yahoo News developing politics, opinion site similar to Huffington Post

December 24th, 2009

According to a recent posting on Yahoo’s job board, the company is looking for an Editor-in-Chief to oversee a new opinion and politics section. The new section appears to be geared toward people who favour sites such as the Huffington Post.

The news editor will be tasked with building a network of freelance writers and bloggers who will write opinion and analysis articles, as well as blog posts. Yahoo says its goal is to make its news site deeper and richer with content that will “complement” breaking news from AP and Reuters. For those who follow news, it’s perhaps no surprise the highly-trafficked Yahoo News site is looking to broaden its reach into new media, as sites like the Huffington Post have shown a growing reader appetite for opinion pieces and political news.

The Huffington Post has also attracted a great deal of attention from advertisers, something all media executives have noticed. According to comScore numbers, Yahoo News attracted 138 million unique visitors worldwide in November 2009 – more uniques than Google News, CNN or the New York Times.

In the U.S., Yahoo News attracted nearly 39 million unique visitors in November 2009, while the Huffington Post pulled in about 9 million uniques. The Huffington Post has grown 27 percent year-over-year, while Yahoo News’ growth was relatively flat over the same period.

According to MediaPost, Growth at Yahoo News, the No. 1 site on the list, was flat at 38.7 million uniques. CNN Digital Network had the highest average of sessions per person at 7.3 in November, while the Huffington Post increased its traffic in November 2009, up 27% to 8.9 million year-over-year. Yahoo News hopes to tap into that growing population that craves politics and opinion.

The company is looking for someone in Washington, D.C. who has with seven to 10 years experience at a newspaper, magazine, wire service or online news site. Election experience is a must, and the editor will be asked to make appearances on shows such as Meet the Press and This Week.

Yahoo News says the editor of its new politics and opinion section will play a vital role going into election coverage in future years.