Google News

Google News is a free news aggregator provided and operated by Google Inc, selecting most up-to-date information from thousands of publications by an automatic aggregation algorithm.

Launched in September 2002, the service was tagged as a beta test for over three years until January 2006.[1] The initial idea was developed by Krishna Bharat.[2][3]

The layout of Google News underwent a major revision on May 16, 2011.

In March 2005, attention was called to Googles inclusion of the National Vanguard magazine, and the resulting controversy prompted Google News to remove the site from its service. In another case, Google was criticized for not including sources that are censored in China. On September 27, 2004, on the official Google Blog, the Google Team wrote: "For users inside the Peoples Republic of China, we have chosen not to include sources that are inaccessible from within that country".

In 2007, a Belgian court ruled that Google did not have the right to display the lead paragraph from French-language Belgian news sources when Google aggregated news stories.[14]

Newspapers representing more than 90 percent of the market in Brazil opted out of having their links appear in Google News according to reports, resulting in only a "negligible" drop in traffic.[15] Some Europe-based news outlets have asked their governments to consider making Google pay to host links.

Google News provides searching, and the choice of sorting the results by date and time of publishing (not to be confused with date and time of the news happening) or grouping them (and also grouping without searching). In the English versions, there are options to tailor the grouping to a selected national audience.

Users can request e-mail "alerts" on various keyword topics by subscribing to Google News Alerts. E-mails are sent to subscribers whenever news articles matching their requests come online. Alerts are also available via RSS and Atom feeds.

On June 6, 2006, Google News expanded, adding a News Archive Search feature, offering users historical archives going back more than 200 years from some of its sources. There was a timeline view available, to select news from various years.

In early 2010, Google removed direct access to the archive search from the main Google News page, advanced news search page and default search results pages. These pages indicated that the search covered "Any time", but did not include the archive and only included recent news. This feature had previously been available by clicking "All dates", but after the change could only be found by clicking through the advanced search page to the Archive Search page.

During the summer of 2010, Google decided to redesign the format of the Google news page, creating a firestorm of complaints.[17]

In May 2011, Google cancelled plans to scan further old newspapers. About 60 million newspaper pages had been scanned prior to this event.[18] Google announced that it would instead focus on "Google One Pass, a platform that enables publishers to sell content and subscriptions directly from their own sites".[19]

In August 2011, the "News Archive Advanced Search" functionality was removed entirely, again generating complaints from regular users who found that the changes rendered the service unusable.[20] Archival newspaper articles could still be accessed via the Google News Search page, but key functionalities such as the timeline view and ability to specify more than 10 results per page were removed.

On December 1, 2009, Google announced changes to their "first click free" program,[22] which has been running since 2008 and allows users to find and read articles behind a paywall. The readers first click to the content is free, and the number after that would be set by the content provider.[23]

As a news aggregator site, Google uses its own software to determine which stories to show from the online news sources it watches. Human editorial input does come into the system, however, in choosing exactly which sources Google News will pick from. This is where some of the controversy over Google News originates, when some news sources are included when visitors feel they dont deserve it, and when other news sources are excluded when visitors feel they ought to be included. For examples, see the above mentions of Indymedia, or National Vanguard.

The actual list of sources is not known outside of Google. The stated information from Google is that it watches more than 4,500 English-language news sites. In the absence of a list, many independent sites have come up with their own ways of determining Googles news sources, as in the chart below.

Wikipedia was a Google news source for a period of time in 2009 and then again from 2012.[24]

The site Google News Report monitors the Google News homepage, and for May 2007, published this list of the top 26 sites most-often referenced by Google News.