Google News design for desktop gets a revamp with 20th anniversary update

The new look for Google News on the desktop is inspired by feedback that Google received from its readers.

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By Abhinav Kumar

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Tech giant Google has launched the redesigned Google News on Desktop with some new features to mark its 20th anniversary. Now, the webpage gives more importance to local and personalized news content.

Previously, the headlines section was placed on the top along with the weather widget on the side while other news categories like World, For You, and Local news were shown below or by selecting these topics from the sidebar.

Google News Redesign

Now, the news categories are moved from the left-hand side of the screen to a menu bar at the top of the page for easier accessibility. The Top Stories tab is accompanied by a Local stories tab on its side and the weather widget now takes up a small space on the top right of the screen. 

Customisation is also added with this update. Users can tap on the customize button next to the Your topics section to select the topics they are interested in and Google will show News from these topics on the home screen. The order of appearance of news categories can also be modified. 

Google News Customisation

The Fact Section too got a makeover and it now clearly highlights the original false claim and verified assessment by reputed organizations with more details about the story. 

In a blog post, the company said, “Our new look for Google News on desktop was inspired by feedback we received from readers. We’ve made it easier for you to catch up on the most important news by bringing Top stories, Local news and personalized picks for you to the top of the page.”

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Abhinav Kumar


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Abhinav is an editor at OnlyTech. He is a tech enthusiast who loves to read and write about new things. He spends most of his time tinkering with smartphones or computers when not writing about tech.

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With readership shifting majorly to a mobile-first platform, the likes of Google and Facebook are focusing on reducing page load times for news articles. Google had initially rolled out its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) services to its Search platform, and publications were free to adapt it to make their pages load instantly and give readers a seamless reading experience. Recently, Google integrated AMP to Google News too, making its mobile-first intent very clear.

Google’s AMP is a similar initiative as Facebook’s Instant Articles, wherein pages consume lesser data and load instantly. Publications will possibly look to integrate both into their stories; seeing that Facebook has now become an essential tool for publications to reach out to a massive reader base.

While adapting to Google’s AMP standards is easier as it has to be implemented from the publication’s end, Facebook’s Instant Articles on the other hand requires publications to be approved by Facebook itself, till now. While some have already adapted to both, others are yet to do so.

Nandagopal Rajan, Editor-New Media, The Indian Express, explained the goal behind adapting to both the standards, and how he hopes it will affect readership. He said, “Our goal is to be available for our readers on all platforms and hence we are using both platforms effectively. Google AMP and Facebook’s Instant Articles increase our reach by removing the hurdles faced by users in low-bandwidth situations. With both, pages open in an instant and there is no delay. Hence we are not losing readers who would have earlier been put off by the wait to open a link.”

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Google is working on improving its core Google News service by attempting to incorporate hyperlocal results in the news feed. News stories from local news sources will now be tagged as “Local Source” on Google News on the web as well as on the iOS and Android apps.

The update to Google News will now source information from local sources and “hyperlocal blogs” to present a more local picture of a situation. In their blog , Google says, “With more than 75,000 news sources, many of the publishers in Google News specialize on specific topics and locales. The local section in Google News surfaces content from regional papers to hyper-local blogs that otherwise wouldn’t appear in national news.”

Attempting to justify the move, Google quite rightly points out that once a news source of any importance, such as a national news service, picks up a piece of local news, the local source is lost. Google’s algorithm will help solve that problem and will help local sources gain recognition and bring them greater exposure.

Google also adds, “at Google News we are committed to connecting people to the news that matters most to them—be that local, national or international.”

Google News will now highlight local sources for local news Tech2 Mobile

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