Google News is one of the biggest news aggregation services out there, providing a birds-eye overview of news since 2002. Twenty years after its initial release as a beta on the web and countless redesigns along the way, Google thought it was time to brush up the service once again. A new Google News website is now available, and it looks much more in line with the mobile app on Android and iOS.
As Google notes in its blog post, Google News’ redesign is supposed to be based on user feedback and puts new sections front and center. Particularly, the new website puts personalized top stories, local news, and picks for you front and center, omitting the less personalized “Headlines” of the old design altogether. The new design also emphasizes individual stories much more than the older one, giving you access to fewer alternative stories at a glance. You can still access more articles on a given story via the Full Coverage shortcut, though. This makes for a less cluttered interface, but still gives you a less differentiated picture of the news.
On a more positive note, the redesign offers a much more condensed view, requiring less scrolling. The local news section in the top right corner also has a new trick up its sleeve. You can add multiple places you’d like to read local news about, complete with a simple option to switch between them. There are also more powerful customization options for those who are logged in with their Google account. A Your topics section further below can be tweaked to your liking with your preferred topics in custom order.
Fact checks have received an overhaul, too, showing you checked claims and the conclusion right then and there. It’s just a bummer that the section has been moved further down, making it just a little less visible. It’s clear that the new Google News for web is modeled after the Android and iOS apps, which have been offering similar layouts and features for a long time.
Additionally, Google News is finally returning to Spain again after an eight-year hiatus. The company left the market due to disputes with publishers over text snippets. It explains that a new copyright law in the country has been passed, “allowing Spanish media outlets – big and small – to make their own decisions about how their content can be discovered and how they want to monetize that content.” Google cites research claiming that news consumption fell sharply when it found itself forced to leave Spain in 2014, with up to 10% traffic reduction to sites.
Google writes that its News service is available in more than 125 countries and 40 languages across the world. Every month, people visit over 24 billion individual articles from News and Search. To comb through the vast thwart of stories out there, Google uses machine learning algorithms to show its readers the most relevant stories to their interests, language, and location.
How to enable and disable the new Google News look on the web
Enabling the new look and feel of Google News is as simple as it can be. Just visit news.google.com as you usually would and look for the blue banner at the top, introducing the new Google News. To get to the new look, click the try it out link.
If you’re not happy with what you see, it’s also possible to revert to the old design, at least for now. To do so, look for the settings cog in the top right corner of the new design and click it. In the pop-up menu that shows up next, click Settings. At the very bottom, there is a Start using the new Google News checkbox. Uncheck it to return to the old design.
Regardless of which design you like, there are tons of tricks and tips to get the most out of Google News.