Google has put together a new €60 million (around $82 million U.S.) fund called the Digital Publishing Innovation Fund. The Fund is a way for Google to work with the authorities in France over an on-going legal battle when it comes to displaying links from France’s media publications on Google News.
Google News Posts
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was in Paris this past Monday. France President Francois Hollande threatened to put in legislation that would force Google pay publishers for indexing news stories on Google News unless an alternative agreement was put into place by the end of the year.
After Google News officially launched, many publishers were angry about their content being “siphoned.” Google News was even called a “digital vampire” and a pirate. Eventually publishers realized the benefits of the traffic increases that they were seeing by the news aggregation service. Around one billion people look at Google News every single week and the publishers want to see this traffic. Google News was founded 10 years ago (September 22, 2002). The company harvests articles from over 50,000 news sources across 72 editions and 30 languages.
Every day Google News goes scans through the Internet and showcases the top news. Now Google News has expandable stories for each headline that they showcase. You can see more or less content by clicking the cluster arrow, known as the click-to-expand feature. Each story also has genre labels such as “Opinion” or “In Depth.” Multimedia thumbnails have been added to each headline such as YouTube videos also. [Google Blog]
If you have an Android or an iOS device, Google has made a “News near you” feature available for you. The Google News website will display news that is relevant to you based on where you are geographically located at the time. Location-based news first arrived on the scene in 2008. To use the feature, visit http://news.google.com/ on your iOS or Android device. If it is your first time visiting the website, a pop-up will ask you if you want to share your location. Hit “yes” and you will start seeing a section called “News near you” at the bottom of the homepage. You can turn off the feature by hiding the section in your Google News personalization section. [Google Mobile Blog]
News Corporation and their subsidiaries along with the Denver Post and the Dallas Morning News might be pulling their stories from the Google search engine very soon. Microsoft is rumored to be in talks with News Corporation to partner on a deal that will add the stories into the Bing search engine and news website. The Denver Post, the Dallas Morning News, and The Wall Street Journal would charge for content and remove it from Google News.
Rupert Murdoch was interviewed recently on Sky News and he claimed Google was stealing content from his company. MediaNews Group Inc. CEO William Dean Singleton said that the Denver Post will block Google News when the Denver Post starts charging.
“There’s value in that traffic and I think publishers recognize that value,” stated Google News Head Josh Cohen. “The reason they’re not opting out is they’re getting something from that relationship.”
Google Labs has started a new service called Fast Flip. Many publishers and content owners will not be thrilled because clicking on a news article keeps the user within Google News. Screenshots of other websites appear on the frame in the left. The Fast Flip homepage has screenshots of recent and popular news articles.
However a large share of publishers agreed Google News to use their logos and images as part of the new user interface. Fast Flip is mobile-friendly too. Google will even share the revenue of contextual advertising with the selected publishers. This is the first time that Google will be sharing revenue for news content.
Krishna Bharat, the creator of Google News, described Fast Flip as “a new reading experience that combines the best elements of print and online articles.”
Google News has gotten a makeover where a featured photo, images, and popular stories have become the center of attention. When clicking on the link below news stories that say “all xxxx news articles,” you are redirected to a page that has all the articles related to the original story and features photos and videos on the side. At the bottom of that page is a link to relevant blogs too. This is great for bloggers because now their content doesn’t necessarily have to be just on Google Blog Search.
Google News uses an algorithm to collect all relevant stories. This algorithm has been the subject of controversy when dealing with The Associated Press.
TechCrunch gave the new Google News interface a negative review, but I believe the changes applied are quite beneficial. The images and videos provide more clarity on what the news articles are about and it levels the playing field between news agencies and bloggers.
[via Google News Blog]