Google News Tests Editors’ Picks

Google News, which has always prided itself on being a 100% computer-generated news aggregator with no human intervention, is doing an about-face. The Nieman Journalism Lab reports that a limited test is underway which involves human editors from “partner news organizations” manually choosing certain articles “to be featured on Google News.”

The new Editors’ Picks section appears on the right side of the Google News interface and includes a yellow-shaded box that offers more information about the new feature. The NJL piece says that less than a dozen news outlets are involved in the test program, and they are not paying Google to be featured like this.

Google News, meanwhile, continues to show this disclaimer at the bottom of its pages:

google-news

Google has been at odds with many of the big players in the journalism industry in recent years. Rupert Murdoch has accused Google of “stealing” his papers’ stories and has threatened to block Google from crawling News Corp properties. There have even been suggestions that Google should help rescue newspapers from declining revenues. In light of all that background, this seemingly innocuous test on Google News may represent something of an olive branch toward journalists.

There’s more discussion on Techmeme.

Postscript, June 14: A Google spokesperson tells us that the following publishers are involved in this test — Reuters, The Washington Post, Newsday, Slate, BBC News, Computer World, US Magazine, The Atlantic and Fast Company — and says one more may be added soon. Says the Google spokesperson:

The news organizations participating in this limited test decide which of their articles are featured. They can choose up to five links that appears in their Editors’ Picks box. So, for example, if I’m a user in the test and visit the Google News homepage, I might see a Washington Post Editors’ Picks box with up to five links chosen by the Post. Then the next time I visit I might see an Editors’ Picks with BBC News or Reuters or Computer World, etc.

Related Topics: Channel: Content | Google: News | Google: User Interface

Sponsored


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.whitehat-blackbelt.com RebeccaL

    Is it just me, or does this seem to open the door to “pay for play”?

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide