Google News will soon start highlighting journalists’ profiles in Google News. But rather than highlighting the profiles from their primary website/writing venue, Google will be highlighting their Google+ profiles.
In a blog post today, Google showed an example of how the profiles will be featured within Google News.
The journalist has to first have a Google account that’s linked to their articles, and when that’s the case, Google News will show the journalist’s Google account profile photo along with information about his/her from Google+ — how many followers and an “Add to circles” button. There’s also a link on the journalist’s name but, rather than linking to his/her primary website, the link points to the Google+ profile.
It’s very similar to the changes Google made last week to how it displays rel=author markup in regular Google.com search results, and I suspect it’s going to open up Google to more charges that it’s promoting its own services/properties in search results. (I’d bet that many journalists, not to mention their employers, would rather be featured with a link to their profile/author page on their main website, or perhaps even a link to their Twitter profile, for example. Google would likely argue that, Hey, we’re giving your name and face extra visibility that you didn’t have before; we’ll link wherever we want, thank you very much.)
Google says this change will roll out over the “next several weeks” and will only be available in English-language versions of Google News at first.