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We Shouldn't Need Google News

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, May 1, 2007
10 years ago2,083 views

Why we as a Web Nation shouldn't have a need for Google News...

-> "Top Stories" News Summaries vs. RSS
Summarising and informing quickly is a job for RSS. This means they should employ and promote the usage of iGoogle or GReader. Since the redesign of Google Reader was released, I've never used Google News' homepage.

-> News Search vs. Blog Search
These days, there shouldn't be a difference between these two. Blog Search could encompass any news sites (which are essentially big blogs) that have RSS feeds. However, News Search couldn't exactly include all blogs, because they're all about the latest news as such. Even if Blog Search was to be renamed to something more general, it's principal function in providing relevant search on fresh stories is vital.

-> Personalized Search
The items you search for on Google News are sent to Google to provide personalized results in the future. To make it better, it's quite simple: watch your RSS feeds instead.

Granted, there are many people (including Philipp himself) that don't use RSS. But this could still be solved by giving Google Reader the ability to not solely rely on RSS feeds. It could be the source for all things hot, feed or no feed.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Philipp doesn't use RSS? As for the points you made:

-> "Top Stories" News Summaries vs. RSS
I'd argue it's convenient to see everything laid out on a full page with more detail. And I particularly like the fact that once I see a headline I have a choice of which site to go to for getting the full story. The one that's headlining isn't necessarily the best source, and I can recognize sources I like.

-> News Search vs. Blog Search
Combining these two would be disaster. Blog Search already suffers from occasional spam and includes many partial or poorly written articles. When I want the news, I don't want anybody's blog showing up. I want a news source. If I don't care about reputation/quality, I'll do a blog search. But to be able to filter out the junk effectively, there has to be some control over who is a "trusted source" for news and I think Google does a pretty effective job of that. While I may not agree on all their choices, 90% good sources still beats having random blogs or less reputable news sites in my results for news.

-> Personalized Search
Your feed isn't going to learn what you like and only suggest those stories or actively search for more stories related to topics you like. If you want the RSS without the intelligence, it's not personalized. That's the entire point.

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

RSS is for providing you with stories from sources that you already know and like. Google News' aim is to present you other sources, so you can see the story from different angels.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Only about 23-28% of the Internet users user RSS. Most of them still bookmark and surf their bookmarks/site. Secondly, there are sites that are paid subscriptions e.g WSJ. This is still a news site.

Archives of these sites are needed, none of them RSS enabled to content. Search NEWS is an easy way to cull those artifacts. How do you think that Google can retreive information that existed prior to google every being incorporated. Remember the web is older then google!!

One should look at the search functions being implemented in various properties. May it be owned by google or not, is a different thing. Many of these properties are not owned by google, only the bot crawls and indexes the content.

Conor Cleary [PersonRank 8]

10 years ago #

I started using RSS in Google Reader to follow all the blogs I read... about 11 lol. Started about a month or three ago.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I have already ~175 feeds, I don't wan't to add 50 more just to get news, Google News do it for me, in one click, one quick look on all the news in the world. We need google news.

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Reading news and reading feeds are fundamentally different (imo).

Have you noticed that your paper's front page isn't a long list of article titles with snippets and page index? That's by design. The Google News homepage isn't quite right yet (eg. The pictures are seldom relevant or useful to the story they're representing), and a better personalisation and layout would really help improve it.

Speaking for myself, I have site feeds and news search RSS feeds that I use to keep track of things I know about and am interested in following. I use Google News to follow the news in general, track timely and important current events, and hear about things I've never heard of before.

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

What about a news service that uses your existing feeds to display the current news? Aggregation, parsing and all that...

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

But Mambo. Google News is an exact opposite of RSS feeds.

In RSS feeds you GIVE the source, and GET all news from this source.

In Google News you GIVE the topic of the news and GET all the sources that writes about it.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Ludwik, very eloquently put , I don't think there is a simpler and better explanation for that RSS vs News debate!!

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Not true at all. RSS is just a way of formatting content. Google News is a search engine. You can get feeds for a Google News search page or section and read everything from your feed reader.

For example, if you're interested in Google, global warming and Poland subscribe to the corresponding Google News feeds in Google Reader.

There's a big difference between Google News and Blog Search: any feed can qualify for Blog Search, but not every site can be included in Google News (the sources are hand picked).

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here]Ionut: True – you *could* add RSS feeds for each of the news sections in Google News to read them via an RSS reader, but that's not how I read my news. I don't want to see every item that's been reported, I want an overview of what's big news right now – just like news headlines in general.

When I first started using RSS readers I added the RSS feeds for my favorite news sources. Turned out to be a waste of time. I'd get thousands of news items with no indication of what was 'big news' or even *current* news. Now I just flick to Google News every few hours to see what's happening.

As to News / Blog search – personally this is where I see personalisation coming in. I'd like to be able to flag certain sources as 'reliable' or 'not reliable'. That way I can make Blogoscoped a 'news' resource, and flag the 'Christian Science Monitor' as noise. Once they let me do that, there's no difference between Blog Search and News Search.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

>I'd get thousands of news items with no indication of what was 'big news' or even *current* news.

I think this is the second major difference in news vs. rss (the first being sources are found for you, as opposed to you subscribing to specific site feeds). Ranking of importance and timeliness of a story are not part of rss.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Well, he is right, just in the wrong sense.

We don't need Google News just like we don't need Google Local, Product Search, Images, Video, Blogs, Books or Patents.

We type, speak, draw, sing or point at what we want in the magic Google box and Google finds it – or near it, helping us to refine it until we find exactly what we want across their many indices.

Ideally, we just need "Google Search"

I believe Philipp outlined how something like that might work last February

blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-0 ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

> When I want the news, I don't want anybody's blog showing
> up. I want a news source. If I don't care about reputation/
> quality, I'll do a blog search.

Many blogs are also news sources – including high-quality ones (including many which sometimes break tech news faster than traditional news sites). I guess Google knows this, and that's why they include many blogs in Google News.
blogoscoped.com/googlenews/?q= ...
They include Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable and Search Engine Journal, for instance (but decided to kick Google Blogoscoped a while ago :)).

> Philipp doesn't use RSS?

Well, I don't use any traditional RSS reader, but I have an email alert set up that will tell me whenever this page (a kind of RSS reader) changed: blogoscoped.com/google/

Added to that, many of you who post or sent tips use RSS readers...

As far as Google News goes, I admit I never use the homepage and go straight to search, but their search is useful to me. IMO RSS should be the add-on behind websites, and not a replacement for the website.

But news and blog search might be even closer integrated in the future because they're indeed very related (but not related enough to completely merge, I think). For starters, right now when you search on Google News you'll get a small "Blog" link in the left-hand navigation...

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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