Google has transformed into a major hub for news, alerts, and trends. Google News is a site that compiles headlines from worldwide news sources, sorts related stories and displays them based off each reader’s personalized interests. While researching the world of Web 2.0, I’ve noticed that a main aspect of new innovations is personalization. Google aims to incorporate that by allowing readers to personalize their news settings. Google news provides links to various news articles and allows readers to first choose what subject interests them and also which publishers’ account of each story they’d like to read. Readers can choose which news topics they see, add a custom section, change their location, see news for a different country and language, see stories suggested for them, and stop seeing stories based on previous searches.
An example of how Google News works would be if a reader chose the US Presidential Debate as a news story topic that they wanted to follow. If they set up Google Alerts, they would be alerted with stories in the past couple of days about a tape being released of the infamous Donald Trump spoke in vulgar terms about his pursuit of an unnamed woman. By personalizing their Google News to stories about the debate, users gain quick and easy access to an array of stories and sources surrounding the topic.
Another important aspect of Google 2.0 is Google Trends. Google Trends is a search tool that allows users to see how often specific keywords, subjects, and phrases have been queried over a specific period of time. For example, some popular trends right now are the second Presidential Debate, Hurricane Matthew, and the MLB Playoffs.
So, why use Google News, Alerts, and Trends?
Well, the Google News Publisher Center, allows publishers to specifically label different sections of their site from the Publisher Center’s web interface, which makes it easier for Google to classify their articles for Google News. Also, publishers can use this tool to alert Google when they add new sections to their site for special occasions (elections or major sporting events). So, Google establishes a positive and efficient relationship with publishers, which also draws more of those publishers’ readers in.
Also, the idea of personalizing your news is a huge factor. An important aspect of Web 2.0 is making things personal. I saw this when examining Facebook Live, in which users could connect personally to their family and friends. With Google News, users can avoid time searching for news stories they are interested in, and can feel as though Google is attending to their personal interests.
Google Trends also incorporates this personal aspect by allowing users to search specific trends that they are interested in or relate to their lives somehow. For example, people living in the states affected by Hurricane Matthew can use this interactive map found on Google Trends to track the storm.
Google is aiming its efforts towards individuals, by attending to their personal needs. This idea of individuality is huge in our modern day culture and is the reason why Google attracts so many users.