Google is introducing a number of new features to assist local publishers in connecting with readers, as well as new tools for reporters to produce more in-depth, digitally focused work.
These new features are coming to Google Search to make it easier for readers to find content from local publishers than ever before. When Google finds local news coverage relevant to their query, readers will soon see a carousel of local news stories.
Readers are looking for local news in larger amounts than ever before. Google searches for “news near me” have tripled in the last five years, reaching an all-time high during the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020
New product features for news
Google published they have a number of new news features coming to Google Search First, Google is expanding a feature that we initially launched for COVID searches.
Readers will soon see a carousel of local news stories when Google finds local news coverage relevant to their query.
This carousel will be available globally in all languages and helps readers easily find stories near them from local news publishers.
The feature helps local publishers by adding another way for their essential reporting to reach the community that needs it most.
Over the past few months, Google’s team is also working on improving systems so authoritative local news sources appear more often alongside national publications, when relevant, in google’s general news features such as Top Stories.
This improvement ensures people will see authoritative local stories when they’re searching for news, helping both the brand and the content of news publishers reach more people.
Google also published :
In addition, we have improved the local news experience by refining our ability to understand topics beyond just broad areas, like sports, to narrower subtopics, such as football and high school football. When paired with our location signals, this helps readers get more relevant material for the topics they are searching. For example, if you’re in Detroit and search for football, we’ll now show you results for local high school and college teams, rather than just showing you results for, say, the professional team.
New features lined up
Local News Carousel: When there is local news that is relevant to the user’s query, Google will display a carousel dedicated to local news stories.
Top Stories Carousel: Authoritative local news sources will appear more frequently in the Top Stories carousel, which is typically reserved for national publications’ stories.
Deeper Topic Understanding: Google is improving its capacity to link broad topics with local stories. Searches for “football,” for example, may yield results about the searcher’s local teams.
Local Tweets: When looking for local news, users can now find tweets from local, authoritative publications and journalists.
New data tools for reporters
Google also posted :
In addition to our product news, we’ve also been looking at how we can help reporters cover stories with locally relevant data.
The U.S. Census is one of the largest data sets journalists can access. It has layers and layers of important data that can help reporters tell detailed stories about their own communities. But the challenge is sorting through that data and visualizing it in a way that helps readers understand trends and the bigger picture.
Census Mapper Project: a map that can be embedded and displays Census data at the national, state, and county levels, as well as census tracts. The Associated Press collected and processed the data.
Common Knowledge Project: A new version of this existing tool that allows US journalists to explore local data incorporates journalist feedback as well as new features such as geographic comparisons, new charts, and visuals.