Google News is back in Spain: what it is and how to make the most of it | Your Technology | The country
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Google News has returned to Spain after the loud slam that the company gave in 2014 after the previous Intellectual Property Law was approved in this country. This law forced the service to pay a fee to publishers through a management entity; The new law, signed at the end of 2021, now allows publishers to negotiate individually with Google a remuneration for the publication of the content and with it, the expected return of Google News. What exactly is this service and how to get the most out of it?
What is GoogleNews?
Google News is a content aggregator, or to put it more simply, a website where you can find news related to the interests of each user. To simplify it to the extreme, it is as if one opened the newspaper just to the page that interests him, but expanding it to different sources. It is a summary of the headlines that most interest the user and that come from different sources; and of interests of each user Google knows a lot, precisely.
Once you access the service, either through the web or mobile applications (Android, iOS), you find a unique cover made according to your interests, as long as you have logged in to Google. The first surprise lies in finding a completely random news cover but of great interest to the user. As we have pointed out, this aim is not accidental: Google puts its algorithms to work to offer the reader what is closest to their interests, obtaining said information from the user’s profile.
Why are news items of interest to me displayed?
There are no mysteries. For Google, the user has no secrets: he knows all his interests, which he also seasons with his residence location. And you don’t have to be very insightful to know how Google profiles interests and, in fact, the giant explains it clearly on the product’s support website: “Algorithms determine which stories, images and videos are shown and in which order”, it is specified, although, in some cases, the sources and the Google News team “choose the news”.
The system pinpoints the reader’s interests with great precision using two elements: the user’s past searches, both on Google and on YouTube (remember, as long as they have accessed their Google account on the computer or mobile used), as well as the sources and interests configured by the user in the system.
The news from different perspectives
In addition to offering an attractive front page for the user at a glance, the other great advantage of this tool is that it allows you to compare the news with different sources. The algorithm shows a headline, accompanied by the logo of the header that publishes it, but just below it there is a button, “Full Coverage”, which opens up a range of possibilities for the reader. What happens once it is pressed? It would be simplistic to conclude that more headlines of the same news are displayed: Google News goes one step further.
Once this option is requested, Google News shows a second header led by several sources, with a lot of traffic, and that present the same news but with their respective headlines. But those who want to delve even deeper, will find a little further down the Twitter coverage of the news, once again, ordered by relevance. And if you scroll down the screen, the system offers all the headlines from a wide variety of sources, so that the reader can cover the information from all angles.
Fine-tuning the system for even better results
Google’s algorithm has already proven, over the years, to be very efficient and excellent at knowing the tastes of its users. However, it is still a bot without direct human intervention (except for the selection of the cover mentioned above). Thus, the reader always has the possibility to “give an opinion” on the headline presented and even veto certain sources. How to do it? Above the headline, the user will find a three-point menu that is displayed when hovering over it with a series of possibilities with which the experience can be optimized:
- Save for later: On many occasions, a headline is very attractive, but there is no time at that moment to read the news in its extension and by pressing this button it is ‘stored’ in a section where it can be read later. To access the stored news, you must access Following/Saved News at the top.
- Hide news from the source: The reader will have the possibility to veto certain content providers if they wish, so that the system will not show a single headline from them again. This decision can be reversed by clicking on the configuration (nut in the upper right part of the menu) and after that, Settings / Hidden sources / Manage.
- Show or hide similar news: Without going so far as to hide a source, Google News allows the user to indicate to the system whether the proposed news is interesting or not. In this way, by clicking on the top button with the three points, a thumbs up is displayed with the text “More news like this” (if the news is interesting), or, on the contrary, a thumbs down. It is a way of perfecting the algorithm and presenting an increasingly attractive cover based on interest.
- This is how new topics of interest are added: It is clear that Google plays at home when it puts its algorithm to work, but it leaves room for each one to add different topics that have escaped the great search engine. How can we tell Google News to show new content of our interest? Californians return to their essence in the systematic pesto that, to add new terms, simply type them in the search engine that appears at the top. The interesting thing is that you can also add news from locations other than your own (for example, if you want to follow the information related to the vacation destination).
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