Charged: Google News is broken. “There’s been a lot of discussion about the future of publishing over the last few years, particularly as Facebook traffic began cratering, leaving publishers scrambling to find new sources of traffic. What’s never really discussed, however, is how those platforms work, and how news sources end up getting mountains of traffic from them, let alone approved for them in the first place.”
CNET: Google could kill Google News in EU over controversial proposed law. “If the European Union goes ahead with a controversial set of changes to digital copyright, Google could pull its Google News service from the continent, according to a report Monday by Bloomberg.”
The Guardian: Google News may shut over EU plans to charge tax for links. “Google’s top news executive has refused to rule out shutting down Google News in EU countries, as the search engine faces a battle with Brussels over plans to charge a ‘link tax’ for using news stories.” This discussion has been happening since at least 2015. Somebody ask Spain how it went.
Poynter: Ahead of the midterms, Google News Lab created a way to see what’s trending at the state, county and city level. “With close to 500 House and Senate seats in play with the midterm elections, Google News Lab started thinking about how local reporters might use local data in their work. On Wednesday, the team went live with a Google Trends Midterm page with data on real-time Google search trends at the state, county and city level. (Disclosure: The Google News Initiative funds some training and projects at Poynter.)”
The Atlantic: Why Google Doesn’t Rank Right-Wing Outlets Highly. “As a thought experiment, pick some markers of relevance (timeliness, impact, keyword density) and quality (originality, sourcing, depth). Now apply a ranking algorithm to the work of the mainstream media, which is to say the big networks, papers, and digital sites that abide by traditional journalistic values. Then apply the same standard to the conservative publications that PJ Media bemoaned the lack of.”
Nieman Lab: Does your Google News change based on whether you’re conservative or liberal?. “How much do algorithms encourage echo chambers? We know that the information people receive can be very different depending on the terms they Google — and that can lead to fears about people with different political leanings receiving very different news. A small study that will be published in Computers in Human Behavior, however, provides some reassuring news.”
Nieman Lab: On a big story like the Helsinki Trump/Putin summit, Google News’ algorithm isn’t up to the task. “Imagine that you came back home after a busy day of work and wanted to catch up on the news about the Trump/Putin summit. This is, in fact, exactly what I did Monday. I knew some interesting stuff had happened, but I wanted to dive deeper — to see multiple stories and get different perspectives. Google News seemed like a good place to start.”