Google Puts News on a Timeline

    April 15, 2009
    Chris Crum

One of the big debates about online news is that original sources don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Google News has recently been one of the focal points in the ongoing Associated Press finger-pointing sessions.

Within the last week, Google has introduced a timeline for articles on Google News, which could help this to some extent. Of course "sort by date" was always an option when looking at Google News search results, but now, you can visually see the sequence of articles on any given story as they were indexed by Google News.

Google News Timeline

Each story has several related articles sectioned with it, and a link to view all articles related to it. Clicking this link will take you to the timeline page.

Google News Timeline

Of course, the feature is not only good to see which articles were written earlier for those interested in "original" sources. It is also a good way to see the progression of news, and find if you are getting the latest information, or an outdated version.

"The story on the pirate attack of a U.S. ship in Somalia this week provides a good example of when the timeline can be helpful," says Nandini Seshadri at the Google News Blog. "The graph shows the evolution of the story from the pirate takeover of the ship on April 10th to the release of the ship’s captain on the 12th. The timeline also shows the evolution of media attention and coverage of the story, with a peak of nearly 3000 indexed articles written when the standoff ended and the captain was freed."

Google says it will be introducing more features to Google News in the coming months, though there is no hint of what these will be.