Over a year ago, a Google News experiment was revealed in which Google would let news publishers promote certain stories to an "Editors' Picks" section. That was June 2010.
Today, Google announced this as a feature of Google News. "Based on the data from that experiment, we have been working with nearly two dozen publishers in recent months and have seen a positive response from readers and publishers alike: readers get the news they're interested in from the sources they trust, and publishers receive higher traffic to their websites," says Yogita Mehta, a software engineer with the Google News team.
The Editors' Picks section appears in the right-hand column in Google News.
"An array of news organizations, including local, national and niche publishers, are now using Editors’ Picks to display their best, most engaging content," says Mehta. "Because Google News relies on algorithms, Editors' Picks will always be just that—picks provided by publishers themselves, and not by Google. You can browse a set of publisher feeds that span national, specific and local interests—like The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, the Guardian and The Root, among many others—via the side-to-side arrows next to each publisher's logo. The feeds you see are chosen based on a variety of factors, including your news preferences. If you’re interested in using source preferences on Google News, Editors' Picks helps you do that with the slider that appears just below the articles."
News organizations can go to this help center for instructions on using this feature. Right now, it's only available for the U.S. version of Google News. Publishers can set it up via RSS feeds, though they must meet Google's guidelines discussed in the help center.