Google announced over the weekend that it is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Google News’ launch. The product was unveiled on September 22, 2002, and has gone through quite a few changes in that time.
According to Google, Google News is now available in 72 editions in 30 languages, and counts 50,000 publications among its news sources. Along with Google News search, Google says Google News connects a billion unique users a week to news content.
“Inspired by the widespread interest in news after the September 11 attacks, we invested in technology to help people search and browse news relevant to them,” writes Krishna Bharat, Distinguished Scientist and Founder of Google News, in a blog post. “Google News broke new ground in news aggregation by gathering links in real time, grouping articles by story and ranking stories based on the editorial opinions of publishers worldwide. Linking to a diverse set of sources for any given story enabled readers to easily access different perspectives and genres of content. By featuring opposing viewpoints in the same display block, people were encouraged to hear arguments on both sides of an issue and gain a more balanced perspective.”
“As we have scaled the service internationally, we have added new features (Local News, Personalization, Editors’ Picks, Spotlight, Authorship, Social Discussions), evolved our design, embraced mobile and run ancillary experiments (Fast Flip, Living Stories, Timeline),” says Bharat. “In parallel, we have monitored our quality and challenged our engineers to improve the technology under the hood—increase freshness, group news better, rank stories more accurately, personalize with more insight and streamline the infrastructure.”
Last week, Google announced a new ranking signal for Google News in a news keyword meta tag, encouraging publishers to associate various keywords with their stories, in an effort to help Google better understand the content of an article without having to sacrifice the quality of the content itself in order to help Google. More on that here.
In honor of Google News’ tenth anniversary, Google put together the following graphic, looking at the top news stories for each year of the past decade, as well as some noteworthy changes to Google News:
Bharat wraps up Google’s announcement by saying, “Opportunities abound, and we are excited for where we can take this product in the next decade. While change is inevitable, one thing remains the same: our mission is to bring you the news you want, when you need it, from a diverse set of sources.”