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Thursday, July 01, 2010
Google News Redesigned

Google on Wednesday overhauled its news website to tailor pages to individual interests of readers.

The company revamping the Google News homepage with several changes designed to make the news that users see more relevant to them. Google is also trying to better highlight interesting stories and to make it easier for users to share stories through social networks.

The new heart of the homepage is something Google calls "News for you": a stream of headlines automatically tailored to a users' interests. By using the "Edit personalization" box, users can specify how much they're interested in Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports or any subject they want to add. Users can choose to view the stories by Section view or List view, and reveal more headlines by hovering over the headline with their mouse. Google will remember users' preferences each time they log in. For all those who don't want customized Google News, a "Reset personalization" button is available to clear all personalization preferences.

Google is also now allowing users to choose which news sources they would like to see more or less often. Users can do so in News Settings. Google has also added keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation, like in Gmail or Google Reader.

To make it easy for users to find the big stories like Hurricane Alex, Google is adding links to topics that many outlets are covering. Users will find these topics in the Top Stories section on the left side of the homepage as well as in linked keywords above headlines. Clicking on a topic link takes them to a list of related coverage that they can add to their news stream.

Google is also more prominently displaying the Spotlight section, which features stories of more lasting interest than breaking news. And then there's local news; Google is now highlighting weather and headlines about each user's city or neighborhood in their section, which users can edit with whichever location they want to follow.

Finally, users can now easily share story clusters with other people via Buzz, Reader, Facebook or Twitter.

The redesigned Google News homepage is rolling out today in the English-language edition in the U.S., and Google plans to expand it to all editions in the coming months.

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