As the web has evolved, Google has continued to dominate the search field, with their most recent update being the addition of a news feed in their mobile app. This feed originally showed users news, sports updates and weather information Google thought was important to them. But now, it uses updated machine learning algorithms to anticipate and deliver content that is more personalised than ever before.
The Follow Button
Now you will be able to tell Google exactly what you’re interested in with a “Follow” button that you will see on topic cards when searching in the Google app. You can follow specific things like famous people, TV shows and movies, as well as sports teams, for example. In addition, you can easily unfollow a topic straight from your feed.
If you don’t like the types of articles a particular site delivers, you can just unfollow any updates from them by tapping on the three little dots or the “more” button on the right hand side of individual cards.
Multiple News Sources
Google designed their news feed to give you a wider context on various topics and interests. For instance, searching for a certain movie will provide shortcuts to the trailer, the latest reviews and the cast. Searching for details about a specific sports event will either bring up the scheduled time and if it is over, you’ll get the game score and a video recap.
Another way Google is seeking to broaden your perspective is by providing a “Related Articles” section for certain news items. So, if you happen to search for news about Trump, you will see a carousel with the top articles from different publications with the aim of sharing different points of view on trending news.
Dealing with False News
Another feature designed to combat the false news culture that social media spreads across the world in minutes is the new “Fact Check” feature. According to the Google blog, this feature is designed to filter out fictional news you often find online. They do that by displaying a snippet detailing who made the claim, information on that claim and a verifiable fact check of that claim.
Dive Deeper Into Your Interests
The cards in your news feed will also enable you to dive deeper into any topic you are interested in or that might relate to a topic you follow. By tapping the header of each card, Google will take you to a search on that topic.
For example, a card titled Motorcycle will initiate a search of that phrase. It will bring up a description or definition of what a motorcycle is, as well as sales listings for used motorcycles. You may also see links to motorcycle retailers near your location. A card titled with a band, movie or celebrity’s name will bring up the same results you would get when typing their name into the search bar.
Google and Your Location
The new Google Feed shows you trending topics and news based on your location, as well as from a global perspective. These cards will still be tailored according to your personal interests. In fact, Google says its algorithms are so smart, they can gauge your level of interest in a topic.
So, if your main interest is online marketing, then your feed will have several cards about topics like email or social media marketing. But if you’re also interested in craft projects, you’ll find a few cards about topics like up-cycling used furniture and handmade gifts.
It may feel like Google is trying to compete with social media services like Facebook; however, they say they based their new feed purely on user’s personal interests, and not on what their friends or family likes. The app is still too new to make a final decision on how well it works, but so far most users are impressed. Google continues to raise the bar for better personalisation, so keep an eye out for their next big update.