I am a big fan of Google News and regularly check the site for breaking stories and latest developments in the areas of my interest. The best thing regarding Google News is that there is a different “news” and “Popular” section for each country, so you can always filter unnecessary articles from Google News and find popular topics from a particular region, country etc.
If you are want to customize Google News to track stories or topics of your interest, here is a simple way to filter out specific categories in Google News and build a more enhanced and customized “river of news” in your Google News account.
Enhancing Google News With Custom Sections
1. Go to Google News and sign in with your Google Account. This is important, because the custom sections will appear only when you are signed in and not while you are surfing as an anonymous visitor.
2. Next, click “Add a section” at the right top corner of the page
3. This will open the custom sections directory of Google News, where you can add a few custom sections already created by other Google News users. Since I write a tech blog and have more interest in technology, mobiles, computer security, cloud computing – I added some of the custom sections, as shown below
4. As you add more and more sections from the “Custom sections” directory, a link to each of the custom sections would be added to the left sidebar of Google News section. This is useful in the sense that you can quickly click the link to any customized section and browse through news articles from only the section of your choice.
Tip: Before adding a section from Google News custom sections directory, run a check on the author and how many users are using that section. This will give you a rough idea on the popularity and usefulness of a custom section and whether adding it will provide “value” in the longer run.
Adding Custom Sections From Another City, Country Or Geographic Location
Do you want to track the latest mobile news happening in London or UK ? Do you want to stay updated on the political and social updates of a specific country ? Google News has an interesting “Edition” section at the right which allows you to add custom sections from a specific location.
Just enter the country name and the custom topic in the “Add a standard section” box and off you go. The link will be added to Google News sidebar and you can quickly read country specific stories, blog posts or headlines.
Moreover, you can enter multiple or single keywords in the “Custom location” box and filter stories revolving around a specific city or geographic location.
Tracking Specific Topics In Google News
One of the biggest problems with news aggregators like Google News, Techmeme is that some stories which receive less reaction gets ignored and don’t make their way to the first page. You might be interested in recent trends about a specific keyword but since the entire internet audience is not paying much attention to that specific topic or keyword, you won’t be able to track it from Google news first page.
That’s when the custom section for keywords in Google News comes really handy.
Go to Google news, click “Add a section” and then click on “Create a custom search” section. Next, add all the search terms and keywords you would want to track and remember to choose the edition to “All editions”, if you want to track news and blog posts around the world. Adding keyword targeted sections in Google News is a great way to filter specific stories and news headlines about specific topics, which don’t receive too much attention from the “crowd”. [ Thank you Andrew ].
Google News Vs Google Blog Search
We have Google blog search, another search engine from Google which displays recent blog posts but personally I recommend sticking to Google News for two reasons.
First, Google Blog search displays content from every other blog and hence the results may or may not be that relevant. However, Google News have strict guidelines in place and they don’t allow just another blog or news publication in their index/search results. The indexed stories are far more relevant, published under well known names and carry much more weight than stories found via Google blog search.
Tips For Web Publishers: Doing SEO For Google News
Getting into the index of Google News is not a joke. It’s really difficult for small to medium sized blogs to be included in Google News and the biggest challenge is to survive and remain in the index, once you’re in.
This blog hasn’t been included in Google News yet so I don’t have any personal tips or tricks on getting included in Google News index. However, the following video from Maile Ohye (Google Employee)should be a good start for web publishers who want to optimize their content and website for Google News and get additional traffic or eyeballs