Google News Adds Smart Stars, Personalization

If you’ve used Google News’ function, apocryphally born from the glut of 9/11 news nearly a decade ago, you know that the number of articles can be overwhelming. With personalization increasingly becoming part of Google’s core, you may have also seen the “Recommended” section grow. I’ve moved mine just below the top stories and get a mix of sports, business and some music news. Your mileage will undoubtedly vary.

Google recently announced a new feature for Recommended Newsthat guarantees no two recommended sections remain the same. Just as someone might star an email thread in Gmail, users can now add a star to a news story. But this is “smart star” that does more than just allow you to easily retrieve the story.

Writing on a Google blog, software engineer Jude Britto told users that Google News will now track your interest in a specific story and rewrite its news page to reflect your interest.

When there are significant updates, we will alert you by putting the headline in bold so you can get more information. You can also follow your 20 most recent starred stories in the “Starred” section of Google News.

That kind of personalization is a benefit to many folks carefully monitoring a story, but be sure that you continue to use news media that report all stories. ┬áPersonalization is wonderful, but your small business needs information about the whole world, not just the world you’re aware of and interested in.

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