Google News Your Way

News junkies who make the daily pilgrimage to the Google News site now have
more control over how they see their news with new customization options,
officials said Thursday.

The Mountain View, Calif., company added a bevy of new features to its seemingly
perpetual beta news site, allowing users to re-arrange the sections on the
page, create keyword-driven custom sections and even mix-and-match sections
from other Google News sites around the world.

Google’s service aggregates stories from 4,500 English-speaking news sources
around the world, using an algorithm to rank stories by their relevance and
popularity within the general sections of World, Sci/Tech, Entertainment,
Business, U.S., World, Sports and Health.

Google News is available in nine languages and also features news tailored
to 22 regions around the world, in that region’s language.

Readers can also modify the news stories within the sections by reducing or
adding the number of headlines per section or displaying headlines only,
removing the first sentence and image. Users can also modify the number of
stories appearing on the front page by clicking on the “Show more stories”
or “Show fewer stories” links found at the bottom of each section, adding or
subtracting one story at a time.

It wouldn’t be a Google service if search wasn’t somewhere in the new
offering. Users can create a section based on the keyword
terms they would use in a search query. This custom section allows users to determine the number of stories to display, as well as select where on the page they would like it placed.

In addition to region-specific standard news sections, users can add the
eight standard sections found in other regions. So, a French-reading Google
News user can add the German business section from that region.

Users can create up to 20 sections, using any
combination of standard and custom sections. Google officials also included
the option to share the custom view with others, or migrate it to another
computer. Each custom Google News page is saved as a unique URL.

The customization information for each unique news page is saved in a cookie
that’s stored in the computer, so cookies need to be enabled
in order for the service to work. Also, JavaScript must be enabled and
users must use the minimum versions of the following Web browsers: Internet
Explorer 6.0, Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.4, Firefox .8, Opera 7.54 or Safari

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