Google News
Google News icon.svg
Google News Homepage
Type of site
News aggregator
Available in35 languages
RegistrationNot required
LaunchedSeptember 2002; 20 years ago (2002-09)

Google News is a news aggregator service developed by Google. It presents a continuous flow of links to articles organized from thousands of publishers and magazines. Google News is available as an app on Android, iOS, and the Web.

Google released a beta version in September 2002 and the official app in January 2006.[1] The initial idea was developed by Krishna Bharat.[2][3]

The service has been described as the world's largest news aggregator.[4] In 2020, Google announced they would be spending US$1 billion to work with publishers to create Showcases.[5]


As of 2014, Google News was watching more than 50,000[6] news sources worldwide. Versions for more than 60 regions in 28 languages were available in March 2012. As of September 2015, service is offered in the following 35 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.[7]

The service covers news articles appearing within the past 44 days on various news websites. In total, Google News aggregates content from more than 20,000 publishers.[8] For the English language, it covers about 4,500 sites;[9] for other languages, fewer. Its front page provides roughly the first 200 characters of the article and a link to its larger content. Websites may or may not require a subscription; sites requiring a subscription are no longer noted in the article's description.[10][dead link]

On December 1, 2009, Google announced changes to their "first click free" program,[11][clarification needed] which has been running since 2008 and allows users to find and read articles behind a paywall. The reader's first click to the content is free, and the number after that would be set by the content provider.[12] Google on December 1, 2009 changed their policy to allow a limit of five articles per day, in order to protect publishers from abuse.[13] This policy was again changed on September 29, 2015 where this limit was changed to three articles per day.[14] In October 2017, this program was replaced with a "flexible sampling" model in which each publisher chooses how many, if any, free articles were allowed.[15][16]

The layout of Google News underwent a major revision on May 16, 2011.

On July 14, 2011, Google introduced "Google News Badges",[17] which it later retired in October 2012.[18]

Additionally in July 2011, the Sci/Tech section of the English Google News versions was split up into two sections: Science and Technology. It was announced that this section split would be performed on other language versions as well.[19] As of early 2013, this split had not been applied to all language versions of Google News.[citation needed]

In June 2017, the desktop version of Google News saw a thorough redesign that according to Google had the goal to "make news more accessible and easier to navigate ... with a renewed focus on facts, diverse perspectives, and more control for users."[20] Yet several options such as the search tools menu were removed along with the redesign, making searches much more difficult. It now uses a card format for grouping related news stories, and as summarized by Engadget, "doesn't look like a search results page anymore", removing text snippets and blue links.[21]

Historically users could choose to hide articles originating from a news source. These hidden sources can still be listed in a user's settings however these exclusions are no longer honoured. The option to exclude a source of news items is no longer presented.

According to a 2020 study in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, Google News prioritizes local news outlets when individuals search for keywords specifically related to topics of local interest.[22]

Controversies with publishers

EU copyright and database right

In March 2005, Agence France-Presse (AFP) sued Google for $17.5 million, alleging that Google News infringed on its copyright because "Google includes AFP's photos, stories and news headlines on Google News without permission from Agence France Presse".[23][24] It was also alleged that Google ignored a cease and desist order, though Google counters that it has opt-out procedures which AFP could have followed but did not. Google now hosts Agence France-Presse news, as well as the Associated Press, Press Association and the Canadian Press. This arrangement started in August 2007.[25] In 2007, Google announced it was paying for Associated Press content displayed in Google News, however the articles are not permanently archived.[26][27] That arrangement ceased on December 23, 2009 when Google News ceased carrying Associated Press content.[28]

In 2007, a preliminary injunction and then a Belgian court ruled that Google did not have the right to display the lead paragraph from French-language Belgian news sources when Google aggregated news stories,[29] nor to provide free access to cached copies of the full content ("in cache" feature),[30] due to both copyright and the sui generis database rights.[31] Google responded by removing the publications both from Google News and the main Google web search.[32] According to the 2009 Report on the outlook for copyright in the EU

With the Google-Copiepresse judgment of 13 February 2007, on the other hand, the Belgian judge ruled that a copy of a webpage memorised by the Google server and the existence of a link giving public access to the same webpage contravene the rights of reproduction and communication to the public. [...] the Belgian judge took the view that Google’s reproduction without comment of parts of articles was not covered by this exception. The same judgement does not consider the exception in respect of quotations for purposes such as criticism or review provided for in Article 5.3.d to be applicable to the Google News service.[33]

In May 2011 the ruling was upheld in appeal[34] after Google reiterated most legal defences from the first grade plus some new ones, which the Court rejected based on the Infopaq ruling and others. In July 2011, Copiepress publications were restored on Google News after they requested so and renounced any complaint based on the judgement.[35]

Nevertheless, in a 2017 briefing on the ancillary copyright for press publishers paid by the European Commission, Prof. Höppner thought the sui generis database right was not violated by most platforms on the basis that the "substantial part" criterion may be too high a bar after C-444/02 Fixtures Marketing v. OPAP[36] and that no publisher was known to have won a case with it.[37]

Publisher right

See also: ancillary copyright for press publishers

Some Europe-based news outlets have asked their governments to consider making Google pay to host links. In Germany, their lobbying lead the introduction of the ancillary copyright for press publishers in 2013. In October 2014, a group of German publishers granted Google a license to use snippets of their publications gratis; the group had first claimed that such snippets were illegal, and then complained when they were removed by Google.[38] In December 2014, Google announced it would be shutting down the Google News service in Spain.[39] A new law in Spain, lobbied for by the Spanish newspaper publishers' association AEDE, would require that news aggregators would have to pay news services for the right to use snippets of their stories on Google News.[40] Google chose to shut down their service and remove all links to Spain-based news sites from international versions of the site.[41]

The attempt at establishing a publisher right on press publications was then repeated at EU level with the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Other geographies

Newspapers representing more than 90 percent of the market in Brazil opted out of having their links appear in Google News according to reports, resulting in only a "negligible" drop in traffic.[32]

Google in June 2020 announced that it will begin paying news publishers that are located in Brazil, Germany, and Australia.[42] Some of the partners for Google's new program include luminaries as Schwartz Media (Australia), Solstice Media, The Conversation, and Der Spiegel (Germany).[43]

Features and customization

A pull-down menu at the top of search results enables users to specify the time period in which they wish to search for articles. This menu includes options such as: past day, past week, past month, or a custom range.

Users can request e-mail "alerts" on various keyword topics by subscribing to Google News Alerts. E-mails are sent to subscribers whenever news articles matching their requests come online. Alerts are also available via RSS and Atom feeds.

Users used to be able to customize the displayed sections, their location on the page, and how many stories are visible with a JavaScript-based drag and drop interface. However, for the US site, this has been disabled in favor of a new layout; roll-out of this layout is planned for other locales in the near future. Stories from different editions of Google News can be combined to form one personalized page, with the options stored in a cookie. The service has been integrated with Google Search History since November 2005. Upon its graduation from beta, a section was added that displays recommended news based on the user's Google News search history and the articles the user has clicked on (if the user has signed up for Search History).

A revamped version of Google News was introduced in May 2018 that included artificial intelligence features to help users find relevant information.[44]

News Archive Search

Main article: Google News Archive

On June 6, 2006, Google News expanded, adding a News Archive Search feature, offering users historical archives going back more than 200 years from some of its sources. There was a timeline view available, to select news from various years.

An expansion of the service was announced on September 8, 2008, when Google News began to offer indexed content from scanned newspapers.[45] The depth of chronological coverage varies; beginning in 2008, the entire content of the New York Times back to its founding in 1851 has been available.

In early 2010, Google removed direct access to the archive search from the main Google News page, advanced news search page and default search results pages. These pages indicated that the search covered "Any time", but did not include the archive and only included recent news.

During the summer of 2010, Google decided to redesign the format of the Google news page, creating a firestorm of complaints.[46]

In May 2011, Google cancelled plans to scan further old newspapers. About 60 million newspaper pages had been scanned prior to this event.[47] Google announced that it would instead focus on "Google One Pass, a platform that enables publishers to sell content and subscriptions directly from their own sites".[48]

In August 2011, the "News Archive Advanced Search" functionality was removed entirely, again generating complaints from regular users who found that the changes rendered the service unusable.[49] Archival newspaper articles could still be accessed via the Google News Search page, but key functionalities such as the timeline view and ability to specify more than 10 results per page were removed.

Coverage artifacts

On September 7, 2008, United Airlines, which was the subject of an indexed, archived article, lost and later not quite regained US$1 billion in market value when a 2002 Chicago Tribune article about the bankruptcy filing of the airline in that year appeared in the current "most viewed" category on the website of the Sun-Sentinel, a sister paper.[50] Google News index's next pass found the link as new news, and Income Security Advisors found the Google result to be new news, which was passed along to Bloomberg News, where it was briefly a current headline and very widely viewed.[50]

See also


  1. ^ Krishna Bharat, "And now, News", The Official Google Blog, January 23, 2006. "We're taking Google News out of beta! When we launched the English-language edition in September 2002, we entered untested waters with a grand experiment in news browsing – using computers to organize the world's news in real time and providing a bird's eye view of what's being reported on virtually any topic. By presenting news "clusters" (related articles in a group), we thought it would encourage readers to get a broader perspective by digging deeper into the news – reading ten articles instead of one, perhaps – and then gain a better understanding of the issues, which could ultimately benefit society. A bit more than three years later, we offer 22 regional editions in 10 languages, and have a better sense of how people use Google News". Accessed June 19, 2008.
  2. ^ Glaser, Mark (February 4, 2010). "Google News to Publishers: Let's Make Love Not War". PBS. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  3. ^ "Google Friends Newsletter – Q&A with Krishna Bharat". July 2003. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  4. ^ Wang, Qun (2020). Normalization and differentiation in Google News: a multi-method analysis of the world's largest news aggregator (Thesis). Rutgers University - School of Graduate Studies.
  5. ^ "Google is spending $1 billion to bring you a new Google News feature". Android Police. October 1, 2020. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  6. ^ Filloux, Frederic (February 25, 2013). "Google News: the secret sauce". The Guardian. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  7. ^ "Google News Blog: Spreading the News in New Languages". Google News Blog.
  8. ^ Cohen, Joshua (December 2, 2009). "Same Protocol, More Options for News Publishers". Retrieved April 5, 2010. There are more than 25,000 publishers from around the world in Google News today.
  9. ^ As used to be reported by Google. See also Segev, Elad (2010). Google and the Digital Divide: The Biases of Online Knowledge, Oxford: Chandos Publishing.
  10. ^ "Technical Requirements: Registration/subscription sites". Google Inc. Retrieved April 5, 2010. [...] we'll add a "(subscription)" tag to your publication name when your articles appear in our search results.
  11. ^ "Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: First Click Free for Web Search". Official Google Webmaster Central Blog.
  12. ^ Morrison, Scott (December 2, 2009). "Google To Let News Groups Set Reader Limits". The Australian. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  13. ^ "Changes in First Click Free". Official Google Webmaster Central Blog. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  14. ^ "First Click Free update". Official Google Webmaster Central Blog. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  15. ^ "Driving the future of digital subscriptions". Google. October 2, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  16. ^ "Google: First Click Free is over, being replaced by Flexible Sampling". Search Engine Land. October 2, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  17. ^ Robin Wauters (July 15, 2011). "Google News Badges? We Don't Need No Stinking Google News Badges". TechCrunch. AOL.
  18. ^ "Google strips news badges in house cleaning".
  19. ^ Mohanty, Natasha (July 14, 2011). "Google News Blog: Shareable Google News badges for your favorite topics". Blogger. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  20. ^ "Redesigning Google News for everyone". June 27, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  21. ^ "Google News redesigned with a cleaner look". Engadget. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  22. ^ Fischer, Sean; Jaidka, Kokil; Lelkes, Yphtach (September 21, 2020). "Auditing local news presence on Google News". Nature Human Behaviour. 4 (12): 1236–1244. doi:10.1038/s41562-020-00954-0. ISSN 2397-3374. PMID 32958902. S2CID 221844118.
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2005. Retrieved May 5, 2005.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "News Journal » Google's news sued for infringing Agence France Presse copyrighted work". March 19, 2005. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  25. ^ "Google starts hosting news stories". DTM news. August 3, 2007. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007.
  26. ^ "Google News Becomes A Publisher". Information Week. August 31, 2007. Archived from the original on June 27, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2008. "Because the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, U.K. Press Association and the Canadian Press don't have a consumer Web site where they publish their content, they have not been able to benefit from the traffic that Google News drives to other publishers", Josh Cohen, business product manager for Google News, explained in a blog post. "As a result, we're hosting it on Google News".
  27. ^ "Original stories, from the source". Retrieved April 26, 2008. Today we're launching a new feature on Google News that will help you quickly and easily find original stories from news publishers – including stories from some of the top news agencies in the world, such as the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, UK Press Association and the Canadian Press – and go directly to the original source to read more.
  28. ^ Pepitone, Julianne (January 11, 2010). "Google News stops hosting AP stories". CNN. Retrieved January 12, 2010. Google News has stopped hosting new articles from the Associated Press the search giant confirmed Monday, in a sign that contract negotiations between the two companies may have broken down.
  29. ^ "Bad news for Google in Belgium". International Herald Tribune. September 22, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2007. The earlier decision required Google to stop displaying extracts of French and German-language articles from Belgian newspapers. The majority Dutch-language press is fully included in Google News
  30. ^ Graham Smith (March 2007). "Copiepresse v Google - the Belgian judgment dissected".
  31. ^ Laurent, Philippe (2007). "Google News banned by Brussels High Court – Copiepresse SCRL v. Google Inc. – Prohibitory injunction of the President of the High Court of Brussels, 5 September 2006". Computer Law & Security Review. 23: 82–85. doi:10.1016/j.clsr.2006.11.004. The President of the Court also found that the newspapers' database rights were infringed. Once again, this finding seems expeditious as it appears from the decision that he did not actually verify whether the databases met the legal conditions to benefit from the sui generis rights provided for in the Act of 1998. One of the examinations in the ongoing proceedings before the Belgian courts is whether the newspapers' websites actually qualify as databases8 and whether substantial invest- ments were made. Should the Court rule that the newspapers' websites are protected by the sui generis rights, it further has to assess whether Google News has extracted substantial parts of their databases, or at least, that systematic or repeated extractions of unsubstantial parts of these databases were made. At first sight, this last question is likely to be replied in the affirmative, given how Google News is described and considering its modus operandi.
  32. ^ a b "News outlets demand taxes on Google". 3 News NZ. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  33. ^ Committee on Legal Affairs / Rapporteur: Manuel Medina Ortega (January 26, 2009), Report on the outlook for copyright in the EU, European Parliament, 2008/2121(INI)
  34. ^ Jeremy Phillips (May 10, 2011). "You can't copy press unless you're with Copiepresse".
  35. ^ Matthew Lasar (July 19, 2011). "Google v. Belgium "link war" ends after years of conflict Google has put Belgian newspapers back on its main search index following".
  36. ^ JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Grand Chamber) 9 November 2004 (1) Directive 96/9/EC – Legal protection of databases – Definition of database – Scope of the sui generis right – Football fixture lists – Betting) In Case C-444/02, REFERENCE for a preliminary ruling under Article 234 EC, from the Monomeles Protodikio Athinon (Greece), made by decision of 11 July 2002, received at the Court on 9 December 2002, in the proceedings Fixtures Marketing Ltd v Organismos prognostikon agonon podosfairou AE (OPAP), ECLI:EU:C:2004:697
  37. ^ Thomas Höppner (2017). The proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (Articles 11, 14 and 16): Strengthening the Press Through Copyright. Publications Office. doi:10.2861/31274. ISBN 9789284623457. The database right generally requires the use of a substantial part of a database or, where only insubstantial parts are used, that the use is repeated and the systematic character is equivalent to the use of a substantial part. 15 For many platforms, this will not be case. [...] As far as can be seen, no publisher has succeeded with such a case.
  38. ^ German Publishers Grant Google A 'Free License' Google Never Needed To Post News Snippets, TechDirt.
  39. ^ "Google News to close up shop in Spain in response to new law". CNET. CBS Interactive. December 11, 2014.
  40. ^ Google News Spain to close in response to story links 'tax
  41. ^ "Google to shut Spanish news service". BBC News. December 11, 2014.
  42. ^ "Google Will Begin Paying News Publishers". Alrigh. June 25, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  43. ^ Browne, Ryan (June 25, 2020). "Google says it will pay some news publishers to license content, bowing to regulatory pressure". CNBC. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  44. ^ Perez, Sarah (May 8, 2018). "Google News gets an AI-powered redesign". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  45. ^ "Bringing history online, one newspaper at a time". September 8, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2008. Today, we're launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives.
  46. ^ "Google Discussiegroepen". Archived from the original on August 28, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  47. ^ "Google euthanizes newspaper archive scan plan". The Register.
  48. ^ Horn, Leslie (May 20, 2011). "Google Ending Newspaper Archiving Project". PC Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  49. ^ "Google Discussiegroepen". Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  50. ^ a b Helft, Miguel (September 15, 2008). "How a Series of Mistakes Hurt Shares of United". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2008.