Earlier this month, Google News issued some updates to its homepage to help online readers find the news most relevant to them, also making it easier for marketers to reach their target audience. While users reportedly love the customized news features, Google says it is tweaking the page in response to readers’ reviews.
Comments on the Google News Help Forum reveal that online readers missed seeing news results grouped by sections in two columns. One respondent said, “two columns was the standard and it still should be.” Another felt without the columns, the homepage was “very linear, hard to read at a glance.” One disgruntled reader simply told Google officials, “you people are idiots.”
In response, Google is revamping the Google News page once again to cater to readers. Product manager Chris Beckmann wrote on the Google News blog, “we’re all about launching and iterating, so we’ve been making improvements to the design in response to your feedback.” To start, Google is bringing back the clustered news result in place of the mouse hover expansion feature.
Google is also bringing back the two-column view, but with a twist that reflects that newly added “News for you” feature users have favorably received. Google readers can now see the top three stories on their preferred topics in two columns.
The amendments to the Google News page retain the recently added source rank and news preference features, which should appeal to marketers who want to promote their brands as thought leaders and go-to sources of industry information. Moreover, Google’s quick response to reader reviews indicates the site could continue to hold the interest of web browsers, for whom 5 percent of online visits are related to reading the news.
Google may also be updating its search design for Google Images soon. On the Google Web Search Help Forum, some users say their Google Image searches keep refreshing to add more photos, and images come in new cluster designs. Still, not everyone can access the test design. Users will have to wait and see.