As more users search for “news near me” than ever before, Google is rolling out new features for local search results and new tools for journalists.
Google reports that searches for “news near me” have tripled in the past five years, reaching an all-time high in May 2020.
In response to the demand for local news, Google is adding new features to search results to help people find relevant news locally.
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Google is also releasing new and updated tools for journalists to produce more tailored work for a digital medium.
Here is an overview of everything Google is implementing.
New local news features in Google Search
The new features coming to Google Search will make it easier for people to find content from local news publishers.
- Local news carousel: Google will display a local news carousel when local information relevant to your query is available.
- Carousel of the best stories: Authoritative local news sources will appear more often in the Top Stories carousel, which is usually reserved for news from national publications.
- Deeper understanding of the topics: Google is honing its ability to link wide-ranging topics with local stories. For example, searches for “soccer” can return stories about the researcher’s local teams.
- Local Tweets: Local news researchers can now bring out tweets from authoritative local publications and journalists.
New tools for local journalists
In addition to helping searchers, Google aims to help journalists by providing them with locally relevant data that they can add to their stories.
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- Census Mapper Project– An embeddable map that displays census data at the national, state, and county levels, as well as census traits. Data collected and processed by The Associated Press.
- Common Knowledge Project– A new version of this existing tool, which allows US journalists to explore local data, integrates journalist feedback and new features including geographic comparisons, new charts and images.
Google will continue to invest in developing new tools to assist local news publishers in producing more engaging stories.
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