Google Local News

In this years’ Edelman Trust Barometer we asked opinion leaders in 18 countries about the news sources they rely on most for information on companies. Not surprisingly, local sources dominated, but three global brands appeared regularly among the local names. Most of us could probably have guessed the BBC and CNN would be mentioned, but the number of respondents ticking the box marked Google confirms that the concept of ‘search engine’ and ‘news source’ are becoming less distinct. Last I looked, Google did not employ a single reporter.

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Last week, Google announced their local news service: “Today we’re releasing a new feature to find your local news by simply typing in a city name or zip code. While we’re not the first news site to aggregate local news, we’re doing it a bit differently — we’re able to create a local section for any city, state or country in the world and include thousands of sources. We’re not simply looking at the by-line or the source, but instead we analyze every word in every story to understand what location the news is about and where the source is located.” Next year I would expect therefore that they jump in preference in our tracking.

Confirmation if we needed it that Google is not so much a search engine now as a “corporate reputation management system”.

[tags] Edelman Trust Barometer; Google; Google Local news [/tags]

David Brain

2 Comments

  1. Interesting stuff. I say that’s fine – let them do the aggregation and let people go to them for news. It becomes a distribution issue – like the Marriott or Hilton hotel that chooses to drop complimentary IHTs in guestrooms rather than FTs. News/media companies are having to look at new and clever ways to syndicate themselves more widely and more relevantly across the Web (e.g. via aggregators) so they can keep their ad revenue. They need to start worrying about things like semantic tags, links, keywords, etc. The economics of advertising + exposure keep this stuff real, and give us some criteria to work from in terms of rating these news sources and their influence. But isn’t the source still the source? It just becomes an issue of how info is distributed and the tools we use to track that. Hey, Google might even help us track that!

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