Google News overhaul lets you get personal with the day’s top stories

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As part of its twentieth anniversary, the Google News redesign has officially launched adding a bigger emphasis on accessibility and customization.

Google states the redesign (opens in new tab) “was inspired by feedback [they] received from readers” as the desktop site aims to make catching up on the news easier. Major stories will have a bigger thumbnail and adjacent articles next to them for different types of coverage.

Image of new Google News

The new Google News (Image credit: Google)

Rearranged sections

Immediately upon opening Google News on the desktop, you’ll be greeted with the top stories of the day with a Local News section (no longer tucked behind menus) and personalized picks to the right. You can add multiple locations to Local News if coverage for one city isn’t enough for you. And the menu bar that was on the left-hand side now makes its home at the top of the page.

Scrolling down past the initial sections, you’ll come across Your Topics which are six different categories that you can select out of a selection of eight. These include Technology, Entertainment, Business, and Sports.

After that, you have what is arguably the biggest change: the new Fact Check section. Previously, stories under Fact Check were relegated to a simple headline from a fact-checking organization like PolitiFact. Now headlines will have an accompanying claim that has been fact-checked. For example, there could be a claim that President Joe Biden vetoed a certain bill. Next to that, you may see a fact check by PolitiFact that states the claim is True, False, or even Altered.

Below that is the Beyond the Front Page section for more off-kilter stories and even in-depth posts from tech companies. 

The redesign is currently live and will be “available in over 125 countries and 40 languages” including a return to Spain (opens in new tab) which didn’t have Google News for about eight years. Google claims it was because of a copyright law that prevented them from operating there, but the law has since been amended.

You can go to Google News right now and click “Try it out” at the top to switch to the new design. To revert back to the old style, open the Settings menu and uncheck the box next to “Start using the new Google News.”

Analysis: Looking cluttered

It’s difficult to say whether or not people will like the redesign. The new Google News has been in the works since May when some people randomly stumbled upon it. Initially, not everyone embraced the redesign. Some found it to be overly designed with the headlines being too big.

Google News does look more like a newspaper now with headlines and images thrown together in a small space. Despite a cluttered look, some may appreciate the emphasis on local news and revamped fact-checking. Misinformation is still a hot topic, after all. 

Speaking of fake news, Google recently banned deepfake projects from its Colaboratory service. Despite our investigation, no one knows exactly why Google made the move.

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