Google has launched new tools and features for both readers and reporters that are designed to help local news organizations, the company announced today. .
Google initially launched the feature to provide local information for COVID searches, but it has now been expanded to other topics such as sports, local government, and more.
Google said it is adjusting its systems so that reliable and relevant local news sources appear more often alongside local publications in Top Stories and other general news features.
“This improvement ensures that people see trusted local stories when they search for news, helping the brand and news publishers’ content reach more people,” Google said.
It is also able to delve into narrow subtopics of local news, such as high school football, and in combination with location services (provided they are enabled), should get you more relevant results.
Along with new features for consumers, Google has announced new data tools for journalists. The first is the Census Chart Project, a map that can be embedded in stories to display census data at the national, state and county levels.
It was produced as part of the 2020 Census Co-op, supported by the Google News Initiative, and can display census data at the local level, showing how populations have shifted over time. Google is also working to improve the Public Knowledge Project, a visual journalism project that allows reporters to explore data local.
And the new features could be very convenient for many local newspapers and websites that have stopped working in part due to the flow of advertising dollars to companies like Facebook and Google, as both of these tech giants have put some money to support local journalism, but that has done little to stop Review newspapers that provide a valuable service to their communities.
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