As more searchers look up the query “news near me” than ever before, Google is launching new features for local search results and new tools for journalists.
Google reports that searches for “news near me” have tripled over 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 locally relevant stories.
Google is also releasing new and upgraded tools for reporters to produce more work that’s tailored to a digital medium.
Here’s an overview of everything Google is rolling out.
New Features For Local News In Google Search
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 carousel dedicated to local news stories when there’s local that’s relevant to the user’s query.
- Top Stories Carousel: Authoritative local news sources will appear more often in the Top Stories carousel, which is typically reserved for stories from national publications.
- Deeper Understanding Of Topics: Google is refining its ability to connect broad topics with local stories. For example, searches for “football” may return stories about the searcher’s local teams.
- Local Tweets: Searchers for local news may now surface tweets by local, authoritative publications and journalists.
New Tools For Local News Reporters
In addition to helping searchers, Google aims to help journalists by providing them with locally relevant data that they can add to their stories.
- Census Mapper Project: an embeddable map that displays Census data at the national, state and county level, as well as census tracts. 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 visuals.
Google will continue to invest in developing new tools to assist local news publishers with producing more engaging stories.
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