Get the News Your Way with Google

November 25, 2010, By Christian Cawley

The power of Google is immense – you can compare prices for items you want to purchase with Google Product search, find the whereabouts of an old classmate using the standard Google search or even look at your house from above, courtesy of Google Maps.

One way in which Google is being used more and more, however, is as a news collection service. Using the tools provided in Google News and iGoogle, you can tailor news feeds, send updates to your email account and even grab an RSS feed of the information you want and feed it to your computer!

Google NewsThe Basics of Google News Search

To get started with Google News search, you should visit news.google.com (or to go to www.google.com and click News in the top menu). If this is your first visit here, you will see a selection of default news categories listed on the left, with Top Stories filling the view at the top of the page; other categories are displayed further down.

You can get an idea of how good the news search is by using the search box at the top – searching for “North Korea” will return an immense selection of results, and on the left-hand menu you will notice a list of filters. Here you can sort news from the Past Hour, Past Day, Past Week or Past Month, as well as finding items from previous years. News logged in Google from before the year 2000 is held in the Archives.

The default search results are listed by relevance; this can be changed if required so that the results are sorted by date.

Adding a News Section

If you have a Google account, you can customise the news to display the subjects you are interested in.

On the news.google.com page you can add a news section using the Add a section link. Here you can choose from an immense number of default sections covering all manner of topics, from computing to health, showbiz and music, environmental subjects, science, books, and much more.

With an added search facility, these sections can be added using the Add this section button. Once added, the section will be visible on the news.google.com page. By entering a town, city or zip or postal code, a local section of news can be added to your news page – but customization of Google news goes much further than this.

Custom Google News Search

Custom news can also be created using the Create a custom section button. In the next screen, you must first give the section a name before adding search terms, which must be separated with a comma. Note that these are “AND” searches – meaning that if you specify “Microsoft, bill gates” as two search terms, the results you receive will include both of these terms. Keep this in mind if you want news items to appear without mention of Bill Gates.

In the Edition drop down menu, choose the version of Google you are using, and then choose your Language. Finally, you may select a Source location – with this you can choose where in the world you want the news to originate, thereby restricting sources to a particular country.

These powerful news search tools can also be added to your favourite RSS reader – either using the RSS icon in your browser’s address bar or by the RSS link at the foot of the page, you can add any news category so that whenever it updates, the new items are sent to your computer!

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