Is Google News The Same For Everyone?

Is Google News The Same For Everyone?

Do you ever wonder who chooses your news feed for you? Who or what determines what you see when you “Google” the news? We assume when we type “News” into our search browser that, we are going to receive all of the latest unbiased top news stories. But is that what we get? Is Google News the same for everyone?

The answer is no; Google News is not the same for everyone? Google News feeds are selected by personalized computer algorithms that decide what appears in each person’s Google News. Google obtains personal information about you through your permission.

Google News algorithms decide which stories and images to show you and in what order. We assume everyone wants unbiased news in all forms, but that is not necessarily what we are getting from all news sources. Please read on if you are interested to find out what determines the news you are reading.

How Is Google News The Same For Everyone?

How Is Google News The Same For Everyone?
Google News app being downloaded on a smartphone.

Google News is not the same for everyone because Google wants to personalize your news experience with information it collects about you, effectively reading your mind. It wants to know what you know.

Google has an unprecedented amount of information on anyone who uses its services. All big tech companies track you online if you use their products or browsers, including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. 

Most all websites today collect basic information about you, such as the following:

  • IP address
  • Your email address
  • The operating system of your device
  • Your browser
  • Your location
  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Web cookies tracking your clicks
  • Addresses of previous sites you’ve visited

Google News is a News Aggregator 

Google News is a News Aggregator 
Google News collects news from thousands of sources around the world constantly.

Google News is a news aggregator, which means it gathers materials from various sources. It is a computer-generated data site that aggregates news headlines from other news sources from around the world. It does not create its own news articles through journalism in the classic sense of the word.

Google News is unique because it combines similar news stories based on a reader’s personalized interests and then shows them to the reader through the Google News Website. Google has access to an extraordinary amount of information about you through its numerous Google products that you use, consent to, and digitally agree with.

This personalization information is collected by artificial intelligence machine learning algorithms that personalize your news information based on your interests and other sources. Some Google News features are unavailable if you are not signed in to your Google Account.

Google News Personal Information Collection

Google News collects personal information about you through your overall past activity on YouTube, Google Search, Google News, and its other products. Google also uses your information from your Google News settings on your computer, tablet, or, smartphone. 

Google News accesses your “Google My Activity Account.” It then uses your collected web and application activity through your Google Account, which saves all your searches and activities from all the Google products you use.

Google News also uses technology and data like your location and interests to provide what it believes you would like to see. Google personalizes your news based on these activities, and they do this as they say, “All while keeping your personal information private and secure.” 

Google News History

Google News History
Indian research scientist Krishna Bharat led the team that developed Google News.

Google New’s 20th Anniversary is in 2022. Google News launched its first English-language edition in September 2002, from a concept from Krishna Bharat. On January 23, 2006, Google News was taken out of beta for the general public. Krishna was quoted as saying that Google News “Entered untested waters with a grand experiment in news browsing using computers to organize the world’s news in real-time.”

By 2009 Google News was working with over 25,000 publishers based on “sending publishers about 1 billion clicks every month. Each of those clicks is an opportunity for publishers, allowing them to show ads, sell subscriptions.”

Google News Blog-Same Protocol, More Options for News Publishers

In 2014 Google shut down Google News in Spain because of a Spanish law requiring Google to pay for using the publisher’s content. In 2018 Google started paying for news initiatives, and in October of 2020, Google agreed to pay news publishers more than $1 billion. By 2021 Google started paying some publishers and media companies in a list of agreements for their information and news. 

Googles News AI-Powered Service

In other changes, in 2018, Google News was reintroduced to the public and was described as an AI-Powered service. What is a Google AI-Powered News service? 

Google uses Artificial Intelligence technology to read news on the web. The AI will then decide upon and assemble the key things it believes you need to know about this information. Because this personalized AI Machine Learning works with your data, the more you use it, the better it will get.

Google News AI, while top-secret, way back in 2018, said in their Introducing the new Google News video that “It uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze all the content published to the web at any moment.” That is quite a statement, especially back then. Imagine what it can do today.

Googles News Personalization Algorithms 

Googles News Personalization Algorithm's
The red arrow indicates the blue button to press to change your Googles News personalization information.

Google states the following on their web page titled “Surfacing useful and relevant content/Relevance.”

Our news algorithms are not designed to use the following factors to influence ranking:

Point of view on issues – While some personalized news experiences are designed to connect you with stories you may be interested in, none of our systems endeavor to assess a publisher’s—or a user’s—ideological or political leanings.

Ad sales or commercial relationships – We take measures to ensure that Google’s commercial relationships do not impact the design of our news algorithms. Advertisers and partners do not receive special treatment with regard to how we surface news articles.

Personal information such as gender, religious beliefs, age, health information, race, or other sensitive characteristics.

GoogleSurfacing useful and relevant content – How News Works

Unbiased News

In the U.S., we believe in freedom of speech and do not want propaganda when watching or reading the news. Unfortunately, that is not always what we are getting. It does not matter what your politics is if you want the truth in a true democracy.

If you want bias, you should choose sources of information that give you that. You may not want corporations, politicians, or journalists putting their opinion on a car accident news story for instance, and deciding whose fault it is for you before that is determined by the investigation.

In the United States today, that is precisely what you are getting from some of your news sources. It has been determined that there is bias in the news media, and it is not portrayed that way to the people reading it.

In Conclusion

Google News is continuously updating the way that it does its business. It is now contributing to journalists worldwide where it never would before. 

Yes, Google utilizes every tool at its disposal to get as much information about you as possible for-profit and to improve its products. Only you can decide whether you want them to have it or not and stop it if you so choose.

References:

John Mortensen

I am a project manager, tech writer, and science enthusiast who loves to study the latest technology, such as AI, comedy, quantum computers, smartphones, headphones, and software.

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