Google News to add 'featured' labels to stories

Google News has introduced a way for news agencies to designate specific stories as worthy of being called out with a "featured" label on the Google News U.S. home page and in search results, according to a report.

Google News has introduced a way for news agencies to designate specific stories as worthy of being called out with a "featured" label on the Google News U.S. home page and in search results, according to a report.

News organizations can add "standout" metadata tags to the coding of a special story--a scoop, an exclusive, and so on--and Google's algorithm will factor that data into the decision-making process it goes through when choosing and displaying stories, says a report by the Associated Press. The tags aren't a guarantee that a given story will be featured, however.

A Google representative told the AP that a tagged and chosen story could persist on Google News longer than it normally would, as other news agencies follow with their own takes on the news. But if a news organization tags more than seven stories in a week, the algorithm will become suspicious and give the tags less weight--or discount them completely.

The system also lets news agencies give each other props. Another set of tags lets them designate rivals' stories as worthy of special treatment.

"The way we've designed standout is that when it's used both ways--for calling out their own work and calling out the work of others--that builds our trust in that source," a Google representative told the AP.

Search Engine Land has a rundown for publishers on how the tags can be applied.

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