Google News gets revamp to reduce clutter

The search giant updates its news site to clean up the interface and give users more tools to customize results.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).
Jay Greene

Google News got a few tweaks today in an effort to make the site less cluttered and easier to customize.

The new News site features a one-column default view, rather than the two-column view the site previously used. The Top Stories section now includes six or more stories, rather than three, to offer more diversity.

Users can personalize the page. While the first three stories are culled algorithmically, the remainder can be compiled based on user interest. A Web surfer can click "Edit" under "News for you" to customize it to their preference.

Google News has a new look. Google

The site includes more video and photo content as well. And Google has included the ability to share articles quickly over social networks such as Twitter and Facebook with clickable icons below headlines.

To keep the page tidy, only the top story in each story grouping includes a brief description in addition to the headline. When users want more information, they can click nearby to expand the information available.

Google started rolling out the new features this morning and will continue throughout the day.