Google Rolls Out New Local Search Features
Google has launched a series of new local search features, including a helpful set of tools for journalists looking to produce locally-relevant content. A move seemingly motivated by the growing popularity of the “news near me” query which is being used by more readers and publishers than ever before.
According to Google, this high-demand search query has grown in popularity by 300% over the past five years.
In response, Google is stepping up its efforts to make it easier for people to find stories of relevance and importance to their locality.
New Features for Local News in Google Search
Google’s announcement outlined the following tools and features, which will assist web users looking for local news content:
- Local News Carousel: A local news carousel will be displayed, featuring a selection of relevant news in the user’s locality.
- Top Stories Carousel: Established and trusted local sources, agencies and publishers will be featured in the Top Stories carousel, alongside national publications.
- Deeper Understanding of Topics: More accurate and relevant recommendations of local stories in accordance with the main keyword entered by the user.
- Local Tweets: Google may recommend local Tweets alongside more conventional news stories, again from trusted sources and publishers.
New Tools for Local News Reporters
On the publisher’s side, Google outlined a handful of new features for journalists and reporters which may prove helpful in helping them access relevant local data:
- Census Mapper Project: This will provide journalists with a map that can be embedded to present Census data at a local, regional and national level.
- Common Knowledge Project: A helpful tool providing journalists with access to local data, expanding the existing tool with new charts, visuals and geographic comparisons.
Upon announcing the new local search features, Google once again pledged its commitment to helping local journalists publish more relevant and engaging content, while at the same time, making it easier for web users to find breaking news stories and articles of relevance to their locality.