Google News revamps, goes local

Google News is getting a face lift, making it easier for people to personalize the news by location and preference. The new “heart of the homepage,” as Google software engineer Kevin Stolt described it in a blog post,  is  a stream of headlines targeted to people’s tastes and interests.

Users can edit what comes in on the stream according to topics such as Business or Sports as well as view the news either as a list or by section.

Additionally, Google News is letting people choose which news sources they would like to see more of and those they want to view less often.   According to Stolt, “these sources will rank higher or lower for you (but not for anyone else) in Google News search results and story clusters.”

Like all media, Google News  is bitten by the local bug and now delivers city and neighborhood-specific headlines as well as the weather. One last bit, it’s now easier to share “story clusters” on places like Facebook and Twitter.

The video below explains it in more detail:

Google’s Fast Flip Trick

Google wants its online news site to feel more like the good old print product.

And the company is prepared to pay for it.

Google took the wraps off of Fast Flip on Monday, a slick online tool that lets readers flip through articles from newspapers and magazines as quickly and effortlessly as if they were turning the pages of a magazine.

The company said it will share advertising revenue with the 30 publishers whose content is currently available on Fast Flip, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and Newsweek.

Obsessive Google-watchers may recall that rumors of this product emerged back in June.