Google News update launched and users are in uproar - gHacks Tech News

Google News update launched and users are in uproar

Google began to roll out an update to Google News, the company's news site on the Web  yesterday following releases of the updated Google News application for Android and iOS.

The new version of Google News is the latest Google product that the company redesigned this year. Google launched design updates for Gmail and Google Drive earlier this year already, and it seems that the company is not done yet.

Google launched a new version of Google News in the middle of 2017 which was not liked universally. It appears that yesterday's redesign launch splits the userbase as wel.

Tip: The classic Google Kiosk website is still accessible. It is likely that Google will take it down eventually and redirect users to the new Google News automatically or load an updated version of the site instead. You can also check out these Google News alternatives.

The new Google News

google news redesign

The redesign moved several elements around on Google News for the Web and it appears that Google removed some options as well or made them more difficult to use.

Here are the main points of criticism as reported by Google News users from all around the world:

  • Users complain that custom content, e.g. searches, sources or topics, doesn't show up anymore, and that they cannot hide topics anymore.
  • Some users reported that scrolling is completely broken for them.
  • Too much whitespace on desktop and mobile. On some mobile devices, a single news headline is displayed.
  • To access your own customized content, you need to select favorites or saved searches now. Topics of interest were displayed in the sidebar directly previously.
  • Order by date option is removed.
  • The management options of the Settings have been removed. You can't add new sections or interests using the Settings anymore or reorder the news sections.
  • The option to hide Sports scores has been removed.

A test on the new interface confirmed some of the complaints. Saved searches, for example, were not carried over from the old to the new interface.

It is still possible to select to hide stories from a news source but there is no option anymore to hide entire sections. What you can do, however, is inform Google that you want more or less stories of a certain kind.

Google News displays a hide option when you click on the menu icon (the three dots) when you move the mouse over a news excerpt. You can hide the news source or tell the company that you want more or less news of the kind.

google news hide stories

You cannot hide Top Stories or some of the sections, e.g. spotlight, recent, fact check or local news.

Closing Words

I never really used Google News or other news services as I prefer to get my news via RSS instead. A redesign is always problematic from a user perspective, and that is especially true if a company decides to remove functionality or move it that was accessible before.

Now You: What is your take on the new Google News website?

Summary
Google News update launched and users are in uproar
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Google News update launched and users are in uproar
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Google began to roll out an update to Google News, the company's news site on the Web  yesterday following releases of the updated Google News application for Android and iOS.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. John Fenderson said on May 18, 2018 at 5:46 pm
    Reply

    “What is your take on the new Google News website?”

    It doesn’t fix the myriad problems that the last change introduced. Those issues made me stop using Google News entirely. These new changes won’t bring me back.

    1. Mikhoul said on May 19, 2018 at 7:31 am
      Reply

      Before the change in 2017 I was using it everyday instead of goiny directly to the newspapers websites but since those crapy change happened I never used Google News and I don’t intend to use it in a foreseeable future 😉

  2. Christoph Wagner said on May 18, 2018 at 5:46 pm
    Reply

    Oh, glad I’m not the only one. Recently I wanted to check some articles on something (specifically about the phone calls from Zyxel that they accidentally made public). So (using DDG) “Zyxel !gn” and what do I get? Press Releases about their fucking products. No apparent way to filter the list properly. Wow. What useless site this has become.

    Sadly none of your alternatives seem to offer anything that’s not also offered by the new product with the same name as the now-canceled Google News. Well. There goes the last service from Google I still used.

  3. TimWatley said on May 18, 2018 at 6:07 pm
    Reply

    I’m not a fan of some of the changes, but like everyone else, I’ll get over it after a couple of weeks and then complain about something else.

    1. John Fenderson said on May 19, 2018 at 12:56 am
      Reply

      Well, not everyone. The last changes to Google News made it less useful to me than alternatives, so I didn’t get over it so much as I just started using the alternatives.

      Which is better, honestly, because it also help to avoid Google spying on what news I tend to read.

      1. David P said on May 21, 2018 at 4:42 pm
        Reply

        Agree. The GN revamp is just terrible, clearly conceived and deployed by a small group with an agenda and little if any public input. The left-hand menu is now visible only if you disable ad blocking, and the feedback link leads to a broken URL. Pretty clearly not giving a crap about actual users.

  4. chesscanoe said on May 18, 2018 at 6:34 pm
    Reply

    I follow “Fractal” on Google news and the newest Google News showed me
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/how-to-celebrate-fatous-day/# even thought the old Google news never presented this fractal blog which is quite good.
    Nevertheless, overall I dislike this new Google News, as I also felt about the last Google News which evolved to being useful. Maybe the newest Google News will also evolve to a useful service.

  5. Anonymous said on May 18, 2018 at 6:54 pm
    Reply

    Just like you, I also get my news from RSS. I’m not interested in mess like Google News

    1. Shawn said on May 19, 2018 at 1:51 am
      Reply

      Same. RSS for life.

      1. Tim said on May 30, 2018 at 8:40 pm
        Reply

        They killed the RSS link page as well on this re-design as well. You used to be able to use google news alerts as RSS feeds.

        Total garbage.

  6. Henk van Setten said on May 18, 2018 at 7:12 pm
    Reply

    I never used this kind of service. For my daily dose of news, I go directly to the actual websites of a few well-established, reliable, but differently oriented national and regional newspapers.

    That way, I do not support Google but rather the original journalistic sources that (sadly) are exploited and endangered by Google.

    1. John Fenderson said on May 18, 2018 at 8:23 pm
      Reply

      Yes, this is what I do. Except that instead of going to the sites, I use a RSS aggregator (Tiny Tiny RSS) to provide an RSS feed combining all the sites I like to read.

      1. ams said on May 19, 2018 at 7:15 pm
        Reply

        +1 for Tiny Tiny RSS (its a PHP server app, you can install to a localhost webserver)

        Also, search the ghacks site for articles regarding “QuiteRSS” (windows or linux app, I’m unsure whether it runs on macOS). In addition to rules/filtering, it uses a bayesian algorithm to “learn” and predict which news items you are likely to be interested in

  7. Stefan said on May 18, 2018 at 8:51 pm
    Reply

    Due to Google’s censorship of the truth, Google is blocked on my computers. Why support a corporation that won’t let the truth out on certain subjects ?

  8. Jojo said on May 18, 2018 at 9:16 pm
    Reply

    I use RSS on my desktop as the centerpiece of my daily news gathering.

    But I also enjoy looking at articles on my phone using the free Android app named Smartnews. You can custom configure it to use a wide variety of news types/sources that you like, how often to pop-up, breaking news alerts and so forth.

    News360 is another Android app worth looking at.

  9. Nebulus said on May 18, 2018 at 9:46 pm
    Reply

    RSS is the way to go for me as well, so I don’t care about Google News.

  10. Anonymous said on May 18, 2018 at 10:53 pm
    Reply

    “Too much whitespace” puts it nicely. Not even 20% of the first screenshot shows news.

  11. Forest Shomer said on May 18, 2018 at 11:02 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for providing the explanation why my customized Google News on which I have relied for years, is now completely dysfunctional. Thanks also for offering us some alternatives to check out. I see no remedy for the plight of Google News–a major loss of time now. I’ll be moving out.

  12. Dementia said on May 18, 2018 at 11:10 pm
    Reply

    Last night after this ugly design update, I removed Google news from my bookmarks. I will use RSS from other sources.

  13. John said on May 18, 2018 at 11:11 pm
    Reply

    I moved to RSS after this update.

  14. Tom Hawack said on May 18, 2018 at 11:19 pm
    Reply

    I hardly visited GNews years ago. I’m not fond of news supermarkets, I prefer visiting direct access to a few I know, most of dedicated to analysis, editorials. Nevertheless news portals may give a first quick scan. I still happen to visit once in a while,

    NewsNow [ http://www.newsnow.co.uk/ ]
    Alvinet [ https://www.alvinet.com/ ] in French, [ https://www.alvinet.com/uk/ ] in English
    Skimfeed [ https://skimfeed.com/ ] (mainly a technological portal)

    That’s about it. Google is far too omnipotent for me, they seem to manage fairly well without my contribution. Google Web search very occasionally (Qwant & searX rather), Google Images sometimes (still the best pic database even if Qwant’s is getting better and better), Google Maps less and less now that I refer to OpenStreetMaps most of the time.Of course no Google account.

    Forgot to mention that Qwant answers to queries in three colums, Web, News, Social, which is a rather interesting approach IMO. You’ll get pertinent latest news for any query there, no problem.

  15. P said on May 18, 2018 at 11:27 pm
    Reply

    Can you trust a company that is known to censor in delivering your news?

  16. Harry said on May 19, 2018 at 12:16 am
    Reply

    Yeah, I’ve stopped using Google News now. The whole reason I used it was because I could customize my experience, and only see what I wanted. I mean, what’s the point of it now? It’s worse than the competition.

    Also, their image search has become crappier, too. They removed some functionality.

  17. Oleg said on May 19, 2018 at 6:33 am
    Reply

    They deleted all my saved searches, they broke all my personal settings and sources. This is outrageous behavior for the company that appreciates their clients. I’ve dropped GNews since yesterday.

  18. JEAN FRANCOIS PAQUET said on May 19, 2018 at 6:38 am
    Reply

    For me, the most interesting feature of Google News was the possibility to easily change countries and languages from the drop-down menu on top of the screen, it was a windows on the world’s press, provided that you understand more than one language.
    Or you could use Google translate for foreign languages.
    Is it not the definition of the web to be global ?
    Instead, Google decides that you should stick to your place, this move shrinks the news to your little country because, ultimately, that’s what they’re interested in : selling targeted advertising.
    Now, it has become bothersome to change the language or country settings, so Google News
    is useless for me and I’m getting rid of it.

  19. daveb said on May 19, 2018 at 7:48 am
    Reply

    For some reason Ive been exposed to this steaming pile for a little over a month now. :( Thing I miss most is the order/filter by date option. That made researching topics quite easy, now all you get is the current blather with no way to check older content for any kind of verification.

  20. Clay said on May 19, 2018 at 8:16 am
    Reply

    Functionality has been completely hosed. Thanks google, another disappointment.

  21. The said on May 19, 2018 at 10:07 am
    Reply

    I’ve used Google News every day for a couple of years to read international news and news about specific interests of mine via the custom sections. I guess yesterday became the day I quit Google News.

  22. georgee said on May 19, 2018 at 10:52 am
    Reply

    what a sudden piece of crap \ only reason i used it was for customized sections \ suddenly all gone \ even the list of them \ wow

  23. kalmly said on May 19, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    Reply

    Censored news. No thanks.

    1. jsmith said on May 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm
      Reply

      Ditto

  24. follow the money said on May 19, 2018 at 2:07 pm
    Reply

    Google only cares about serving promoted content, targeted advertising, and selling user Telemetry. Anything that gets in the way of that will be removed eventually.

  25. TelV said on May 19, 2018 at 2:19 pm
    Reply

    I read the news on Reuters.com, BBC News, The Guardian, NOS.nl (Dutch language news site) and Politico.eu. Google News doesn’t interest me at all.

  26. DK said on May 19, 2018 at 4:56 pm
    Reply

    Blatant attempt to filter what news you see. You now MUST see THEIR sections and you have to go through multiple steps to see topics you actually are interested in. There is no reason to use google news with this garbage.

  27. Brad Gibson said on May 19, 2018 at 8:02 pm
    Reply

    You’ve screwed up Google News…again.

    Not only have you not returned the ability to select what topics I want in the far right column and move certain things up above the scroll point (like sports), but now you’ve deleted the ability to have my favorite topics appear on the far left navigation bar, even as a pop-down menu. I now have to click and go to favorites. Didn’t you ever think about giving me the ability to customize what I see in MY settings?! If not, explain to me what good is it to have my own account?! Additionally, in my favorite topics, why don’t I have the ability – like in tools on a general Google search – to search by any time period? You deciding what I see when I’m often getting content days old before I see content hours or minutes old, defeats the purpose of looking at favorites, IMO.

    This is a TERRIBLE update, even worse than the previous one of last year. Bottom line…where’s the customization to make this page MINE!? What were you thinking?!

  28. Rick A. said on May 19, 2018 at 8:40 pm
    Reply

    Fuck Google. They’re Garbage. They Censor. They Remove Functionality-(Martin just posted an article titled “Google Chrome: removal of Secure and HTTPS indicators”.

    Be Smart and Stay Away from Google.

  29. RottenScoundrel said on May 19, 2018 at 10:39 pm
    Reply

    Would it be too cynical of me to suggest that all headlines and brief excerpts that are now displayed as those site will all have a tagmanager, analytics etc to boost g’s data collection.

    I see that g have changed their slogan yet again to “Do the right thing.” Too bad the slogan does not apply at home. :)

  30. mark said on May 20, 2018 at 1:47 am
    Reply

    It is really an insult to our collective intelligence… I do not need google or anyone else dictating to me what I should read in the news… I want to select and not select different categories of news and not a faceless AI algorithm telling me choices that have been recommended for me…

    This is how we loose our individualism and freedoms… No bots for me…

    Just another google app I am no longer going to use… Really dwindling down to search and maps on my desktop, as I have switched to apple maps on my iPhone and will not look back…

    Mark z

    1. John Fenderson said on May 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm
      Reply

      “Really dwindling down to search and maps on my desktop”

      I’m down to just maps, and even with that, I use OSM-based applications/websites if I’m interested in one of the regions that OSM covers well.

  31. ULBoom said on May 20, 2018 at 3:02 am
    Reply

    Scrolling was slow as molasses in January early in the day but was fixed later the same day. I don’t use any custom features, the new layout has lots of white space but is about the same as the old one. Still like the classic layout from mid 2017 and before much better than the two since.
    Have to look into alternatives, haven’t found a better google maps so far…

  32. beergas said on May 20, 2018 at 5:34 am
    Reply

    Haven’t don’t won’t use this mess. Too many smoother media sites. Heck even legit sources like NYT & WaPo are more engaging, fast and great mix of vid & text.

  33. boblok said on May 20, 2018 at 5:35 am
    Reply

    That’s what you get when Monopolice take over !!!

  34. David Gifford said on May 20, 2018 at 1:33 pm
    Reply

    Google must have detected that I was using google news too much before 2017, and decided to make it progressively more useless, so as to save me from my dependency on its usefulness.

  35. gerald brennan said on May 20, 2018 at 2:04 pm
    Reply

    Those of you who trust Google to serve up your “news” — Are you nuts?

  36. Leo G. said on May 20, 2018 at 9:47 pm
    Reply

    Give me back my custom sections News based on my search news keywords, not what you think is better in For You.. Is there any replacement by other news providers?

  37. Uncle Oz said on May 21, 2018 at 10:33 am
    Reply

    I heard on Alex Jones that Google had dumbed down the interfaces to their search engines and also the search algs themselves last week. Guess it’s true. I’ve used customised Google News Services for years to get the news I’m interested in. No more. Bye Google.

  38. ULBoom said on May 21, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    Reply

    Looks like some headline fonts are now bold, they added color iconifiers (why not, I can make up words, too) and removed the location info on the home page bottom as part of their clandestine reach in from outside (huh?) narrative, which includes removal of the https symbol in chrome and “Don’t be evil” conduct code.

    Google, but not only they for sure, must be catering to the fifth grade mentality TV has used for three quarters of a century while insulting a big chunk of their users. If that asinine laurel/yanny thing can keep ad money flowing, why not? Google’s racing FB to last place in credibility.

  39. KK said on May 22, 2018 at 8:33 am
    Reply

    The removal of features has killed it for me. Will use something else.

  40. Anna said on May 22, 2018 at 10:12 am
    Reply

    One of the problems is that the Google News team does not see the service as something people use for work in addition to play. I had 6 custom work-related topics. Now these are gone and For You is sending me entertainment news. Before, I could skim the headlines in my six topics any time during the day. Now, to see the same stuff I have to click and search and go back and click again and search and it is all too difficult for a service I want to be automatic.

    Following last year’s stupid reformat, I bought a subscription to the NY Times which I rely on for cultural info and some interesting, in-depth coverage. For news updates I rely on Newslookup. With this new change, Google News will not even be a third news source. It provides me with no news that I want to see.

  41. Disgruntled said on May 22, 2018 at 4:32 pm
    Reply

    What an awful update. They removed my custom sections which I used to get news on topics I was interested it, and replaced them with crap I don’t want to read about like “sports” and “entertainment.” And to add insult to injury, one of the entertainment story headlines had a huge spoiler for a TV show I am not caught up on. What an awful update.

  42. da said on May 22, 2018 at 4:33 pm
    Reply

    Yeah. I’m DONE with google news. What a pathetic joke Google has become. It’s pretty obvious they are financially beholden to mainstream media, and US / Western government version of events. This is an attempt to reduce accessibility to independent news media. You get much more truth and real journalism from those sites.

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/googles-threat-to-democracy-continues-to-hit-alternative-media/

    I had my news feed set up perfectly! Had “Top Stories” with all the main stream BS and considered that my “Propaganda Tab”. All my other tabs had the headlines from my favourite sources. Even had some sources I didn’t like just to be fair and balanced.

    Also, had blocked most of the news sites requiring subscriptions to read their content. Not sure why Google even showed these articles in the first place? Do they expect you to subscribe to 20 different newspapers? I want to be able to read what I click on! As well, used an extension installed called “Good News” that blocked all topics I wasn’t interested in. Like “kimye” royal family” etc.. All of it is now gone.

    I tried some of the RSS feed apps, but none seem to gather headlines all on one page. I just like to quickly skim headlines and see if anything catches my eye.

    Is there any custom news site(s) or RSS app, that you can customise all your sources onto a single page containing the headlines? Also preferably with topic blocking. The ones I tried, you had to click on each source (I know I’m lazy). But when checking news 5-10 times a day, it adds up.

    Thanks GOOGLE for yet again making another product even worse. Dear Larry Page – where is this the focus on “user experience” that you always claim to value?

    This has further eroded the little trust I had left in Google, as soon better options come along – I will dump all your products.

    New Alphabet motto “Do the right thing”. Right thing for WHAT? For your bottom line?

  43. Rather Dissapointed said on May 22, 2018 at 7:30 pm
    Reply

    Another Up-degrade.

    I find it does not work at all with No-Script in the picture; I do not get links to the content, just blank pages.

    Oh well, another Google un-feature I can live without.

  44. Joyce Waite said on May 22, 2018 at 7:50 pm
    Reply

    It’s awful! I could fully customize my news feed in the old version and can’t do that any more. “See more” gets me more of the same story; not more from the Washington Post. How, oh, how, do I get rid of CNN also being the lead story?

  45. AggregatVier said on May 22, 2018 at 11:15 pm
    Reply

    The option to hide news sources still does not work. I doubt it was ever intended to.

  46. David Gifford said on May 23, 2018 at 6:15 am
    Reply

    A sad point is the mobile version seems to (still) have all the news and topics chosen in one place, more or less. Also, it still has snippets, so you can compare articles a bit. I wonder why they delete all snippets just from the web version. In fact, only when you look at it on a computer. mysterious. Perhaps they just want us all to go away.

  47. Ian McKenzie said on May 23, 2018 at 10:58 pm
    Reply

    Sundar Pichai should resign over the complete and utter bastardzation of the Google News product. Under his guidance it has gone from the preeminent news aggregation solution for millions of people to the all but completely useless pile of junk that it now is. The one product that took the least engineering effort to maintain out of all Google services they somehow still managed to destroy over the last two years when all they had to do was leave it alone or at worst add features instead of altering the algorithm, sources, and removing over 90% of features and functionality.

  48. Lookmann said on May 24, 2018 at 5:34 am
    Reply

    For me, the biggest disappointment is I cannot get news in my language. I hail from a country with dozens of languages.

  49. Larry-Alexander Hyman said on May 24, 2018 at 7:14 am
    Reply

    old google news (at least part of it)

    https://news.google.com/news/feeds?output=rss&q=%

  50. Michael Arrowood said on May 25, 2018 at 2:36 am
    Reply

    Truly awful update. I’ve been a daily user of Google News for many years. I didn’t like the “redesign” last year much – didn’t seem to add anything, except to make a desktop look more like a mobile device. The changes of May 2018 are too much – researching now where I can get back my freedom of choice in information services again. Also deleting Google Plus – Google was my friend for a long time, and I learned a lot from it – but this new attitude of censoring news choices and forcing content on me is creepy. I’ll be out of Google by the end of this evening… goodbye!

  51. daveb said on May 25, 2018 at 8:52 am
    Reply

    for those living in your bunkers .. ALL news outlets censor. That is not a reason for or against any news outlet.

    Perhaps one can give evidence not presented here in comments that they censor for some specific political bias like Pravda used to or RT does today. That however is an entirely different accusation.

  52. babbaloo said on May 26, 2018 at 7:56 pm
    Reply

    it’s just another attempt by some internet behemoth to control our lives. now i HAVE TO LOOK AT THE NEWS GOOGLE DECIDES I SHOULD SEE, rather than the content i am interested in. f—you google!!!

  53. Douglas Adams said on May 30, 2018 at 8:19 am
    Reply

    They have sure fallen a long way since early 2000. It seems strange that a company specializing in internet searches would drastically reduce a person’s ability to search for news or filter it to their personal preference. I’ve stuck with google for a long time, but I’ve had enough.

    Maybe it’s time to start a new service for news aggregation that will actually do what the users want it to do.

  54. Tim said on May 30, 2018 at 8:44 pm
    Reply

    They killed the RSS link page as well on this re-design as well. You used to be able to use google news alerts as RSS feeds.

    Total garbage.

  55. D. H. said on June 5, 2018 at 7:05 am
    Reply

    Cannot believe Google news has lost the ability for users to customize sections! I have ZERO time to scroll through topics that are 1000% meaningless to me.
    Please bring back customized content settings.

  56. Dr.John said on July 9, 2018 at 10:06 pm
    Reply

    Taking away the ability to prioritize by date makes it pretty useless; you end up getting all kinds of old news (is it still news?)

  57. Paul Pallaghy said on July 12, 2018 at 12:53 am
    Reply

    And something else not many are mentioning: even under the ‘saved searches’ or ‘for you’ lists, the hits are some sort of ‘super hits’ that stick around for days instead of refreshing to what you would get if you typed that heading into Google news itself (and get totally different and more up to date stuff!).

    Very disappointing Google for the first time ever!

  58. Bill said on July 12, 2018 at 2:02 am
    Reply

    Hate it. Too visual. Want text classic back.

  59. Drago said on July 18, 2018 at 2:38 pm
    Reply

    What a fucking hideous design. I used to love Google’s products and designs but it’s all going down the drain. They are even taking Android down with them :(

  60. James said on July 20, 2018 at 9:27 pm
    Reply

    Google News was the best, then political correct social justice types within Google completely destroyed Google News. Google News is100% dead, there is nothing left to discuss. This is also happening to Google search, its being systematically destroyed. Google search results are becoming more tainted by the day.

  61. David said on August 9, 2018 at 10:18 pm
    Reply

    Social engineering at it’s finest.

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