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Google News gets more personal with desktop redesign

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Google News has a fresh lick of paint for desktop users on its 20th anniversary, with a redesign that pays more attention to local news and personalized content.

Users can now more easily customize the topics they see by clicking the blue “customize” button in the right column (it appears just below “Choices for you”). They can also add multiple locations to the “Local News” section by clicking the settings button to the right of the Local News heading.

In practical terms, the biggest change is that several news categories – such as world, business, science and health – have moved from the left side of the screen to a menu bar at the top. You can compare the before and after in the screenshots of the new design (top) and the old look (bottom).

The old Google News design placed topics in the left column and gave more space for the weather.

Google News is now 20 years old, having been launched in 2002.
Image: Google

Google says it has also expanded its “Fact Check” section, which highlights debunkings of viral claims from organizations like Full Fact. However, it’s not quite as prominent and tucked away in an area that most visitors won’t see at the bottom of the homepage.

Overall, I think the Google News redesign makes it look more like the front page of a newspaper than an aggregated resource like an RSS feed (RIP Google Reader). It’s a pretty small change, but a welcome one.

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