News Search Category Archive
Google News has announced a few changes:
- "Realtime" news
- Larger images on main page
- Integration of Google+ content
But no, this is not a new version of Google Realtime search that searched Twitter and other social networks and was killed when Google was unable to renegotiate access to the Twitter feed.
Google News has new search settings available that provide several new features. It lets searchers choose to specify certain news sources for exclusion or from which to get more or less news. In addition, for those news sources tagged as (blog) or (press release), searchers can also request exclusion of those whole groups, or fewer or more from either. While the blog limit has been available in the left hand margin for awhile, there is not other location to limit to press releases or to exclude them (the advanced news search does not have these options). Some are concerned that these new settings will cause users to exclude blogs and press releases (see Danny's comments on this in his Look Out Blogs: Google News Gains Options To Drop Blogs & Press Releases post).
Want to see these settings? Unlike a Google web search, where search settings can be saved as a cookie and do not require the searcher to log in, the new News settings require first logging in to an account. You also must be using the U.S. version.
While I am not yet sure if I'll use any of these settings on a regular basis, there is another great reason to log in and explore these settings. It finally provides a way to search within the sources for Google News. While others have compiled various lists, such as the recent list of sources compiled at Digital Inspiration, they often list sources only by their URL are typically incomplete (I checked four small news sources against that list and found at least one missing). Within the news search settings, just start typing the beginning of a source name (not just the URL), and a list of up to ten potential matches appears. Want to know if a news source is included in Google News? Log in, go to the News Settings, and start typing the first letters of the source name (and try any possible variants as well.)
See below (or check full post) for a 2.5 minute screencast of how some of these options work.
Wednesday, I came across an AP article about book searching, "Google Book-Scanning Efforts Spark Debate." It mentions a "$1 million grant to the Internet Archive, a leader in the Open Content Alliance, to help pay for digital copies of collections owned by the Boston Public Library, the Getty Research Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The article also discusses concerns with Google's project. As interesting as this article is, it lead to an even more fascinating (to me, at least) comparison of news sources and news search engines.
Google News announces the launch of a News archive search which is linked on the main Google News page (upper right). Instead of being an archive of what Google News has crawled in the past, beyond the 30 day limit of regular Google News, this new archive search is a combination of fee and free content. The fee based content comes from Newsbank, AccessMyLibrary.com, ThomsonGale, Factiva, HighBeam, LexisNexis and others. No list of news sources or vendors is available. Some sources are subscription-only while others offer pay per article options.
Feedster, the blog, news, and podcast search engine, has relaunched with a new design. In addition, Feedster claims to have improved speed, simplified searching, and reworked the core search technology to scale with growth and handle new kinds of feed types and searches. New advanced search capabilities are under development for the future and are supposed to include link searching and feed finding.
A mere two and a half years after its initial launch, Google says that "We're taking Google News out of beta!" Not all 22 regional of Google News are out of beta, but at least many of the English-language ones are. With the move out of beta comes a feature that suggests stories for users of the personalized news page and keeping search history and personalization enabled. The stories will show up under a "Recommended for. . . " heading.
The news search engine Topix announces the addition of 15,000 "top" Web logs with blog posts categorized into the existing Topix 30,000 local feeds as well as their 300,000 subject feeds. The post says that the "search results now include blog results, and posts should show up on our site and search index within 1-3 minutes of being crawled." Gary has a detailed analysis of the announcement.
Gary reports that Feedster, the RSS feed search engine, has added two new "tabs" above the search box for podcasts and news.
While Google still does not release a list of its sources for Google News (apparently secrecy is "not evil"), an interesting hack is available from PrivateRadio.org that runs a PHP script every 15 minutes and records the sources on the Google News home page. Started March 24, 2005, by today it lists over 1,000 sources which can be sorted alphabetically or by frequency of inclusion on the Google News home page.
For a long time, Feedster has had detailed documentation about its advanced search commands but has noted that not all of the commands were enabled. Now, their help page for advanced searching has been completely revised and should only include features that work. Many notable advanced features are available including
- Proximity with the ability to specify how close
- Full Boolean
- Four wildcard characters
- Number range searching
- Relevance weighting
- Date and time limits
- Case sensitive searching
In its continuing move towards a portal, Google now lets users customize some aspects of the Google News front page. Users can re-arrange sections and even add customized sections with up to 9 stories based on a particular query. More information is available in the Google News: Customized News FAQ. This is available in the 9 languages and 22 local editions of Google News. While these changes certainly make Google News more useful as a starting point for news, it could use an option to reduce the size of each listing. There is a "show headlines only option" which removes the first sentence and images. But it is the extra links to other sources for the same or similar story that take up too much screen space. And as Chris notes, there is no RSS feed option.
Gary Price notes that the following advanced search commands can be used:
headline:Search only in news headline or title of article. Example:
source:Limit to a specific news source only. Example:
source:"seattle times" government
site:Limit to a specific domain or top level domain. Examples:
url:Specify a particular portion of a URL between periods.
Example: url:gazette police
location:Limits to a specific location (country, state, or city). Example:
The AltaVista News database used to be one of the few that offered searchable access to news stories on Web sites older than the past month. Recently, AlltheWeb News and AltaVista News merged their databases, but now Gwen Harris reports the down side of that merger. AltaVista News no longer finds any stories older than 30 days ago.
AlltheWeb and AltaVista are now owned by Yahoo! when they bought Overture. For now, AltaVista and AlltheWeb continue to be available at their historic locations and have separate databases for their Web search results. However, since at least sometime in November, AltaVista and AlltheWeb seem to have merged their image, news, and video databases. Both continue to have differences in the search interfaces and search features but the content appears to be the same. The audio searches are getting more similar and perhaps share a portion of their database, but the Web results still are quite different.
MSN Search is finally starting to add a news search. However, it is only in beta and is only available at the MSN Search site for the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Spain. Powered by Moreover, it claims more than 4,000 sources. Read about it from the MSN Newsbot site or try the UK version. To search, look for the "Search news" box in the middle of the left margin rather than the regular MSN Search UK box at the top right. It searches many news sites from outside the UK (including US sources) and seems to go back about one month. It would benefit from a date sort option.
Google has added an alert service for its news databases. The Google News Alerts is in beta and is also listed on the Google Labs page. With the demise of other free alert services, especially Northern Light's current news alerts, this is a great addition for anyone who wants to keep up with the latest news. Just be careful not to choose search terms that will return too many hits. The default "once a day" option should help if you do, but be careful with the "as it happens" choice.
Google has finally added an advanced search page for its news database. It includes options for sorting by date, specifying the news source, a location limit, a date limit, and field searches for headline, body, and URL.
Daypop has been busy in recent weeks. Today, it announced an expansion to include 19,000 more blogs to its database. On May 7, Daypop rolled out Blogstats which can show a blog's ranking in terms of Daypop's citation scoring and also shows similar blogs based on link patterns. And back on April 22, Dan announced the addition of support for the blogring meta tag.
Dan Chan has announced new ways to search RSS and and future changes to Daypop. He says that he will expand the drop-down menu choices from RSS Headlines to RSS News & Weblogs, RSS News, and RSS Weblogs. The current option only searches RSS files from news sources, not blogs. While waiting for the menu change, it is possible now to search blog RSS by doing search and then changing the end of the URL from &t=a (or w or n or h) to &t=p (which means type=posts). The advantage to using this trick is that the link will go directly to the blog posting rather than to the main blog page where the individual posting may have moved down or even into an archive already.
For another source for searching RSS, try Feedster which just searches RSS feeds (from both blogs and news sites). Daypop does not yet included cached copies of the RSS feed posting. Feedster does include a cached copy, but depending on the RSS feed, it may only be the first few lines of the posting.
In Google News you used to be able to use advanced syntax like cache: followed by a URL to pull up a cached news story or site: to limit to a specific publication. Now these syntax no longer work and Google says "site:nytimes.com was dropped from your search because it is not supported for this type of search." For title searching, intitle: still works. Instead of site: try using source: which should be followed by either the single word for the source title that Google shows in green or for multiple word sources, use an underscore (_) character in between the words as in
source:new_york_times. Google News could really use an advanced search form and the restoration of the cached copies.
As of Feb. 28, 2003, Northern Light Current News has stopped being updated at both northernlight.com and nlresearch.com. I suppose it is not too surprising, since divine, Inc. (owner of Northern Light) has filed for bankruptcy earlier last week. Northern Light Current News search was a great resource because rather than searching and crawling news Web sites, it had access to actual wire news feeds. Oh well, another great resources appears to be headed for the dust bin.
GP notes a couple nice new features at AltaVista's news search. There is now a date range option and a limit for articles with images. Remember that AltaVista's news search includes older news articles back a year or more, unlike the news search engines from Google and AlltheWeb which only go back 30 days and 7 days respectively. Unfortunately for Mozilla or Netscape 7 users, the calendars for the new AltaVista date limits do not work, but at least the dates can still be entered manually. AltaVista News review and News Search Engines pages updated.
And it looks like Daypop is back up again. Hopefully this time it will stay available for a while longer.
Gary Price reports that "You're now able to limit your search to a specific site for stories available via Google News. In other words, the site: syntax now works." He includes several examples. Maybe they will eventually add an advanced search page as well.
Well it was up for awhile, but it has been inaccessible today, so the previous announcement may have been premature.
Daypop is back up and running at last. If you've been wait awhile to try it out, take a look now. Dan Chan appears to have got it back up late Thursday night, although it may be a bit less dependable than before since Dan posted that "After being spoiled with a big block of IPs for my previous business class line, I had to figure out how to run the servers off residential DSL at my new home in the Bay Area."
The news and blog search engine Daypop will be unavailable for awhile. "NOTICE: Daypop will go offline starting Oct. 25 for a couple weeks." Apparently, Dan Chan, who runs Daypop, is moving.
Daypop, the recent news and Weblog search engine appears to be back up after being down for several weeks. The front page still says that it is out of disk space, but it is working again. The Top 40 and Top News are not yet functioning, but the search engine is. For more on Daypop and blogging, see my article in the latest issue of ONLINE: "The Blog Realm: News Sources, Searching with Daypop, and Content Management." ONLINE 26(5): 70-72, Sept.-Oct. 2002. And
The Google News has greatly expanded its number of news sources (to "approximately 4,000") and the depth of its archive. It also has a newly redesigned look and has finally added the News Tab on the main page and on search results pages. According to the About page
"Google News continuously crawls more than 4,000 news sources from around the world. This number will continue to grow as we develop the service further" and it now "includes articles that appeared within the past 30 days." There is still no advanced search, although Tara points out that adding
&num=100 to the end of a results URL will give 100 results at a time. Even easier, just change your regular Google preferences to default to 100, and you don't even need to add the special code.
I can't say I'm impressed with the "Google News is highly unusual in that it offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention" boast or the lack of a list of those 4,000 sources. However, the results are certainly much broader than what was offered before.
Gary Price points out that some changes are going on at the Google News search. Search engines like to experiment by giving one out of say a thousand queries the experimental interface or results and then gauging their reactions. That makes it hard for the rest of us to see the details of the experiment unless someone grabs a quick screen shot. Just earlier this week on Yahoo! I noticed that the "Web Pages" link was not highlighted unless you clicked on other of the other links first. And the Powered by Google had moved way down to the bottom. Was this the beginning of a change to another search engine or an attempt to lessen the amount they pay to Google? Or what it just Yahoo! experimenting with some different approach. Time may or may not tell.
The new beta Google News Search can now sort by date. However, it still defaults to a relevance sort first.
Google announces the launch of its news headlines database in beta version. It covers only about 100 English-language Web-based news sources. It also clusters related stories from different publications under one headlines.