Google News is in decline because of converging digital trends that are lessening its influence. The Web’s big shift to mobile coupled with the explosion of social sharing, the increasing importance of human-powered curation, and tougher competition may be making the now old-school aggregator less potent.
Google News is no longer alone at the top of the referrals food chain. Editors noticed that less traffic has been coming from Google News. Other aggregators, such as the HuffingtonPost and the DrudgeReport, are also becoming less important.
Increasingly, news is coming to us through our friend and interest networks, via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and LinkedIn especially. In result statistics shows where each article’s referral traffic comes from: and now traffic from “Google.com” comes in well below traffic from Facebook and Twitter, and in some cases Reddit, Tumblr, and Digg.
Today, there’s simply less need to seek news out via aggregation services. According to a May 2011 study by Pew, Facebook alone emerged as the No. 2 or 3 referrer for most major news sites, accounting for as much as 8 percent of traffic to some of the top sites. It is also a popular news conduit among younger people, who are the future generations of news readers. Then people are increasingly using their mobile phones to read news. That could be a problem for Google too.
Another challenge for Google News has been the emerging mania for curation. The Pinterest-led curation wave as an important phenomenon. Pinterest proves that a mix of algorithms and human judgement can provide a superior content consumption experience. Indeed, there’s evidence to suggest that many Web users are becoming more curatorial in their consumption habits, a point supported not only by Pinterest’s rise, but also by the growing prevalence of services such as Foursquare’s “Explore” feature, Twitter’s “Discover” section, Reddit, HotelTonight, Longform, Longreads, Jason Kottke’s blog, and Dave Pell’s NextDraft newsletter.
Finally, these days Google News just faces much more competition than ever before, from startups, apps, websites, and even traditional publishers, who have become more digitally savvy. Now that we’re in an era in which reading on smartphones and tablets is a norm, apps such as Flipboard, Pulse, Feedly, Prismatic, Zite, Flud, and Sumly, just to name a few, are all vying for attention, providing news reading experiences that are not only competitive with Google News but also better looking.
This means that readers have more, and sometimes better, options for discovering and reading news, and publishers have other viable traffic-generating options.
Thx to Robin Good!
Via Robin Good