Back in December, Google News was granted its second continuation patent in ten years, giving the layman some insight into the search giant’s algorithm, and how it chooses which articles to feature.
...The Claims section of the latest version of Google News’ patent shows a shift away from the traditional signals of a news source’s importance. Now rather than where a story is being reported, it is how a story is being reported both online and off that makes a difference in terms of ranking.
These signals, per the patent, include:
- How quickly an event happened before publication of an article about it took place,
- The “usage pattern regarding traffic associated with the source” means that the search engine is looking at things such as how many people click upon a link to specific articles from the source, monitoring traffic to articles from a source to see how often people click (or don’t click) on links to particular articles from individual sources.
They tell us in the patent: “Well known sites, such as CNN, tend to be preferred to less popular sites, such as Unknown Town News, which users may avoid. The traffic measured may be normalized by the number of opportunities readers had of visiting the link to avoid biasing the measure due to the ranking preferences of the news search engine.”...