Google recently announced a few changes to its news search feature. According to the article, “Android and iPhone smartphone users now have the option to see news stories relevant to their current location via the Google News mobile News Near You feature. When visiting Google News from one of these devices, you are prompted via popup whether you want to see news near you. If you choose yes, then this section will be added to your standard Google News layout on that device. (Note: This feature does not appear to be compatible with the FireFox browser for Android.)”

The article continues, “Google assesses the local relevance of news via semantic analysis. According to the Google blog: ‘We analyze every word in every story to understand what location the news is about and where the source is located.’ This service surfaces local news from a variety of local venues. For instance, right now I’m at the Burbank, CA airport. Under “news near you” I’m seeing stories from mostly from local newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Ventura County Star, and the Burbank Leader—but also from Eater LA (a local food blog), LAist (a local multi-contributor blog), and the Hollywood Reporter (news for the entertainment industry). From the perspective of a local news startup, News Near You is good news. The mobile market is booming, and news/information is one of the most popular activities for mobile users.”

Read about further changes to Google News here.

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