Google News Showcase, the news showcase that Google announced in October 2020 as a system to pay publishers, continues to spread. In addition to the extension of the presence in other languages and other countries, the big news is the landing of the feature also on desktop devices, and so users can now read the articles selected by newsrooms at any time and on every device.

Google News Showcase debuts on desktop

Alex Cox, Product Manager of News, tells the latest developments of this system and presents News Showcase for desktop users of Google News. Already from today, in fact, the function is also available in Italy by visiting the site, where you can find the “best stories” selected by the partner publications of Big G (for Italy, there are more than 70 sources, including the entire Today editorial group in the various local declinations).

La schermata italiana di News Showcase

This means, then, that now “every Google News user, regardless of the device they are using, can see the story panels reinforced by our News Showcase partners”.

How News Showcase works on Desktop

The operation of the showcase on desktop is slightly different from the mobile system (where, in practice, the news “appear” on the user’s device), because it will be the reader to visit the main page of News. For most people, News Showcase boxes appear directly on the Main News page, the first page that opens when you browse on Google News. “Here, just below the main news of the day, we added a new carousel containing the latest News Showcase panels from the publishers that are already following, as well as publishers that might be interested in,” Cox explains.

La home di News con Showcase in evidenza

The user can personally explore news and newspapers, clicking on the page of the catalog of News Showcase, accessible directly through navigation on the left. “Here users can see the latest panels of each participating publisher in their country: both national newspapers, dealing with issues across the country and around the world, and smaller regional and local newspapers, covering the events closest to the places where readers live and they might be interested in”.

Schermata della pagina del Corriere su Google News

There is also the opportunity to further deepen the editorial publication, by clicking on its home page within Google News and then on the News Showcase tab. “Here readers can see all the panels of News Showcase: the latest Rundown panel, which covers the most important issues for a publisher every day, and the story panels, which provide readers with a more in-depth context on important articles”.

Approfondimento di una testata editoriale

All of these desktop experiences “will take place easily and appear to users without requiring any additional work from our publishing partners”.

The evolution of News Showcase

As mentioned, News Showcase was launched in October 2020 with an investment of 1 billion dollars, intended to finance publishers “to bring their voice and care into Google’s news products”; to date, the feature is present among other things in the UK, in Australia, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, the Czech Republic and India, as well as in Italy, and the “ninety percent of publishers enrolled in News Showcase represent local, regional or community newspapers“.

Schermata di Google News Showcase Brasile

In addition to grouping news selected by newsrooms – and therefore not by automatic algorithms – News Showcase also has an extended access feature, which allows users to read content with paid paywalls selected by partner publishers, which are used to “show them the value of high quality news”. The product seems to convince publishers: Constanza Martínez, content manager of La Voz de San Justo, a local newspaper in Argentina, says it is a “valuable resource” since it “allows our editors to select content relevant to our audience in an easy, effective and intuitive way,” offering multiple benefits. For example, “our editors can update the panels in the blink of an eye to keep our audience informed, after which they can continue with other work in the editorial workflow”; in addition, with Google News Showcase you can present “premium content for readers in a transparent way, even for a local publisher like us”.

More context with links to other stories

And indeed for publishers is designed the latest feature added to the product: from today, within the panels of News Showcase “publishers can better add the context around their stories through bullet points linked in their panels”. These linked bullets are for now designed for mobile devices and allow the reader to read directly the news related to the opening one.

Elenchi puntati con link alle storie

The success of News Showcase

Cox also analyzes the reception of the product, providing some interesting data. “Millions of users view the News Showcase panels every day, getting a better understanding of the stories directly from their news feeds, and click to read the full article on the publisher’s website: We are now offering over 10 million clicks per month from the content of News Showcase”. Again, “users have touched the Follow button more than 460,000 times in the News Showcase panels (almost twice what they were just a few months ago), making sure they can see regular updates from their favorite publishers every time they open Google News”.

I numeri di Google News Showcase

Numbers that therefore indicate that the road taken is correct and that they approach the initial goal of the News Showcase panels, that is “to help users find new publishers and build strong relationships with them, so that they can always find the latest news from a publication they trust”.

A new traffic source for news

The ads confirm that Google is focusing heavily on News Showcase (as we already knew the amount of funding), which therefore seems to be a potential new source of organic traffic – for publishers covered by the transaction – or competition for other information sites. Extending the product to desktop readers further widens the reach base, but it also means checking that the news site is efficient and offers good navigation. Very useful is also the introduction of the system of the bullet points linked in the panels, which allows the site to get in touch with the public and increase the clicks on the other stories.

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