Google and news have always been in a rather rocky relationship. On the one hand, people have started using Google, specifically Google Search results, to find the latest information and updates on current events or topics. On the other hand, news publishers have been complaining about how they’re losing traffic because of that or how Google’s snippets are infringing on copyrights. Google’s solution is its News Showcase initiative and its featured news stories are finally coming to desktops after being exclusive to mobile for months.
Announced in October last year, Google News Showcase is pretty much a curated collection of news articles that would normally be hidden behind paywalls but are made available to everyone for free instead. The trick here is that Google is the one paying for those with a $1 billion investment. In other words, it is Google’s attempt to appease some publishers with online subscriptions while still trying to draw curious searchers to Google News and, maybe, those publishers’ paid programs.
As you might imagine, not all news publishers are keen to be part of this initiative but Google was able to gather major publications from the UK, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Czechia, and India. In addition to limitations in markets, however, News Showcase was also previously limited to mobile devices. Now, it is making its way to desktops via web browsers and is becoming an integral part of the Google News website.
In markets where News Showcase is available, users will see a section in their Top Stories dedicated to suggested articles from partners in this programs. There will also be a specific section for News Showcase accessible from the left-side navigation where users will be able to see all participating partners. Lastly, each participating partner will have their own specific section for those featured articles in case users want to dive deeper into what a publisher has to offer.
Although the announcement focuses heavily on News Showcase’s new desktop form, Google is also giving the mobile version a new feature as well. Publishers will be able to list related stories in their panels that users can tap on to get more context on specific showcased news.