If you are a regular users of Google News, now you can get even more out of your news reading experience with Google’s new feature called Google News badges.
“Keep track of what you’re reading, read more of what you like, and share what you love with friends,” says the man at the end of the latest video posted on the official Google blog.
According to the blog post, “The more you read, the higher level badge you’ll receive, starting with Bronze, then moving up the ladder to Silver, Gold, Platinum and finally, Ultimate.”
When you are in the US you can now start earning badges by reading articles. Currently, there are more than 500 badges are available, covering just about every type of news. For example, colorful little badges for stock market news, Harry Potter news and etc.
With Google News badges is that you can keep track of what you’re reading, create a more personalized experience on Google News, and share what you love with friends. This will trigger your friends to use it too, but will also give your friends some insight in what you like and what you read.
The post, written by Google engineer Natasha Mohanty, explains: “Your badges are private by default, but if you want, you can share your badges with your friends. Tell them about your news interests, display your expertise, start a conversation or just plain brag about how well-read you are.” (Google is very careful with their privacy stuff ever since Google+ launched).
From search point of view, I think Google is taking advantage of news badges to turn the model of passive responses to “individual searches” into an active model, which google can feed same “information blocks” to groups of readers with same badges, which means through feeding readers information in batches and builds dependent reader bases classified by badges, Google saves search bandwidth and meet search engine efficiency.
Also, the badges are a perfect tool for Google to get the data of ‘social ranking’ in the future. Through the badges, you are telling Google what kind of stuff you like, what you are reading, and how that content connect to your friends. So they will know what kind of content to show you and which friends should be the ones to ‘promote’ that to you. In the other words, lots of vertical demands from groups of same badge readers will let Google create a new contextual advertising apace.
To try it out, you will need to sign in to your Google account (with web history enabled) and visit the new feature’s help page.