TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Google Lets Users Customize News Site

Google Lets Users Customize News Site

Lisa Minter (
10 Mar 2005 19:10:13 -0800

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Web search leader Google Inc. on
Thursday said it added tools to its news site that lets users
customize the stories they see.

The move from Silicon Valley-based Google and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN
Internet unit added features to make it easier for their users to
create personalized welcome pages tailored with the information they
want to receive.

With the new tools, users of Google News can create customized pages
on the site that gathers news stories from around the Web, the company

Google News users can now prioritize existing news topics such as top
stories, health, entertainment or sports to change the look of the
site's front page. Users also can create new categories to capture
news stories that contain certain key words.

Google News is available on mobile phones and handheld devices that
can read Web pages. News customization is now available only on
personal computers.

Separately, Yahoo announced on Thursday that it had given its mobile
users the ability to access all of their personalized My Yahoo
headlines and the first part of related stories, including those that
come from RSS and Atom feeds, on most mobile phones and handheld
devices in the United States.

My Yahoo recently added support for open content syndication standards
like Really Simple Syndication and Atom, which allow users to receive
content from sources such as news organizations and blogs.

Google gets the lion's share of its revenue from Web search advertising,
but does not show ads on its news site.

"It's something that we'll consider. We're not making any decisions at
this time," Director of Consumer Web Products Marissa Mayer said when
asked whether the company plans to add ads to its news site.

Google's news aggregation site is still in testing as the company
builds out its features.

Mayer added that Google was not trying to offer a personalized home
page like those from competitors, which allow users to view news or
information such as horoscopes or stock quotes and quickly connect to
other services such as e-mail.

"We're not trying to make this be your one-stop shop on the Web,"
Mayer said.

Shares of Google closed down $1.37, or 0.8 percent, to $79.98 on the
Nasdaq. Yahoo shares finished off 41 cents, or 1.3 percent to $31.91
also on Nasdaq.

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