While all the recent talk about Google has been about its new social networking site Google+ and its success, the company has announced that Google News readers will now be awarded badges based on the amount of content they read.
The company is making a big push into sharing as they take on the more established social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Besides Google+ we also have the +1 button spreading across the internet. The new Google News badges will be available to those who agree to be tracked by enabling your browser’s web history function.
Google’s system is based on the topics that users read and ranked with bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. But for those who read the most content, they will be awarded the Ultimate badge for their preferred area. According to Google the average reader who is interested in politics, has read twenty articles on the subject in six months.
The scheme started yesterday and the badges are private by default but users can share their badges with their friends. Users can share news interests with their friends and brag about their ultimate badge if they desire. Users are able to add custom sections by hovering on a badge, and then click on the add section. This will allow you to read more about topics which interest you most.
It is currently only available on the US version of Google News, and to get started you have to visit Google news from a signed-in account that has web history switched on. After that you need to head here for more instructions. The company have said they will take the service further after they see how it used by readers.
Google have also said that they have listened to users and have split the Sci/Tech section in to two separate ones. This has been done for all English versions of the service, with other languages changing soon. The personalization settings for News for you and News settings have now been combined into one sidebar. This will make it easier for readers to tell Google what they want to read on the Google News page.
We have embedded a demo video of the service below, and more information and instructions can be found on The Official Google Blog. Have you started earning your badges yet?