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July 15, 2011

Google News Badges

Google News added a feature that could encourage users to read more: collectible badges. "The U.S. Edition of Google News now lets you collect private, sharable badges for your favorite topics. The more articles you read on Google News, the more your badges level up: you can reach Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and finally Ultimate. Keep your badges to yourself, or show them off to your friends," informs Google.


Google created more than 500 badges, so it's very likely that you'll collect at least one of them if you visit Google News frequently. Badges reward people that constantly read articles on a certain topic, so you're more likely to receive a badge if you read 3-4 articles a day about Google than if you read 10 articles about Google every 3-4 days.

While this feature could encourage users to visit Google News more often, the main purpose is to find people that know a lot of things about certain topics. "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," suggests Google.

Instead of manually adding your favorite topics to your profile, you could add Google News badges. It's one way to show your expertise and it could be useful if Google plans to integrate Aardvark with Google+ and launch a social Q&A service.

Badges also help you find your favorite Google News topics and add customized sections to the homepage. Google News now uses sliders to let you fine tune your personalized hompepage.





If you don't like badges, there's an option in the Google News settings page that lets you disable this feature.

{ Thanks, Jason. }

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