Google lets users take their news more personally

Well, now we know why Google News wasn’t, well, very new for four hours on Tuesday: the company had frozen the site to implement a new redesign aimed at making it more personalized.

The sectionalized structure has gone, to be replaced by a ‘news stream’ view that’s tailored to a user’s interests.

“You can help us get it right by using the “Edit personalization” box to specify how much you’re interested in Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports or any subject you want to add (whether it’s the Supreme Court, the World Cup or synthetic biology),” says software engineer Kevin Stolt on the company blog.

“You can choose to view the stories by Section view or List view, and reveal more headlines by hovering over the headline with your mouse. We’ll remember your preferences each time you log in.”

It’s easy to reset the personalization, or clear it altogether.

Users can also choose the news sources they’d like to see more often – you’ll all pick TG Daily, we’re sure – so that they rank higher in that individual’s listings. And a topics list makes it easier to follow the stories on a particular subject.

It’s also now easier to share interesting stories with other users, via Buzz, Reader, Facebook or Twitter, through a drop-down menu to the top-right of each story cluster.

The new look appears today in the English-language edition in the US, and will be rolled out to the rest of the world over the next few months. It’s the first major redesign in eight years.

The ability to pick which sources are seen more often appears in all English-language editions worldwide from today, and will be expanded to other languages soon.