Monday, 30 September 2002 is in beta test.


Last week I read the news via Google.

There are still plenty of competing news sites but Google already stands out above the crowd.

About HomeRun

Designing Web Usability
Chapter 9: HOME RUN.

I am convinced that Google News will be a success. It complies very well with Jakob Nielsen's criteria for a successful web site. Almost all of the criteria behind the acronym HOME RUN (.../webManual/...) apply.

The Google news is of high quality. The site offers pluriform world class word news.
Google refreshes the page several times per hour. Chances are high that you see a page that is only a couple of minutes old. As a guarantee it lists the age of the news.
The download time needs a bit of improvement.

Unfortunately the homepage shows below the fold the headlines of all categories. It unnecessarily slows down the home page (measured with a 56K modem connection)

first useful text
5 à 6 seconds
whole page including generated thumbnails
20 à 25 seconds.
The site is easy to use.

The design and navigation are good. The articles are easy to read. Links are clear and easy to click.

The site complies with the needs of a news consumer.
  • The selection of world news is good.
  • The news is objective and fresh.
  • Below every article you'll find links to related stories, with a huge diversity of opinions from world wide sources.
The Google news uses the unique possibilities of the Internet,
  • continuously scans thousands of online news sources,
  • automatically groups stories by subject from several sources,
  • automatically selects the most relevant stories,
  • automatically scrapes the heading, introduction and a covering picture.
It is a fine example of artificial intelligence, my compliments to the Googlers.
Google clearly is a true Internet company. The news service nicely extends Google's unique search technology.


A number of other news portals are not happy with Google's news service. For the moment their objections are limited to copyright arguments. Surprisingly other objections are not mentioned yet:
Will Google news head towards a monopoly?
  • The Google search engine has reached a de facto monopoly in 4 years.
    A site that misses in the Google result list might as well not exist at all.
    Will news only be news if it gets listed by Google?
  • Will Google obliterate competing news sites?
    Will Google news be thread to pluriform news gathering in the long run?
Thread to journalists?
  • The Google news is automatically assembled (...about_news_search...), fully by computers.
    Not a single journalist, editor or designer works on the individual editions.
  • Hopefully such a computer is objective. Yes, hopefully, as nobody is able to verify it.
  • Should or shouldn't you entrust something important as the news to a computer?
Till next week,

Born Thursday 26 September 2002, my second cousin: Noa Stad.
Congratulations to my cousin Yvonne.