Since Google News showed up, I’ve been impressed with it as a news “hub” site. I find it utterly fascinating that they’re able to achieve that without human editors.
It does seem that they’re using something at least vaguely similar to PageRank—there’s definitely a feedback process involved to assess the importance of various stories. One of the nice things about this is that Google frequently features stories that are off the map for mainstream American media. I’m sure this is partly due to Google’s inclusion of non-U.S. news services, but I suspect it also reflects an American population that is changing faster than the newsrooms are.
Today, I was treated to not one, not two, but three stories about Cricket on the Google News front page. What a nice surprise. (And hurray for Australia! With Shane Warne looking more powerful than ever, they’re in great shape for the Ashes next month.)