Google News has announced they are now in the achievements and badge award game! Yay!
Google News will now unlock badges for reading news on Google News. The more you read, the more diverse your reading, the more badges you are awarded. Plus, the more you read on a topic, the higher level badge you'll receive, starting with Bronze, then moving up the ladder to Silver, Gold, Platinum and finally, Ultimate.
Here is a video demo explaining how it works:
When I went to Google News I was prompted with this welcome section:
As I started clicking on my Apple fan boy news, I saw an Apple badge appear on the right hand side:
So I then began clicking on other news, but the other badges didn't show up yet.
Anyway, I don't think this is a good move. I'll predict that the badges are gone within the year.
One neat feature is the ability to customize your news more with sliders. Google began with this type of feature by giving you the ability to hide sources. But now you can tone up or down the news you see on Google News home page with sliders:
I think that is a good idea, not the news badges.
Forum discussion at Google News Help.