A week or so ago, Google replaced the news box in the web search results with a box named In The News. The name change isn't the big deal, the big deal is that more than just Google News approved sources show up in the box.
The "In The News" box shows CNN but also can show Reddit, Twitter, YouTube and random blogs. A human at Google doesn't need to approve these "news" sources to show up in this box, like they would have to in the old box or over at Google News.
We will be pulling from all over the web which means that we will present as diverse a range of voices as possible to ensure we get users to the answer they are looking for.
We are always working to give our users the best possible answer to their question. That might come in the form of a video, a press release, a blog, a photo, a social media post or a news article.
But News publishers are not happy, mostly because they are losing out on valuable Google web search traffic to places like Reddit, Twitter and other non news sources.
A Google News Help thread has some complaints.
This "In the news" feature seems like it has only rolled out on Google.com so far, when searching for certain topics on the AU or UK versions of Google, I am presented with legitimate news publications that are publishing correct and up to date news regarding said topic.
When I search for the exact same topic on Google.com, I am presented with clickbait, rehashed articles from IBTimes, Kpopstarz, TheFuseJoplin, TheREM, VCPost, etc.
I am also sometimes getting results from Reddit, YouTube, Twitter, etc.
Why is this even a feature? This is not how news should work. Online publications are credible sources for news, for example CNN. I would trust a news post from CNN over a Twitter status or Reddit post any day.
I totally agree, if i wanted to see news reported by kids id go to twitter or reddit myself.
It is unclear if Google News publishers lost significant traffic from Google because of this change or not. But it is also not clear if searchers are happier with this change or not.
Google did respond to the complaints in the thread saying:
We do review all feedback and hold it in high regard.
As you've all noticed, Google Search has made an update that will make it easier for users to get the latest news and information in real-time with fresh content coming from across the web. The goal of Search is to get users the right answer at any one time as quickly as possible - so results may include an article from an established publisher or from a smaller niche publisher-- or indeed it might be a press release or a relevant social post.
We believe this change is good for web publishers-- it diversifies the sources that might show up in Search, sending traffic to a broader set of news publishers and journalists.
Forum discussion at Google News Help.
This post was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today. FYI, I am offline today, so if Google does a Penguin update - I won't get to it until Monday.