Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The California Journalism Preservation Act would do more harm than good. Here’s how the state might better help news
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 22, 2024, 3:59 p.m.

Google tests removing the News tab from search results

The News filter disappearing from Google search results for some users this week won’t help publishers sleep any easier.

News publishers are worried — with good reason — about changes coming to Google Search. AI-generated content replacing links on some of the most valuable space on the internet, in particular, has left media types with a lot of questions, starting with “is this going to be a traffic-destroying nightmare?”

The News filter disappearing from Google search results for some users this week won’t help publishers sleep any easier.

Google confirmed some users were not seeing the News filter as part of ongoing testing. “We’re testing different ways to show filters on Search and as a result, a small subset of users were temporarily unable to access some of them,” a Google spokesperson said in an email.

On Friday, Google clarified that the tests that removed the News filter for some users were finished. “The News filter is available to users now and we do not have plans to remove it,” a Google spokesperson confirmed.

I use the News tab frequently — several times a day, every day — and I noticed its disappearance on Wednesday. The featured filters — Images, Videos, Maps, Flights, Shopping, Perspectives, etc. — change and reorder depending on the search term, but this was different. I wasn’t seeing the News tab as an option for search after search, even if I went looking in the “All filters” drop-down menu. I tried with “Julian Assange,” “public subsidies for sports stadiums,” and “Reckon layoffs.” None showed the News filter as an option.

The next day, on a different computer, my News filter was (blessedly) back. But a few other users confirmed I was not alone.

This article was updated Friday, Feb. 23 with additional information from Google.

Sarah Scire is deputy editor of Nieman Lab. You can reach her via email (sarah_scire@harvard.edu), Twitter DM (@SarahScire), or Signal (+1 617-299-1821).
POSTED     Feb. 22, 2024, 3:59 p.m.
Show tags
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The California Journalism Preservation Act would do more harm than good. Here’s how the state might better help news
“If there are resources to be put to work, we must ask where those resources should come from, who should receive them, and on what basis they should be distributed.”
Dateline Totality: How local news outlets in the eclipse’s path are covering the covering
“Celestial events tend to draw highly engaged audiences, and this one is no exception.”
The conspiracy-loving Epoch Times is thinking about opening…a journalism school?
It would, um, “champion the same values of ‘truth and traditional’ as The Epoch Times” and, er, “nurture in the next generation of media professionals,” ahem, “the highest standards of personal integrity, fairness, and truth-seeking.”