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Google experiments with human news editors

Google run by humans. No, seriously!
Google run by humans. No, seriously!

Google has shocked the robot world by using actual humans to edit the Google News section of its site.

Usually the job of a fancy algorithm, the search giant decided to spice things up recently with the news section of the site curated by the folks at Slate magazine.


While this is not something that will become a regular occurrence for Google, the site did release this official statement: "At Google, we run anywhere from 50 to 200 experiments at any given time on our websites all over the world.

"Right now, we are running a very small experiment in Google News called Editors' Picks. For this limited test, we're allowing a small set of publishers to promote their original news articles through the Editors' Picks section."

We have heard that one of those experiments is employing a thousand monkeys for a thousand years to come up with the ultimate SEO'd headline but haven't had it confirmed.

Computer says 'no'

Google News has always prided itself for its lack of human intervention. Its current disclaimer explains: "The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program."

This is obviously to stop the mountains of letters it would get moaning that there was some sort of bias within how news stories were chosen.

It seems that those partnering with Google on this endeavour include: Reuters, The Washington Post, Newsday, Slate, BBC News, Computer World, US Magazine, The Atlantic and Fast Company.

Could this be the end of Google News squatters who get on the page because of SEO and not quality journalism? Probably not, but it is a step in the right direction.

Via The Register

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.