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I use Google News a lot, an awful lot.
Part of the job of being a commentator is keeping up with the latest events, news and discoveries so Google News has been an invaluable tool.
Imagine my shock and horror last week when I discovered that Google had completely screwed up my favourite news aggregation and indexing service.
Gone were the crucial menus such as "Tools". Gone was the ability to search out a date-range or to toggle the ordering of headlines by relevance or time/date.
What the hell?
The previously content-rich Google News page was gone -- replaced with a format that replaced all the former utility and function with copious amounts of white space.
Had I accidentally activated the style-sheets for mobile devices?
Nope... Google has "fixed" Google News in the same way they "fixed" YouTube and so many of their other previously great services and sites.
Google seem to be as bad as our local council when it comes to making change for the sake of change and without any consultation whatsoever with those who will be affected.
There has already been significant outrage over these changes but Google seems to have cloth ears.
I recall when YouTube users were forced to sign up to Google+ in order to leave comments on their favourite videos that almost everyone was equally outraged. Google persisted with this vile combination for a long time before it *finally* caved in to the enormous levels of criticism and put things back they way the were before they were "fixed".
Unfortunately, in the process of forcing this change on people and then trying to untangle the awful mess that resulted, huge problems occurred and I know that as a YouTube content creator I couldn't even comment or reply to comments on my own videos for quite some time.
It seems that Google learned nothing from that fiasco and are now, once again, forcing change on people who just don't want it and closing their ears to the outcry that this change is generating.
The word "arrogance" springs to mind.
It's kind of sad that a company which had such great beginnings and promised to "do no evil" has become so lost that it now thinks that it can never be wrong and that the consumer is so unimportant that their opinions no longer matter.
Fortunately I discovered that you can get back to the old-style Google News format (at least for searches) by searching from the main Google Page and then selecting "news" from the menu. That reinstates the "Tools" menu with all its added extra functionality. A search from the Google News page however produces a much shorter list of matches with no tools menu.
What a giant stuff-up!
I greatly fear that soon, even this back-door strategy will soon be "fixed" so that no matter what you do, you'll only get a single page of results and there'll be no way to sort or filter those results. When that happens then Google News will be worse than useless.
What do readers think?
Has Google once again shown its arrogance and contempt for users in a most unpalatable fashion?
Are there alternative news indexing sites with sort and filter options that match Google News?
When will these guys get a clue?
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