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New Customization, Personalization Features at Google News

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Google has enhanced its news service with a number of new features that make it easy to modify your own version of the Google News page by adding or deleting sources, and to share the customized page with others.

The Google News home page is now customizable, allowing you to add or delete main news categories (such as business, sports and so on), as well as increasing or decreasing the number of headlines within a section. You can also add sections from any of the 22 country-specific versions of Google News to your own page.

Google has also introduced a feature that lets you create your own section on any topic that interests you. Simply define the section using keywords for a topic that interests you, and a new section is added to your version of the Google News home page.

As with the sections on the standard Google News page, clicking on the link to a new section will open up a separate section page with many more links to news stories related to that topic.

You can now change the layout of the Google News page, either using the controls found in a new light blue box in the upper right corner of the page, or with a javascript widget that lets you drag and drop sections into new locations. Don't like the result? You can always restore the default standard Google news page, or view the text-only version of the standard page by clicking links for those pages.

All customization information is stored in a cookie, so there's no need to register or log in to use the new features.

Another new feature allows you to share your customized news page with others. Each customized news page has its own unique URL. Simply send this URL to others, and they can use the page you've created as their own personalized Google News page, or use it as a basis to make their own modifications.

You can also use this URL to view your own customized page on a computer other than the one where the cookie containing your settings is stored.

The new features are very cool, and make Google News a much more useful service. However, you still need to visit Google News using your web browser; there's no RSS option to allow you to view your customized page in a news aggregator. Google has no plans to add an RSS option either, according to Google product manager Marissa Mayer.

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