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Google Now allows content blocking from publishers and sources you don’t like
New capability will allow a higher degree of customization of Google Now stories.
For some time, Google has allowed users to customize various aspects of Google Now. But that didn’t extend to the publishers and content sources Google was showing (Google Now stories) based on users’ search histories and other social data. Google News has long allowed customization.
Now, Google is going to let people block news and other content from publishers or sources they don’t like or don’t want to read.
First noticed on Reddit, clicking the three-dot menu in the upper right of any story will bring up a screen like the one below that allows content blocking from the specific source. This is a welcome feature and could result in more engagement with Google Now stories.
I was at one time a big fan of news aggregator SmartNews. However, I have stopped using it after more than a year of unsuccessfully requesting a similar source-blocking feature. Increasingly, mobile users want customization options like this, and companies that provide them will benefit from higher user engagement and frequency.
From my perspective, Google Now stories is a potentially more compelling way to get news than Google News itself. The combination of algorithmically selected content and now, individual customization starts to make it a traditional news site replacement.