Google News has a new feature that allows you to "star" topics of interest.

A new Google feature now lets you bookmark topic groups (with a star) in Google News and is designed to help you keep track of a particular news story as it progresses throughout the day. This is just the latest feature Google has introduced to merge traditional print-style news stories with the more flexible medium of the web.

Starring Google News

To the left of every Google News group - a cluster of news stories that share the same topic - you'll see a star next to the top headline. Clicking on the star bookmarks that topic, and copies it to a new 'Starred' section in the left column of Google News. From there you can view your 20 most recent starred news stories.

In Google News, whenever any of your starred topic clusters receive a significant update, the top headline for that cluster will be put in bold allowing you to stay current as the story develops.

Google News star

Google News Developments

The new starring feature is designed along with other recent Google News tweaks like the Custom Sections Directory that help you build a more personalized Google News page. The starring feature also reminds us of Google's Living Stories project that dedicates a separate web page to track the development and growth of a particular story.

Google also has similar bookmark features in Gmail, Google Reader and the Chrome browser.

While the new Google News bookmarking feature is a great addition it does have some downsides. For one thing, you can only star topic clusters instead of specific stories, which means you can't use Google News to bookmark a particular item to read later.

It's also odd that your Starred section doesn't necessarily show the same story you bookmarked on the main page even if you check it just seconds later.

Nevertheless, the new feature adds more personalisation and added functionality to Google News.

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