Personally, I’m neither worried, impressed or excited. The functionality in itself tags along with the first post I wrote in this blog – it’s a simple news aggregator. No more, no less. Used correctly this will increase the amount of visitors rather than the opposite.
If the newspapers spent half as much time worrying about their content, or lack of (relevant) content, as they seem to be doing about Google News a lot of heartache could be avoided. The newspaper that has managed to build the best brand loyalty through quality of articles or other projects is winner in this race. If you, as a newspaper, feel that you haven’t done this – well, then you should be worried about the future of your paper in general. Google News won’t kill you, but if you haven’t done your homework it won’t help you considerably either.
So what to do? In my opinion there are a few things that still aren’t being done enough in the media. Get close to your readers, invite them to a conversation, start asking “why” instead of just telling “what” just happened. Guidelines that applied long before the launch of Google News.
(an interesting bonus is how papers that are late the news benefit through getting the top position)