Official Google Reader Blog - News, Tips and Tricks from the Reader team

Reading gets personal with Popular items and Personalized ranking

10/22/2009 03:29:00 PM
Posted by Beverly Yang, Software Engineer

(Cross-posted with the Official Google Blog)

Today, we're launching two changes to Google Reader to help you discover more interesting content faster. Just as the launch of Personalized Search improved search results based on your search history, these changes use your Reader Trends to improve your reading experience.

  • Explore section - We're always trying to help you discover new stuff in Reader, and today we're introducing "Popular items" and "Recommended sources", two ways to find interesting content from all over the Internet. We use algorithms to find top-rising images, videos and pages from anywhere (not just your subscriptions), collect them in the new Popular items section and order them by what we think you'll like best. Now you don't have to be embarrassed about missing that hilarious video everyone is talking about — it should show up in your "Popular items" feed automatically. And to make it easier to find interesting feeds, we're moving recommendations into the new Explore section and giving it a new name — "Recommended sources." Like always, it uses your Reader Trends and Web History (if you're opted into Web History) to generate a list of feeds we think you might like.

    Explore section

  • Personalized ranking - Only have a 10 minute coffee break and want to see the best items first? All feeds now have a new sort option called "magic" that re-orders items in the feed based on your personal usage, and overall activity in Reader, instead of default chronological order. Click "Sort by magic" under the "Feed settings" menu of your feed (or folder) to switch to personalized ranking. Unlike the old "auto" ranking, this new ranking is personalized for you, and gets better with time as we learn what you like best — the more you "like" and "share" stuff, the better your magic sort will be. Give it a try on a high-volume feed folder or All items and see for yourself!

    Magic sorting

The goal of personalization at Google remains the same as ever: to help you find the best content on the web. We hope these new features help you do just that — go Explore for yourself.

Finally, we'd love to hear your feedback — share your thoughts on our help group, Twitter or the Reader section of Get Satisfaction, a third party support community.