Last month, Facebook introduced “Instant Articles” in order to help journalists and news sites to gain a wider audience. Google wasn’t going to be left behind and yesterday in a blog post the search giant announced the launch of News Lab.

This resource is full of tools which enables online marketers and journalists to research, report, distribute and analyze their efforts. Google News Lab is an arsenal of tools that can empower anyone who wishes to tell a story online. You may already know about some of them while others have utility which can be explored in detail. Each of these tools (sections) have a “start lesson” button under them which provide detailed information. Lets look at each of them.

Google earth pro
3D imagery in Google Earth Pro.

Report

This section consists of Google Earth Pro, which lets you take your online readers on a 3D imagery journey. You can even fly to key story locations and use the HD video for on air broadcast. Next up is Google media tool alerts which sends you an email every time there is something newsworthy that happens in the area that you choose to receive alerts from. Lastly, there is a lesson on how to source data from Google which teaches you proper usage and citations.
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Research

This section begins with advanced search and takes you through search modifiers and searchability via file types. If you did not already know, you can search for PDFs on Google by typing “filetype pdf” at the beginning or end of your search query. This can be replicated for other file types too. Then we have reverse image search which can identify images by searching Google’s image repository. All you have to do is take a picture and upload it and Google will present to you similar images and information.

Google public data explorer is another tool under the research section which enables marketers to find quality datasets. You can create sophisticated visualizations such as graphs, charts, maps and bubbles with the help of this tool. You can also conduct your own research by using Google consumer surveys. It provides several options for inputting and then presents the results in the form of interactive histograms, clickable demographic segmentation and much more. Then there is news archive which can be used to access news by specifying custom date range.

Distribute

This section mostly contains tools and features that you may already be familiar with. It shows you how you can leverage Google Play newsstand, an app which comes pre-installed on Android  devices. It also shows you how to get your site Google News ready.

Google news stand
Google news stand.

Optimize

This is the final section which enables users to analyze and increase the results for their efforts. It consists of lessons on Youtube and Google analytics. Google analytics is a nifty tool which shows you how many people visited an article, how much time they spent on it and several other metrics. It also has lessons on how to use Youtube tags and geolocation.

So which of these features will you be using? Let us know in the comments below.

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