Big fan of Google News? Do you use it regularly? Google have today announced that they are rolling out ‘Badges’ to reward users who read lots of articles on their site.
The company is offering a variety of 500 different emblems, each one for a particular topic to its users. With five different levels of the stars, starting with a bronze star, and as you read more articles you receive a silver, gold, platinum and the coveted blue ultimate star. To make it work, however you must have your web history enabled, so Google can keep a track of what you read. With your permission. (of course).
This isn’t about encouraging users to read more, or to help drive pageviews to media properties; it’s about a data grab on your reading habits to help further improve the personalisation experience across numerous Google properties. Nor is it about jumping on any kind of game theory bandwagon either.
This is a clear strategic move by Google to gain further insight into our browsing behaviour, interests and the sort of content you respond to as a person. Combined with the sort of insight they have from Google+ Sparks, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in their strategic moves to build a more personalised web.