The Google Assistant on Google Home devices is great at answering questions about news or current events. It will find up to three news articles on the web and read an excerpt from each. It attributes the source and sends you a link to the full article. This overview covers how to ask the Google Assistant for topical news and how news organizations can publish eligible articles.
Getting Topical News from Google Assistant
To get your Google Home to read current news about a topic, simply say, "Hey Google, what's the latest news about _?" Replace the _ with the topic you want to hear about. You can also say similar things like, "Hey Google, what's the latest on _?" or "Hey Google, play news about _."
For example, to get current news about the economy, just say, "Hey Google, what's the latest news on the economy?". The Google Assistant will find you up to three relevant articles and read excerpts from each.
How the Google Assistant Finds Articles
The Google Assistant uses content from news articles that match the requested topic and contain speakable structured data. Speakable structured data is used to identify sections within an article or webpage that are best suited for audio playback using text-to-speech. Currently Google is using content from registered news sites with content published in English. Google says it hopes to expand the program to other languages as more sites implement speakable.
Publishing Speakable News
News organizations that publish news with speakable content get the benefit of reaching a wider voice-first audience. Since each excerpt is attributed back to the source, it helps reinforce brand recognition. In addition, the user receives a link to the full article on his or her mobile device, driving traffic back to the website.
Any news site can add speakable structured data by following the technical documentation provided by Google. News organizations that use WordPress as their publishing platform can skip the technical hassles and install the Soundcheck Speakable News plugin.