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Hey Google, what’s trending? Oh, just the death of journalism

Use of ad-flinger’s search function means echo chamber innovation

Mountain View has announced "the biggest expansion of Google Trends since 2012" in a move set to thicken the already impenetrable walls of its media-baiting echo chamber.

"Every journey we take on the web is unique" began the traffic consolidator's announcement.

Offering churnalists the opportunity to find real-time data on whatever news events are catching traffic at that particular minute, the Chocolate Factory claimed the changes were provoked by feedback "collected through conversations with hundreds of journalists and others around the world."

The Register can confirm that it was not contacted.

The new site aims to give churnalists "a faster, deeper and more comprehensive view of our world" through what they describe as "the lens" of Google Search, though cataract may be more appropriate.

Earlier this year, Google backtracked on its claim to drive a tenth of worldwide news traffic. Last December it closed down the service in Spain, rather than pay news outlets for the excerpts it was publishing.

The advertising giant cites BuzzFeed (and the Guardian) using Google Trends data to "tell the story of the recent UK election". Google proudly trumpets how the widely criticised, click-bait friendly, loss-making upstart churned out an article regarding "the most Googled queries about party leaders", as well as noting that BuzzFeed made a useless map.

While some data journalism has proven interesting to the public, the use of Google search data for stories seems primarily to be of interest to Google. ®

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