Google Beta Testing News Search Service

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Search company Google has begun beta testing a search service for news.


The test site, launched Wednesday at http://news.google.com, searches for the latest headlines from about 100 news sources each hour. Users can retrieve news headlines with links to the full stories that go back seven days.


Headlines are updated throughout the day and brief summaries accompany the search results. Google said it plans to continually refine the service and to add new sources of information.


The service breaks down the news into seven categories: Headline News' featuring the top stories of the hour, World, U.S., Business, Entertainment, Technology and Sports. Each category contains five to eight headlines. News sources include CNN, Reuters, the BBC and USA Today.


The beta test is another of Google's attempts to branch out into specialized search services. In the past few months, the Mountain View, CA-based company debuted a mail-order catalog search service, a Microsoft-related site and search services for large enterprises.


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