Displays news items from selectable Google News RSS feeds, inline, as a widget or in a theme. Multiple feeds allowed. Query filters and caching.
Google aggregates news from over 4500 news sources, updated continously. The results can be retrieved as a number of RSS feeds, where you can create your own specific feed by specifying one of more than 40 regions/languages, and an optional topic ranging from Domestic to Most Popular to Entertainment. Currently there are nine topics, including, of course, All. In addition to this, any feed can be filtered through a search query so that only news items matching your query will be shown. Note that not all combinations of region/language and topic has been enabled by Google but it should degrade gracefully.
This plugin works both as a widget, as inline content replacement and can be called from themes. Any number of inline replacements or theme calls allowed, but only one widget instance is supported in this release.
For widget use, simply use the widget as any other after selecting which feed it should display. For inline content replacement, insert the one or more of the following strings in your content and they will be replaced by the relevant news feed. For theme use, add the do_action function call described below.
<!--google-news-->for the default feed
Shortcodes can be used if you have WordPress 2.5 or above, in which case these replacement methods are also available.
[google-news]for the default feed
Calling the plugin from a theme is done with the WP do_action() system. This will degrade gracefully and not produce errors or output if plugin is disabled or removed.
<?php do_action('google_news'); ?>for the default feed
<?php do_action('google_news', 'feedname'); ?>
Enable plugin, go to the Google News page under Dashboard->Settings and read the initial information. Then go to the Google News page under Dashboard->Manage and configure one or more feeds. Then use a widget or insert relevant strings in your content or theme.
The available options are as follows.
Name: Optional feed name, that can be used in the widget or the inline replacement string to reference a specific feed. Any feed without a name is considered "default" and will be used if the replacement strings do not reference a specific feed. If there are more than one feed with the same name, a random of these is picked every time it is used. This also applies to the default feed(s).
Title: Optional, which when set will be used in the widget title or as a header above the news items when inline. If the title is empty, then a default title of "Google News : <region> : <feed type>" is used. Note that as per Google Terms of Service it is a requirement to state that the news come from Google.
News region: A dropdown list of 40 choices, determining the region/language of the feed.
News type: Another dropdown list, determining what type of news you are after. Sci/Tech, Business, Health etc.
Output type: Some Google feeds come with just text, some pictures or pictures on nearly every news item. Chose which one you want here.
News item length: Short or long. The short version is really just the news item title as a one liner but probably the one most WP admins will use. The long version is a 3-4 line teaser that has been severely stripped of useless markup that Google insists on passing along, including tables, links, colour/font/style settings etc. I've tried to clean it up so it won't mess up your theme. For the short version, the long text without html tags is available as a mouse rollover/tooltip.
Max items to show: As the title says, if the feed has sufficient entries to fulfil the request.
Optional query filter: One of the most important parts of the Google News RSS Feed is the ability to filter the news with your very own search query. Get relevant, up to date news on the exact topic you want. Note that if you add a search query, then the short item length will include an "all N news articles" link curtesy Google. If you choose to add a query, then you most likely want to set a title as well. To explain to the viewer what kind of news you have selected for them to see. The News Query isn't like a standard Google Query, so you can't use || between words to search for one or the other. So IFF you start your query with the word OR then the rest of the words will be or'ed together. I.e. a query string of 'OR this that' will look for news containing either this or that. This is really just a test, so the actual query language used here may change in future versions.
Cache time: The feeds are now fetched using WordPress builtin MagpieRSS system, which allows for caching of feeds a specific number of seconds. Cached feeds are stored in the backend database.
If you want to change the look&feel, the inline table is wrapped in a div with the id "google-news-inline" and the widget is wrapped in an li with id "google-news". Let me know if you need more to properly skin it.