Google Now could be getting a lot more topical. According to Quartz, Google is in the process of testing a brand new Now entry that would display "hyperlocal" news to users. The local news card would automatically surface articles about local businesses, nearby school districts, and events that have happened in the surrounding area. That information will reportedly by tailored to users based on their current location, the time of day, and their interests. For the time being, it's only being tested within Google, but the company confirmed to Quartz that the card was currently up and running.
While Google Now may be a logical place to surface local news, it won't necessarily be easy for Google to make it work. Tailoring news specifically to users' interests and locations is something that many companies have tried — and largely failed — to do before. Some of the bigger attempts include AOL with Patch and NBC News with EveryBlock. Patch has struggled to become profitable, but is still running, while EveryBlock ran for five years before being shut down this February. For Google, it could be a different story: the company already has a robust news aggregator in Google News, and hyperlocal news wouldn't have to be a full-blown product, just a useful feature.