Why doesn't Google News work?

Seems incapable at playing to Google's strengths.

Do a Google News search on something. Chances are you'll end up with a whole bunch of similar results, perhaps because they're all basing themselves on, or outright quoting, the same wire service or syndicated columnist.

Note: that link above isn't likely to survive long, because even though the Guardian maintains complete and unadulterated archives, Google News doesn't. Go on, try and find something in Google News that's more than a few days old. (Actually, don't. It's as bad as trying to buy a plane ticket online.)

What I don't understand is this: why does Google report a whole bunch of almost-identical links to stories? I mean, it's not as if it's difficult to work out which stories are from the wires and which ones are original. The Guardian, which I saw mentioned twice in the same story recently, puts "/wire/" or "/uslatest/" in the URL; other papers might not be as obliging, but looking for the keywords "(AP)", "Associated Press" or "(Reuters)" is, surely, not that hard?

Now, you can maybe claim that Google is doing this to aid representativity. Similar to the Dean campaign's habit of linking to AP or Reuters stories by saying they're from the San Francisco Chronicle or the Boston Globe or the Oakland Tribune or whatever. And that's fine for local content. But if these papers are simply running an AP, Reuters, AFP, Tass or any other wire service feed, they shouldn't be double-counted just to make up the numbers. If nobody has anything to say above and beyond what the agencies say, Google news should reflect that.