So, as some of you know, I've been having issues with Google Now cards. I've stopped getting the "around the Web" cards and get 1 or 2 articles from the "stories to read" card from websites I don't even visit when I use to get 6 to 8 articles on topics I've searched for or frequently visited websites. So I did some digging and found a post in the Google forums stating the same issue I'm having but the post yielded no fix to the problem. So I continued like this for a few weeks getting nothing but the weather card and my reminder cards. Today, fed up with my Google Now looking blander than an unsalted chicken soup, I did some more digging and found another much more recent post with my same issue and it had a temporary fix.
The temporary fix: I'm not sure if this is deliberate or a recent bug on Google's end but, apparently everything has to do with location services. So I did what the post said and turned my GPS off, went to the Google app, refreshed it and VOILA! all of my research topics, and then some, were front and center in the "stories to read" card. Went back, turned GPS back on, refreshed Google now and it went back to showing me nothing but the weather card and my reminders.
Obviously this is a problem because Google Now is mainly based off of location and turning locations off renders most of Google now useless.
TL;DR Google now only shows cards with location off.