Google Improves Search Results Against Fake News
Watch out! The writing is on the wall for the fake news and misleading content out there.
If you’ve been on the Internet the past few months—or years—you’ll notice that there are more and more fishy articles souring the search results, as well as on our favorite social media sites. What’s even more annoying is that it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint which news is real and which is fake.
Good news, though… Google is forging initiatives to filter out misleading news from its search engine results.
According to Ben Gomes, Google’s vice president of engineering for search, only about 0.25 percent of Google’s search results are polluted with bogus information—either offensive search results, misleading information, or results not related to what the person is searching for. But the said percentage is enough to damage the company’s reputation and authority.
Google’s new screening system follows suit with Facebook, who is working with the Associated Press and other news organizations to review suspected fake news.
Here are a few of Google’s filtering efforts:
Improving ranking signals
Ranking signals have been adjusted to favor more authoritative pages in search engine results and demote fake news. No further details were provided, so we’ll have to wait and see what the adjustments are.
Google has reprogrammed its autocomplete feature to omit suggestions that are derogatory, promoting violence, or otherwise totally unrelated to the search term.
Adding feedback option
On top of the autocomplete correction, Google is adding a feedback option where users can complain about fishy and objectionable autocomplete suggestions. Users can also flag content in autocomplete suggestions or in featured snippets.
Revising search quality rater guidelines
Google has a team of actual human beings called “quality raters” who review search engine quality. Recently, Google revised its guidelines on how to evaluate searches, adding sections regarding offensive and misleading content. Quality raters review the wording of flagged autocomplete suggestions and questionable content.
“It’s not a problem that is going to go all the way to zero, but we now think we can stay a step ahead of things,” said Gomes.
This initiative is still a work in progress and more significant steps are deemed necessary to completely battle this problem. We will just have to wait and see the improvements.
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Tags: adding feedback option, correcting autocomplete, fake news, fishy articles, google search results, improving ranking signals, revising search quality rater guidelines, social media sites