Google Adjusts Ranking Signals to Demote Fake News

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April 25 google has sprinkled some new ingredients into its search engine in an effort to prevent bogus information and offensive suggestions from souring its results.

It is not that fake news has started to pilfer into Google's search results en-masse, with an estimate putting the figure to just about 0.25 percent.

Moving forward, the company has also made it easier for Search users to flag inappropriate autocomplete results and featured snippets, with a link that allows them to report suggestions directly from the results page.

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The changes include tweaks to the algorithm that determines which search results appear on top.

Facebook also has provided its almost 2 billion users ways to identify posts believed to contain false information, something that Google is now allowing users of its search engine to do for some of the news snippets featured in its results. Ben Gomes, vice-president of engineering at Google, promises that such results "are less likely to appear" in the future. This helps to increase convenience among users, but it also has the disadvantage of helping fake news and offensive content to spread. He further added saying, "This includes enhancements in Search ranking, direct feedback feature to users and greater transparency around how Search works". A steady stream of examples began to cast doubt on the quality of Google search. Moreover, they will also provide feedback back to the company.

Gomes says: "Our algorithms have always had to grapple with individuals or systems seeking to "game" our systems in order to appear higher in search results-using low-quality "content farms", hidden text and other deceptive practices".

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Under the featured snippets which shows up as summary boxes on top of the search results, users will find a' feedback' option. Politicians on both sides used "fake news" as a rallying cry, and studies, such as this one from Stanford University, found that students were increasingly unable to tell the difference between a legitimate news story and a fabricated one.

Although it also sells ads on its other services and independently owned websites, Google still makes most of its money from the marketing links posted alongside its search results.

With thousands of web-pages going live each day, it's hard for people and even the search engine companies to filter true facts from false reports, which harms a person's or community's credibility. (We've reached out to Google, but representatives didn't immediately respond.) Will Google's algorithms take over, or will an actual human make the call?

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