Fake news is a high-profile issue that is not going away anytime soon, and Google is making serious efforts to filter out sources peddling nonsense. According to the search giant, 0.25 percent of all daily queries result in a user being returned content that is either offensive, misleading or not what they were looking for in the first place.
While Google does admit that it has not found a perfect solution for dealing with the onslaught of fake news, progress has indeed been made in recent weeks and months. Here are a few pieces of Google’s strategy for thwarting sources of fake news:
- Increased company transparency. Google recently released a helpful guide for users to take a look at that details how the company handles autocomplete suggestions, including the removal of suggestions. Some of the categories for removal include graphic descriptions of violence, hate speech and criminal activities.
- Direct user feedback tools. Google has made it easier for people to flag content that appears as either an autocomplete suggestion or as a featured snippet. This direct and real time user feedback will be used to improve Google’s algorithms and filter out those useless websites.
- Search quality rater instructions. Google actually has a team of people who evaluate searches who are known as quality raters. These employees all have comprehensive guidelines to follow that state how user searches should be rated, and sections regarding offensive and misleading content were recently added.
Being an authoritative go-to source of information in an industry is good for a company’s SEO and should be the goal of its blog. Promoting fake news can harm a website’s search engine ranking and irrevocably damage the reputation of that business. It’s best to stick to the facts and deliver content users will actually enjoy and keep them coming back for more.