Google Search is the tech giant’s most valuable and visible asset and the company usually updates the algorithms that power it from time to time to make it better for surfacing content.
In this age where fake news has become a problem, it has led to companies that distribute news like Google or Facebook to make steps in combating the spread of fake news. Today, Google has announced an update to Search that is a step in making sure it doesn’t surface such damaging content.
Direct feedback tools
On Search, we are used to using Autocomplete which tries to predict what we are searching for and Featured Snippets which show a highlight to what you are looking for at the top of the search results.
Such content is powered by algorithms and it is a reflection of what people are searching for and it might lead to results that are inaccurate or offensive.
This is why starting today, Google will make it easy for people to flag content that appears on both Autocomplete and Featured Snippets. The feedback system will be used to improve Google’s algorithms.
Google uses “hundreds of signals” to determine what results to display for your search query. Now they have adjusted these signals which will result to more authoritative pages being surfaced and low quality content being demoted.
Google also has New Search Quality Rater guidelines in improving how their algorithms demote low quality content. They have real people who assess the quality of Search results where the information is used not to determine page rankings, but to gather data on the quality of results for improvement.
Greater transparency about Google’s products
Google is apparently asked tough questions about their offensive predictions that appeared in Autocomplete. This has led to them improving their content policies that are available on their Help Centre.
They’ve also updated their How Search Works site so that people can understand the tech behind Google Search.