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Google Adjusts Ranking Signals to Demote Fake News

Google Adjusts Ranking Signals to Demote Fake News

Google is making serious efforts to filter fake news, which the company says is the “most high profile” issue when it comes to people trying to game the search ranking system. Around 0.25% of daily queries return content which is either offensive, misleading, or not what the person was looking for.

The company admits it still hasn’t gotten it right when it comes to tackling this problem, but there has been progress. Turning that progress into a meaningful, long-term change requires taking more significant steps than the company has taken up until now. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at Google’s strategy for thwarting fake news.

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Ranking Signals
Without revealing too much about its own formula, Google says its ranking signals have been adjusted to surface more authoritative pages and demote fake news.

Search Quality Rater Guidelines
Google has a real human team of people who evaluate searches, called quality raters. They all have a comprehensive set of guidelines which state how search queries should be rated. Sections were recently added to the guidelines regarding offensive and misleading content, which we covered last month.

Direct Feedback Tools
Google is making it easier to flag content which appears either in the Autocomplete suggestions or as a Featured Snippet. Feedback will be used to improve Google’s algorithms.

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Increased Transparency
A recently released Help Center document provides information about how Google handles Autocomplete, especially with respect to removing suggestions. An updated How Search Works site is designed to pull back the curtain on search and help people understand how it works.


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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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