Google Considers Ranking Search Results On Accuracy: Good News For Gossip Cop, People Who Care About Facts
There might be some good news on the horizon for people who believe in accurate reporting. Gossip Cop, of course, is dedicated to separating fact from fiction and debunking the fake celebrity news stories that spread online. We value the truth over sensationalism. Now it looks like Google may be coming around to our point of view.
The search engine behemoth, which controls an incredible amount of Web traffic, is reportedly considering a new approach to ranking search results based on an outlet’s adherence to the facts rather than the number of inbound links it gets.
Google currently operates in a way that often rewards “unique” content, regardless of whether that content is valid or accurate. It’s one of the reasons something like a phony death hoax (or other made-up but “unique” stories, like the recent nonsense about Emma Watson dating Prince Harry) can spread so quickly. Under the current rules, an outlet that makes up a crazy or sensational story is rewarded on Google when other outlets race to link to it. This is partly what’s made HollywoodLife and other outlets that make up news stories so successful.
But Google researchers have presented a new paper outlining potential new tweaks to the company’s search algorithm that could help put an end to viral hoaxes by using a “Knowledge-Based Trust” Score to measure how trustworthy an outlet is before ranking search results. The potential changes would theoretically reward sites with a track record of accurate reporting (Gossip Cop) instead of sites that sometimes publish whatever insanity they want without consequences (HollywoodLife, RadarOnline and Perez Hilton, to name a few).
Whether these changes are actually implemented remains to be seen. But Gossip Cop is hopeful that Google and other search engines do indeed pursue an approach that benefits the outlets doing their best to get things right. The Internet is a better place when accuracy is more valued than absurdity.