How Google Is Fighting Fake News
Fake news is nothing new. We come across it every day. From the news that is published across social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to the articles that we read in our favourite magazines. With there is no escaping fake news, there are a few things that can be done to help reduce the amount that we see online.
A whitepaper released by Google revealed that: “Google continues to believe that the Internet is a boon to society – contributing to global education, healthcare, research, and economic development by enabling citizens to become more knowledgeable and involved through access to information at an unprecedented scale.”
“These concerns directly affect Google and our mission – to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. When our services are used to propagate deceptive or misleading information, our mission is undermined.”
With more than half of the population claiming to regularly see fake news on their feeds, here at Absolute Digital Media we’re taking a closer look at what Google is doing to fight disinformation.
So, How Exactly Is Google Fighting Fake News?
In the whitepaper Google states that they “adopt slightly different approaches in how we apply these principles to different products given how each service presents its own unique challenges.” However, it heavily focuses on providing users with greater context and supporting high-quality content through E-A-T.
Google’s algorithms “are geared toward ensuring the usefulness of our services” which help to ensure that the content that is available on the search engine meets each users’ needs. But what does quality content mean? While good-quality content can be subjective, Google’s guilty guidelines outlines some of the basic principles.
This relates to Google’s E-A-T whereby Google’s algorithms “detect that a user’s query relates to a “YMYL” topic, we will give more weight in our ranking systems to factors like our understanding of the authoritativeness, expertise, or trustworthiness of the pages we present in response.” Typical YMYL industries include Shopping and Financial Transaction Pages, Financial Information Page, Official Information Pages and Medical Information Pages.
Teaming Up With The Experts
With fake news on the rise Google have teamed up with outside experts to help them identify fake and real stories. This includes researchers, fact-checkers and even newsrooms to ensure that the information available on the search engine is trustworthy. To improve your Google E-A-T rating, you should always include the authors names and biography.
While the Google algorithm is unable to identify whether an article is real it can identify articles that have been published to deceive users. Google explains that:
“That’s why our policies across Google Search, Google News, YouTube, and our advertising products clearly outline behaviors that are prohibited – such as misrepresentation of one’s ownership or primary purpose on Google News and our advertising products, or impersonation of other channels or individuals on YouTube.”
Those who violate Google’s policies on any of these platforms may face a compliance review or risk their account being suspended. To further improve your Google E-A-T rating you should invest in some form of technical security as pages with insecure connections will receive a low rating.
How To spot Fake News
While some new stories are easy to spot as fakes others are much harder to identify as fake. But how do you spot real and fake news?
The first step to identifying whether a news story is fake is to take a closer look into the publisher’s credibility. If you are suspicious, search for other articles written by the same author. If they have published multiple articles, consider whether the sites they have been published on are well-known. If they aren’t, the story is likely to be fake.
The quality of the article is one of the easiest ways to identify whether an article is true or not. Stories that contain a lot of spelling errors, text in capital letters or unnecessary punctuation may be a good indication that the article is a fake. If you’re still unsure, it’s a good idea to double check that the story you have found hasn’t been recycled for attention.
If the author is credible and there is nothing to suggest that the article has been taken out of context, consider how and where you found the article. If the article appeared on your Facebook or Twitter feed or was promoted as sponsored content on an unknown website, you may want to consider searching for a similar story on a site you have heard of before sharing it yourself.
Visit A Fact-Checking Website
Fake news is becoming increasingly more difficult to spot, so if you’re still in doubt it may be worth visiting a fact-checking website to give you the all clear. There are numerous sites you can check the articles facts against including FactCheck.org and Snopes.com. Both websites all you to identify fake or false claims and articles.
While identifying fake news is becoming increasingly difficult, Google are working on putting new guidelines in place to fight back as their latest whitepaper explains. Making sure that your site has a high E-A-T ranking is just one way that you can establish your trust online.
For more information on how you can identify fake news or to find out more about the digital marketing services that we provide, get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0800 088 6000, today.