Google is taking on the fake news and hate speech that has been polluting its search results with a new update known as “Project Owl.” The update will offer users new ways to report problems in search results, and Google will create teams who will work toward getting algorithms to show more reliable information.
Why the change? In the past, Google has struggled with search results that were at times confounding, false, and offensive. Google received a backlash of criticism.
Search results from Google’s “auto-complete” function will now offer a link that says “report inappropriate predictions.” When you click the link, a box will pop up that lets you tell Google why the predictions are wrong. When information boxes (called “snippets” by Google) pop up in response to a query, and the information is inaccurate, users can offer commentary to explain what is incorrect.
Another big change will involve search engine results. Google will be giving more weight to authoritative information. In the past, sites with false information may have received a high ranking if they were popular. This could still happen, but the likelihood will decrease. Only time will tell how well this work, and which websites will win or lose because of these changes, but it will be interesting to watch.
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