Google is making some serious changes to Search. The main aim is to bury the bad results from bogus sources, promoting accurate results from authoritative sources. Google is also promising to be more transparent about its products, and by announcing this it’s clearly off to a good start.
The internet has changed everything. It means that everyone now has access to more information than they could ever want, and it’s all just a click away. Unfortunately, we rely on gatekeepers such as Google to surface the most relevant information. And that doesn’t always happen.
Google Improves Search
After receiving complaints that it was putting fake news, conspiracy theories, and offensive opinions at the top of results, Google has declared it’s improving Search. In order to achieve this it has updated its algorithms, developed new guidelines, and built new feedback tools.
The first thing Google is doing is making changes to how it chooses what content to surface. This involves a) adjusting its signals to rank more authoritative sources higher up its results while deranking low-quality content, and b) giving new guidelines to the human evaluators identifying areas in need of improvement.
Next, Google is making it easier for people to flag bad content. Google states that anything which appears in Autocomplete or Featured Snippets is generated algorithmically. Which can often produce bad results. New feedback mechanisms will now allow you to flag content you feel has been surfaced without merit.
Lastly, and on a wider note, Google is promising to be more transparent about its products. To this end, the company has updated its How Search Works microsite.
Perfection Is Impossible
These changes all seem decidedly sensible. However, Google Search still won’t be perfect. Google sifts through so many articles from so many sources that the odd mistake is bound to happen. And when it does you can be damn sure some tech site or other will roast Google for that one algorithmic error.
Do you still use Google Search on a regular basis? Are you generally pleased with the results? How often do you see fake news or unreliable sources on the first page? What do you think of Google’s new efforts to bury bad news? Please let us know in the comments below!