Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is trying to tackle its fake news problem, using a new user feedback feature. The tech giant revealed Tuesday that new ‘Search ranking’ and ‘Direct feedback tools’ are now available for users, as tools designed to improve the Google search experience.
In their official blog the Google explained, “Our algorithms help identify reliable sources from the hundreds of billions of pages in our index. However, it’s become very apparent that a small set of queries in our daily traffic (around 0.25 percent), have been returning offensive or clearly misleading content, which is not what people are looking for. To help prevent the spread of such content for this subset of queries, we’ve improved our evaluation methods and made algorithmic updates to surface more authoritative content.”
A famous example of a misleading query was reported on Earlier in December 2016. Fortune reported that when querying the search engine for "did the Holocaust happen", the engine returned an unexpected first result: A page titled "Top 10 reasons why the Holocaust didn't happen."
Definitely an unfortunate result. There were other examples of fake news and low quality websites that should not be appearing as top results. At best these websites were meant to be click baits, and at worst were meant to maliciously mislead.
“There are trillions of searches on Google every year. In fact, 15 percent of searches we see every day are new—which means there’s always more work for us to do to present people with the best answers to their queries from a wide variety of legitimate sources. While our search results will never be perfect, we’re as committed as always to preserving your trust and to ensuring our products continue to be useful for everyone.” The company said.