Google is making a new effort to better identify potentially upsetting or offensive content. The hope is that this will prevent such content from crowding out factual, accurate and trustworthy information in the top search results.
“We’re explicitly avoiding the term ‘fake news,’ because we think it is too vague,” said Paul Haahr, one of Google’s senior engineers who is involved with search quality. “Demonstrably inaccurate information, however, we want to target.”
This effort revolves around Google’s quality raters, which includes over 10,000 contractors that Google uses worldwide to evaluate search results. The raters are being given real searches to conduct, which is drawn from searches that Google sees. They then will rate the pages that appear in the top results as to how good those seem as answers.
The guidelines that raters are using have been updated with an entirely new section about “Upsetting-Offensive” content that covers a new flag that’s been added for raters to use. Currently, pages couldn’t be flagged by raters with this designation.
With the data that was provided by quality raters is then used to generally improve Google’s search algorithms. Given enough time, this data could end up having an impact on low-quality pages that are spotted by raters, as well as on others that haven’t been reviewed.
For more, check out the full story on Search Engine Land.