Google Unleashes Project Owl

  • By Siobhan Snaith
  • 21 Sep, 2017
Google have announced that they are going to be making some major changes to their search engine in an attempt to crack down on fake news and hate speech. These are polluting the search results and spamming those who try and search for a specific topic. Project Owl is a code name for Google’s new technology movement, which gives consumers two brand new ways to report certain results they see as being problematic. Google have also recruited teams of people to try and perfect their existing algorithm so it shows up new and more reliable information.

Why Are Google Making These Changes? 

The search giant has recently been under fire because they have been mistakenly showing results that are outrageous, offensive and false. For example, when queries about the holocaust were searched for on Holocaust Remembrance Day , Google accidentally displayed pro-Nazi sites. This is just one example of how the engine needed to change in order to meet the demands of its users, and it also received a lot of negative attention.

So how have Google changed the algorithm? They have tweaked the auto-complete function, and this is where the engine suggests various options that will help you to complete the query you are trying to make. There’s a tool that allows you to select and report suggestions that are inappropriate, and this includes predictions that are violent, hateful and so forth.

When Are These Changes Going To Happen?

Google are going to roll these changes out gradually, but there are already suggestion feedback boxes on various search result pages. Google are also trying to promote more authoritative information. In the past, Google gave a high ranking to sites, even if they displayed false information as long as it was popular or trending. This could still happen even with the new changes, but with authoritative sites being put in the spotlight, there is a much better chance of reliable sites being shown ahead of trending, fake news sites.

What’s An Authoritative Site?

For months now, Google has been paying Google raters to review search results. This group have the job of trying to improve the search results as well as training the system to weed out any hateful, misleading or fake news that Google wants to crack down on. There is no telling whether or not this is going to work and the changes are set to be an improvement but there is a high chance that they won’t be able to change things altogether.

It is safe to say that if your site specialises in fake news and trending topics that don’t have reliable sources, that your site will be punished by Google with the latest changes and you may even see a huge decrease in your ranking unless you use authoritative content that is backed by sources and seen by Google as being legitimate.



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