tedster - 4:06 pm on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
Google has always done a bad job with satire and criticism.
I'm very close to a multi-year sentiment analysis project - and I know that satire, irony and such are massively difficult to analyze accurately without human editorial input. Even those top-of-mind companies that advertise their sentiment analysis to major corporations get it wrong a lot of the time (like 30% or more.) Their technology prefers to report "no sentiment detected" too much of the time.
Matt Cutts mentioned last year that Google News uses sentiment analysis, but as far as I know, no web search engine does. If Bing seems to do better in this area, it may be because their indexing for most sites it a lot less deep so they miss alot of red herrings.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that sentiment analysis and satire/irony detection is just not part of Google's organic ranking - although it may be in play for Reviews, where it's a more critical factor.
I also can't see how automated fact-versus-error assessment could be part of any algorithm today. It would take the equivalent of IBM's Watson, but it would need also to update dynamically. Still, if anyone is in a position to attempt this, it would be Google.
I don't see how this area could apply to the Hacker News site under discussion, either. The reasons for their exclusion from the index are much simpler than assessing factuality.