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Updated Google Rater Guidelines: Fake News, Inaccurate Content & Hate Sites

     
6:36 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Fake news is getting some attention from the latest Google Rater Guidelines update, reported by Jennifer Slegg at The SEMPost.

Additionally, Google is designating "low quality" sites that are copies or mimic other sites, of sites that look like news sites but have factually inaccurate content that is aimed at benefiting a “person, business, government, or other organization politically, monetarily or otherwise.” If the site deliberately misinforms or deceives users, of sites with conspiracy theories and hoaxes, especially when looking like a news site, will all be classed as low quality. In addition, sites or pages with what appears have dubious scientific facts, or a site promoting hate crime and hate speech, and violence against people.

News sites
One of the more important changes for news sites are now considered to be “Your Money or Your Life” – these are the types of sites that are held above and beyond merely high quality, as they impact a person’s well-being, health or life. And they also require the highest E-A-T (expertise, authoratativeness, and trustworthiness).
  • High quality news articles should contain factually accurate content presented in a way that helps users achieve a better understanding of events. Established editorial policies and review processes are typically held by high quality news sources
  • High quality information pages on scientific topics should represent well-established scientific consensus on issues where such consensus exists.


  • [thesempost.com...]
    2:53 am on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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    That's one way around the censorship issue; sites are free to publish anything they like, but if it's BS just rank them lower.
    2:57 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    Here's the full PDF file for the Google Rater Guidelines dated March 14, 2017.

    160 pages of delight for your perusal.

    [static.googleusercontent.com...]
    7:22 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    Mods Note We've removed some comments that were not following the rules. Please remember to keep your comments on-topic to Google SEO. This is not the place for political commentary, Google "Noise" aka generic editorializing, or other non-SEO focused comments. Thank you for keep the discussion on-topic.

    If you want to discuss Google business practices, then please head over to our Google Finance, Policy & Business Issues Forum [webmasterworld.com] That is where you should share your thoughts on how Google addresses free speech, government lobbying, political donations, lawsuits etc.
    10:04 am on Mar 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    I like how Paul Haahr, a ranking engineer at Google spins this...

    Only a very small percentage of traffic ends up seeing these types of results in the search results. According to Haahr, only a very small fraction of traffic is affected, as only 0.1% of traffic touches these areas. This is a surprisingly small number which seems disproportionate to the amount of publicity these types of results get in the news media.


    most searches on the net are probably people looking for other things like restaurants, hotels, flights

    how much of the 0.1% are people searching for news? the number could be 30% of the 0.1%

    the article doesn't clearly state if the 0.1% is of total searches on google for anything or 0.1% of news related searches.

    which would make it a bigger deal!

    it's very unclear!


    in other news:
    Germany has drafted a law that could fine sites up to 50 million euros if they don't remove fake news within 7 days, and they will have to run a 24 hour help line for people to report fake news.

    [bbc.co.uk...]
    11:40 am on Mar 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    What do they do when a legitimate news site reports on fake news? Will the site or article lose rankings?
    12:15 pm on Mar 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    If a legitimate new site reports on fake news, they will not automatically lose rankings. I'm guessing you might not have had time to read the actual Google document. I strongly suggest all SEOs to read the actual Google document.

    Oversimplified answer is that Google is trying to diminish bad user experiences. If a user goes to Google and searches for "what color is the sky" and the top answer says the sky is green polka dots, Google looks a bit foolish and the searcher might start using Bing for more accurate answers.

    This is also a growing spam issue. Google rankings are still influenced by links. If you publish an accurate story, it is usually lost among the crowded mundane field and gains few or no links. If you publish a crazy fake clickbait article, it is more likely to gain links. The crazier it is, the more likely it will gain links. Some sites are pumping out crazy clickbait pieces as fast as possible just to attract more links. For obvious reasons Google does not want to reward this strategy.
    12:24 pm on Mar 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    @tidi good point!

    How will they stop youtube videos ranking? they can transcribe them but it's sometimes a bit hit + miss, and they can get the image text out of the video but that's alot of computing time needed.

    Also Google's own info boxes at the top of the page are often wrong, so google could be picking up the wrong info from a site and reporting it as fake facts itself.

    What about comments on a page, are they immune from the algo or do they count too?

    will forums be hit?

    google is publishing live tweets on the search results now, do tweets count as fake news?

    the whole thing is a nightmare
    7:24 pm on Mar 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    Actually the groups who want to spread lies and mis-information have had a lot more success on sites like facebook and twitter than on google. In other words, google has done a much better job of protecting its users than those other sites.

    System

    12:05 pm on Mar 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

    redhat

     
     


    This thread is about Google's Quality Rater Guidelines so let's make sure to stay on topic.

    The following 2 messages were cut out to new thread by goodroi. New thread at: Google's Struggle with Fake Info/Hate Speech [webmasterworld.com]
    8:42 am on Mar 17, 2017 (utc -5)

    [edited by: goodroi at 1:45 pm (utc) on Mar 17, 2017]

    3:19 pm on Mar 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    So, Google knows and decides what is "factually accurate" and what is not? That is hilarious! Or, outrageous, depending on mood.

    There is absolutely no way that Google or anyone else can detect automatically or manually what is "factually inaccurate". There is no such thing as absolutes in science, and there is even less of it in news. The winner writes the history, but that only means that any news story is no more than an expression of opinion, even if masked as "fact". Journalists have no scientific methodology to work from, and they are neither interested in "truth" nor paid to wirite it. They are paid, like any other employee, to take care of the financial interests of their employer, and no more.

    Fake news ratings are masked censorship and no more. The real world does not work in such a way that any matter can be seen from one perspective only.
    3:26 pm on Mar 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    I should add that the above coment is based on around 30years of work experience in the media industry, many of these years by leading news outlets. What Google (et al.) is doing here, is to deceive the public. If your opininon is ot on the white list, you disappear. In Europe, this modus operandi is known from recent history, ie the Stasi of East Germany.
    3:45 pm on Mar 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    For all we know, the Theory of Relativity, as well as that of the Big Bang, and even stuff like Gravity can be considered "facually inaccurate". There is no body large or old enough to decide if these phenomenons are really fake or real. We only know that for the microsopic period of time that our science have existed, these theories offer the best degree of predictability. That does not imply truth, only that it seems to work for the moment.

    And, that is Science. With a capital S. News is even more uncertain in fact extremely uncertain, as the majority of news stories are actually non-factual topics; ie opinion, politics, statements, plans, etc. The mortuaries and classifieds and ads are the most tangible items in any news papaer, the rest is between 66% and 100% opinion.

    The only realm or domain in which it is possible to saytht "this is real and that is fake", is... Religion! Here, dogma has been consoudated throughout centuries and learned people have agreed on fundamental "facts" eg the birth date of this figure, or the fate of thisofter figure. And these are truths, absolute truths. The only "true" truths known to mankind... but even then: they are true only for the followers of that specific religion.

    So, fake news is actually all news. Or none. It is not so that some news are more fake thatn others, it is only a question of what your personal (and biased) opinion agrees or disarees most with.

    Even a "factual" report that there's been a flood in that-or-that-area can be "fake", and even when reporting the exact specific observable events in a fully neutral manner. The reporter my simply be placed in the sigle most and only part of some specific area that is flooded, while the vast majority is not. These things happen, ans in news, frequently.

    Google and the rest of the "fake news" gang are effectively creating a church here. A religion. And you have to follow it, or else...
    3:53 pm on Mar 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    (sorry 'bout the typos! There used to be a way to edit after posting, but that option -- if extant -- does not work in my browser. Maybe it is controlled by "ajax.googleapis.com", which of course is permanently blocked here)
    3:57 pm on Mar 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    Drop down on the message number, claus :)
    6:24 pm on Mar 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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    goodroi wrote:
    If you publish a crazy fake clickbait article, it is more likely to gain links. The crazier it is, the more likely it will gain links. Some sites are pumping out crazy clickbait pieces as fast as possible just to attract more links. For obvious reasons Google does not want to reward this strategy.

    You're exactly right, goodroi

    We're talking about intentional lies here. These are stories that somebody invents out of nothing. The person knows that the story isn't true, but publishes it anyway.

    When a person knows that something isn't true, but says it anyway, that's an INTENTIONAL LIE.

    That's what this whole thing is about.