Google has just announced it's making quality improvements to its search to tackle some of the issues and challenges its been facing. Of course, these announcements are often made after the algorithm changes and experimentation. Anyhow, here's a quick summary:-
Fake news is turning out to be a long term effort for Google, and its says "today we’re taking the next step toward continuing to surface more high-quality content from the web. This includes improvements in Search ranking, easier ways for people to provide direct feedback, and greater transparency around how Search works. "
It goes on to talk about the ranking a little more and specifically mentions the Search Quality Rater Guidelines where the raters are used to feed back changes to improve the SERPs, although the rates have no direct effect on the SERPs. Raters "flag" misleading and offensive results, hoaxes and unsupported conspiracy theories. "These guidelines will begin to help our algorithms in demoting such low-quality content and help us to make additional improvements over time."
Ranking: "We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content, so that issues similar to the Holocaust denial results that we saw back in December are less likely to appear."
Google is adding direct feedback tools to flag autocomplete predictions and featured snippets. "These new feedback mechanisms include clearly labeled categories so you can inform us directly if you find sensitive or unhelpful content. We plan to use this feedback to help improve our algorithms. "
With autocomplete causing a bit of a storm in the past, Google will publish its content policy on autocomplete and how it will deal with removals.
Google has also updated its "How Search Works
[google.com]" "to provide more information to users and website owners about the technology behind Search. The site includes a description of how Google ranking systems sort through hundreds of billions of pages to return your results, as well as an overview of our user testing process. "
Read the whole blog post from Google here [blog.google