Google changes its search algorithm to tackle fake news

Google has announced that it will have a major overhaul in its algorithm to stop the advent of fake news in its search engine results. Fake news has already been a thorn of discontent for all major tech behemoths out there with all of them now scurrying to implement or devise new methods to keep the malice at bay.

Google jumps into the fray with this announcement saying that now it would offer more options to users for flagging content that it deems inappropriate.

Google vice-president of engineering Ben Gomes said in the blog post, "Our algorithms help identify reliable sources from the hundreds of billions of pages in our index" but the problem seems to persist and the Google admits it by saying, "However, it's become very apparent that a small set of queries in our daily traffic (around 0.25 per cent) have been returning offensive or clearly misleading content, which is not what people are looking for."

The main reason for fake news or offensive content making its way into the search engine prior to the tweaking of the algorithm was the fact that, "the content that appears in these features is generated algorithmically and is a reflection of what people are searching for and what's available on the Web...This can sometimes lead to results that are unexpected, inaccurate or offensive."

With current change in algorithms, Google aims to "to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content" and it is employing "real people who assess the quality of Google's search results" to monitor the searches and to ensure that the hiccups are brought into notice and solved in real time.

The tweaks will also allow the users to "inform Google directly if you find sensitive or unhelpful content" and Google intends "to use this feedback to help improve their algorithms."