‘Google wants to lower search results for sites with incorrect factual representation’

Google researchers are working on a method to rank websites in search results based on how they present facts. For example, websites that spread untruths should end up lower in the search results.

NewScientist discovered that a group of Google researchers is working on a new method of ranking search results. The employees involved have deposited a scientific paper in the arXiv database. In it they describe a technology to automatically extract information from websites and compare it with a database consisting of 2.8 billion facts. These have been collected by Google from web data and stored in its Knowledge Vault.

In its research, Google analyzed the reliability of 119 million websites. A manual analysis of a number of results showed that the ‘fact checker’, which calculates a so-called Knowledge-Based Trust score, did its job well. Google therefore concludes that the technology is promising and works better than current methods of ranking websites in search results.

Because the company has not released anything further about its plans, it is still unclear whether and when the new way of presenting search results will be introduced. In view of the results, it is likely that the technology will be introduced in due course.