Google announced that it will now highlight original reporting in its search results, enabling original news sources to be prioritized and be visible for longer.
In an effort to find new ways to work with the news industry, and as part of last year’s $300 million investment in the News Initiative, Google’s Vice President of News, Richard Gingras announced global changes are on the horizon for news publishers regarding where they appear in search results.
The change will bring original reporting to the forefront of search results, as opposed to reactive reporting. This prominence will allow users not just to see the initial story, but also the more recent articles that support it.
What Does Google Define As Original Reporting?
Google intends to define ‘original reporting’ somehow, but the idea isn’t as clear cut as one might assume – especially when you have first to define ‘news.’ Sure, you have main sources like all the major news networks, but you also have many companies, and smaller publications that pull together updates from across a variety of news sources.
So how will an algorithm learn all the various distinctions? The answer is human feedback – Google’s Quality Raters – a global network of more than 10k people who manually offer feedback on Google’s search results. It is this feedback that can help train the algorithm accordingly.
Google’s definition of ‘original reporting’ to help guide the raters? Information that would not otherwise have been known had an article not revealed it. Other specs for the raters to consider? The source’s overall reputation, based on prestigious awards, or a history of high-quality original reporting.
As you’d imagine, this is going to be a learning process that will “constantly evolve as we work to understand the life cycle of a story,” explains Gingras.
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