Yesterday, Google officially announced both an algorithm update and procedure changes for managing search results for fake news like content, which Google calls “offensive or clearly misleading content.” Danny Sullivan, by far, has the most detailed write up on these changes – so go read it. In short, this is the Project Owl update and targets fake news results.
I’ll quickly summarize what Google announced and add more by quoting what Gary Illyes from Google added on the topic. The funny thing is, this is incredibly similar, if not the same, as what we covered on March 15th with Google Algorithms Now Target Offensive, Upsetting, Inaccurate & Hateful Results. In any event, Google is now making it official by posting it on their blog.
Google is tweaking their algorithm to promote more authoritative content and demote low-quality content specifically around queries that potentially can show offensive or misleading content.
Google updated their quality raters guidelines to help them with these efforts and ensure the algorithms are doing the job correctly.
Google added feedback forms for (a) autocomplete suggestions and (b) featured snippets to get quick feedback from searchers of results that are not on target with the above goals.
What is interesting is how Gary Illyes of Google answered some questions around this update, code named Project Owl.
(1) Gary said that the “tweaks” or algorithm updates we’ve been reporting and users have been noticing is unrelated to this:
(2) New sites won’t have a harder time ranking after this update:
(3) Big brands won’t be at an advantage with this update:
That is what Gary from Google said about this update.
Here are screen shots of how to use the feedback forms.
Featured Snippet Feedback Form:
Autocomplete Feedback Form:
In any event, it really doesn’t seem like anything new here here compared to what we covered last month outside of these feedback forms. Which explains why Gary responded the way he did to those tweets.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.