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Google Owl Update Promotes Authoritative Content For Fake News Queries


April 25, 2017  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 said:


  • 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:

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