Mar 31, 2022 - Technology

Google adds "highly cited" label to search results

Photo by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google on Thursday said it's adding a new label to search results for news stories, interviews, announcements and press releases that are frequently cited by other media outlets in an effort to elevate original reporting.

Why it matters: Google's search algorithm is designed to prioritize pages that are the most relevant and useful for users based on their unique queries. Sometimes, the most relevant and useful pages aren't the source of original information, but they cite the pages that are. Google wants to help point users to those pages.

Details: The new "highly cited" label will appear in the top stories carousel on Google's search results page.

  • It will first launch on mobile in English in the U.S. and will roll out globally in the coming weeks.
  • As a part of those changes, Google will also add information literacy tips in the U.S. in English for search results for stories around rapidly evolving topics, like breaking news.

The big picture: Misinformation tends to be most pervasive during breaking news events because the situation is evolving and facts are still coming together.

  • These changes, along with other adjustments Google has been making to its algorithm in recent years, are meant to help reduce the spread of misinformation and elevate quality content.
  • Last year, Google introduced a new feature called the "About This Result panel," which gives users more context about their search results and helps them find the most useful information.
  • In 2019, Google adjusted its algorithms and the guidelines used by the people that rate its search results to elevate original reporting.
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