Starting today Google will show richer information from fact checking sites. In an effort to combat fake news, highlighted results from sites like Snopes and Politifact will appear in search results. the results will show the fact checker’s determination on the truthfulness of the claim. A search for a widely distributed fake news hoax reporting HIV infected blood in bananas shows these results:
The new system won’t stop the use of Google’s platform to spread false stories but does make the fact checking sites stand out which could help users find accurate information more quickly.
Google says the information won’t be available for every search result and “there may be search result pages where different publishers checked the same claim and reached different conclusions. Even though differing conclusions may be presented, we think it’s still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree.”
The change will not improve the search rank for the fact checking sites or present the information in a “featured snippets” box at the top of the page.
The update will allow any organization to offer fact checking results although. Google says, “Only publishers that are algorithmically determined to be an authoritative source of information will qualify for inclusion.”
For publishers to be included in this feature, they must be using the
Schema.org ClaimReview markup on the specific pages where they fact check public statements or they can use the Share the Facts widget developed by the Duke University Reporters Lab and Jigsaw.