Google will review the way it answers your most bizarre questions, to avoid any misunderstandings.
There are no dumb questions, except for Google. For nearly two decades, Alphabet’s search engine has made life easier for many curious people. Internet users in search of knowledge can have the answer to all their questions in a few clicks. All? Not really. According The Daily Mail, the company will become more selective. The English media has spotted an update that should change the situation a bit during your next research.
Do not panic, you will still be able to know the date of liberation from France or what the word means “Boomer”. On the other hand, the featured extract tool will get an overhaul. This is a box that appears when you type the subject of your search (see below). It allows to display a fast and clear answer. Except that he is not infallible and has posted nonsense on several occasions. In addition to lacking precision, it greatly participated in the sharing of false information or certain approximations. This was especially the case when the user’s question was nonsensical.
From now on, Google will warn Internet users when the keywords used bring up controversial results. Concretely, the firm will warn its users and will indicate, for example, that the sources are unreliable or not very timely. She will also invite them to check by cross-referencing sources and articles. On its blog, Google cites the example of the question: “How do I contact the Illuminati?” You can read the warning that should appear on the page in the coming months.
It is stated there: “There seem to be few good results out there. The results below match your keywords, but some don’t seem reliable. Check the source (are they legit on these topics?) or try changing the search terms (less specific words may yield better results).”
Google should also rely less on its featured snippets after the update. The firm also announces that it has reduced their triggering by 40%.“We’ve trained our systems to better detect these types of false premises, which aren’t very common, but there are cases where it’s not useful to show featured snippets.”
Fighting fake news
The pandemic will have largely raised awareness about misinformation. However, there are still a few things to do to prevent it. Google hopes that its update will help make access to information simpler, faster and safer. According to a study carried out this year and mentioned by the Mountain View company, many people verify information on the search engine. It must therefore be irreproachable.
The firm has also made the fight against misinformation its spearhead. Its new update will also allow users to assess the relevance of searches and sources, whether they have found them on social networks or during conversations with friends or family. A new feature is also arriving in France, it will allow you to learn more about the source of the article you are viewing.
Launched last year, the feature has been used over 2.4 million times. She is now entering France. This is a tab that can be opened by clicking “about this source”. This allows, among other things, to determine the reliability of the media and websites you consult. In 2017, at the request “Is Obama planning a coup?” Google displayed the following response: “Obama may be planning a communist coup when his term ends in 2016.” This information came from a conspiracy site. With the tool “about this result”Internet users may be warned if the media they are consulting is not known for its reliability or impartiality.
To find out more about disinformation, and the mechanisms to adopt to guard against it, you can consult our dedicated file.