Sick of misinformation? Google just outlined new algorithm improvements

by WarriorForum.com Administrator
19 replies
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A new article on Social Media Today reports that Google is going further to tackle misinformation.



Google's looking to add more context to its Search results, in order to mitigate the spread of misinformation, by adding improved contextual data matching for Search Snippets, and more supplementary info within Search results, in order will help users decide on which results are most accurate.

First off, Google's improved its algorithms that fuel its Search snippets, which are the direct response results that it displays in Search queries:

"By using our latest AI model, Multitask Unified Model (MUM), our systems can now understand the notion of consensus, which is when multiple high-quality sources on the web all agree on the same fact. Our systems can check snippet callouts (the word or words called out above the featured snippet in a larger font) against other high-quality sources on the web, to see if there's a general consensus for that callout, even if sources use different words or concepts to describe the same thing. We've found that this consensus-based technique has meaningfully improved the quality and helpfulness of featured snippet callouts."
In addition, Google also says that its systems are also getting better at understanding when a featured snippet doesn't provide relevant context:

"This is particularly helpful for questions where there is no answer: for example, a recent search for "when did snoopy assassinate Abraham Lincoln" provided a snippet highlighting an accurate date and information about Lincoln's assassination, but this clearly isn't the most helpful way to display this result."
My question for you guys is, does messing with Snippets help that much if you use SERPs to drive website traffic? I mean, they reduce the need for searchers to even visit your site - because they get the answers there first, right?

Don't get me wrong, it's harder than ever to sort fact from fiction, which is why additions like these are important for ensuring trust in Google's products, and keeping Search, which is a key platform for all kinds of research, as accurate and valuable as possible for all users.

But in the age of social media, can we ever combat the damaging effects of misinformation?
#algorithm #google #improvements #misinformation #outlined #sick
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamell
    Not completely but these updates can help although people will come up with new ways to dupe the system
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people search for misinformation. By that, I mean, they have preconceived ideas about what the answer should be or they are looking for webpages to back up conclusions they've arrived at without (all the) facts.

      So, I do not think it will make that much difference from that point of view.

      From a selling point of view, might make it harder for some searches, some sites, depending on what they show in the snippet.
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      • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people search for misinformation. By that, I mean, they have preconceived ideas about what the answer should be or they are looking for webpages to back up conclusions they've arrived at without (all the) facts.
        John looking for reasons to keep smoking: Is smoking healthy?
        Google first result: Smokingishealthy.com (sponsored by Malboro)
        John: Interesting
        John's friend: Don't you know smoking isn't good for you?
        John: Bro, that's bs, according to Smokingishealthy.com the more you smoke the better, it's all a lie to sell more nicotine patches.
        John's friend: Geez...

        No hay más ciego que el que no quiere ver (there is none so blind as he who does not want to see)

        Misinformation: This is a really interesting topic, as DABK mentioned, the confirmation bias is something that cannot be corrected by any means...On the other hand, left big tech or similar to "solve" it can be a delicate subject, because it may enter the realm of censorship; the only real solution I see with this is education, critical thinking and common sense...but that sounds like an utopia, is this one of those problems without solution?
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Seems like just one more way to filter results based on political bias cloaked under the term "consensus". If Google had been around in ancient Greek times, Pythagoras would have been censored for claiming the earth was round.
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    • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      Seems like just one more way to filter results based on political bias cloaked under the term "consensus". If Google had been around in ancient Greek times, Pythagoras would have been censored for claiming the earth was round.
      100%
      Consensus is NOT the truth, it's a fallacy! I still remember the famous "100 Authors against Einstein" regarding the theory of relativity. He replied that to defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.

      Over the years, many things that were considered the truth by consensus have been proven wrong, the search for the truth is a personal thing, that's why I said that big tech and similar shouldn't be on charge of this...They are always camouflaged under the name of a noble cause!
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Wha...? It ain't flat?



      On a serious note, I have a client who thinks the earth is flat and I'm just an all out gullible idiot to believe otherwise. And no one's ever been to space, either, let alone land on the Moon.


      She's otherwise normal and a pleasant enough person. And financially more successful than some 80% of peeps on earth.



      How does she know Earth is flat? Thinking plus some websites (I paid a brief visit to one... can't find it today, but it had a nice image of earth as a plate with a wall of ice all around (Antarctica).



      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      Seems like just one more way to filter results based on political bias cloaked under the term "consensus". If Google had been around in ancient Greek times, Pythagoras would have been censored for claiming the earth was round.
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      • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        Wha...? It ain't flat?



        On a serious note, I have a client who thinks the earth is flat and I'm just an all out gullible idiot to believe otherwise. And no one's ever been to space, either, let alone land on the Moon.


        She's otherwise normal and a pleasant enough person. And financially more successful than some 80% of peeps on earth.



        How does she know Earth is flat? Thinking plus some websites (I paid a brief visit to one... can't find it today, but it had a nice image of earth as a plate with a wall of ice all around (Antarctica).
        I'm curious about this, what is the motivation behind this theory?

        Crazy theories normally have some "logical" motivation behind it, my previous silly example: smokingishealthy.com says that all the "smoking is bad for you" is bs and created to sell more nicotine patches and similar...But what's the motivation behind selling that the Earth is round instead of flat? She says something about that?

        Now, on misinformation, aside of people overcorrecting with outrageous claims, I don't believe in anything that comes from mainstream media...That's why I prefer to bet on people searching for the truth than on big tech and similar "filtering"
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        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          In my client's case: God, the Bible. She found nothing in the Bible about Earth having two ice poles and other such stuff.

          Plus, if you buy the theory that the Earth is a globe, 'they' are going to sell you stuff you do not need or for more money. We did not go into who 'they' we're and what items would cost more.

          Maybe strawberries, because they bring them from a place they claim has summer in winter?

          Originally Posted by Artkantos View Post

          I'm curious about this, what is the motivation behind this theory?

          Crazy theories normally have some "logical" motivation behind it, my previous silly example: smokingishealthy.com says that all the "smoking is bad for you" is bs and created to sell more nicotine patches and similar...But what's the motivation behind selling that the Earth is round instead of flat? She says something about that?

          Now, on misinformation, aside of people overcorrecting with outrageous claims, I don't believe in anything that comes from mainstream media...That's why I prefer to bet on people searching for the truth than on big tech and similar "filtering"
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          • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
            Originally Posted by DABK View Post

            In my client's case: God, the Bible. She found nothing in the Bible about Earth having two ice poles and other such stuff.

            Plus, if you buy the theory that the Earth is a globe, 'they' are going to sell you stuff you do not need or for more money. We did not go into who 'they' we're and what items would cost more.

            Maybe strawberries, because they bring them from a place they claim has summer in winter?
            Holy cow! The Bible was written by men more than 2000 years ago and I don't think the emphasis was put in in an accurate geographical description of the land! I think the Bible didn't talk about the Internet or cars either hahaha...Okay I think shouldn't go deeper down the rabbit hole, but I think is clear that no amount of "efforts" by Google and similar can do anything against human confirmation bias (to one side or the other)
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    • Profile picture of the author MM03
      Perfectly right. WHO decides what makes something "good" or "bad" information? It's all a question of political domination, period.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Could it be that so much exposure to 'information' on social media renders adults incapable of deciding for themselves what is worth reading/watching/believing.....and what is not?


    I've found it difficult to FIND serious information in the past year or two.....so much 'written for attention' - or 'written to promote' - or 'written to proselytize.


    Searches on google are becoming more difficult - with fewer real results....a search for facts will often yield pages of 'results' that are only about one set of facts repeated ad nauseum.
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    • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
      Administrator
      Some say misinformation on social media is "real news" and that it's the "truth"



      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Could it be that so much exposure to 'information' on social media renders adults incapable of deciding for themselves what is worth reading/watching/believing.....and what is not?


      I've found it difficult to FIND serious information in the past year or two.....so much 'written for attention' - or 'written to promote' - or 'written to proselytize.


      Searches on google are becoming more difficult - with fewer real results....a search for facts will often yield pages of 'results' that are only about one set of facts repeated ad nauseum.
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  • Profile picture of the author sumitnirala
    Well, experts at Google are aware of the fact of how search works and how it can be improved further. However, this update may turn irrelevant for many reasons. One of them is, if 10 websites extract information from one common source and rewrite it in their words, even if the information is misleading or wrong, the feature snippet callout will show the information extracted from all these wrong sources, i.e., wrong information. I believe one reliable source is better than 10 unreliable ones.
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    • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
      Administrator
      In a perfect world, yes this makes sense.

      Originally Posted by sumitnirala View Post

      I believe one reliable source is better than 10 unreliable ones.
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  • May 2022 Core Update (May 25)

    This was the first broad core algorithm update of 2022 and the first in more than 6 months. Google said it would take up to two weeks to fully roll out. As with all other past core updates, Google has made broad changes to how its ranking systems assess content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Citronics
    nice
    This is exactly what I am interested in. Everything is explained very clearly. thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author Gohar Rehman
    Is social media renders adults incapable of deciding for themselves what is worth reading/watching/believing.....and what is not?
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  • Profile picture of the author digiupdates
    More Updates! Well, That's good news because the search algorithm update will make search results more precise. also, get rid of inferior content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Proof88
    I always have my doubts when it comes to Google but the SEO and search changes they are making recently are unironically giving me hope. They are moving away from the "old" model where pumping backlinks is all you need for relevancy and trying to highlight informative and on-point content.

    They will probably need time to get everything right though.
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