In dangerous situations or during storms, news is constantly evolving. There are new findings every minute. This can also lead to the Google search engine delivering unreliable results. A warning notice is now intended to remedy the situation.
The fight against disinformation
To protect users from misinformation and disinformation in uncertain news situations, Google is now testing warnings for precisely such situations.
With its test, Google is fully in line with the trend. In the fight against fake news and disinformation, the big tech companies are increasingly trying to provide their users with context for search queries or content.
Before the 2020 U.S. election, for example, Twitter had also introduced various functions. In some cases, tweets were provided with warnings that they were spreading false or unverified content.
Google conducted a survey before its test, the company told Recode. The users said that they considered such warnings to be helpful.
Google search engine wants to strengthen search expertise
“When someone searches for something on Google, we try to display the most relevant and reliable information,” Google search engine specialist Danny Sullivan tells Recode. “But we get a lot of things that are completely new.”
He said Google’s intent with the warning is not to represent what is right or wrong. It is only to point out that it is a fast-changing situation and that further or more accurate information may be published about it later.
In this way, Google also wants to strengthen the search competence of its users. They should not only click wildly through the search engine, but also be able to assess the value of the results.
In this way, searchers have the opportunity to inform themselves about the context of search results. This is particularly helpful when not all the facts are known about an event or the available information is not reliable.
Warnings for UFO sightings
As an example, Google brings up a currently circulating sighting of a UFO. The warning note: “It looks like search results are changing quickly. If the topic is new, it can sometimes take a bit to add results from reliable sources.”
According to Google, the warning only appears for a small percentage of search queries – especially for rapidly evolving trending topics.