Pandu Nayak, a senior search engineer at Google, recently revealed to The Guardian that they've updated their search engine algorithm to better respond to real-time crises.
Rampant misinformation in the midst of an ongoing real-life crisis such as recent school shootings has become a major issue. Google obviously wants to present real-time news as best as they can for people looking for the most up-to-date coverage of an ongoing news story.
Google engineers have tweaked the algorithm to help compensate for the challenge in delivering accurate results in real-time.
“We have developed algorithms that recognise that a bad event is taking place and that we should increase our notions of ‘authority’, increase the weight of ‘authority’ in our ranking so that we surface high quality content rather than misinformation in this critical time.”
In this case, ‘Authority' refers to those websites that meet and exceed Google's search quality evaluator guidelines which are available to the the public.
Google's aim is to help reduce the spread of misinformation in the initial hours of a news worthy crisis.
Moving forward, Google will serve up results from trusted and authoritative sources above less credible websites and blogs.