google

THE web is full of rubbish. Conspiracy theories, anti-vaccination sites and fact-free “information” constantly makes first page results on the most visited search engine of the world, Google. Google may have a cure – rank websites according to their truthfulness.

Currently, the search giant counts the number and variety of incoming hyperlinks to a domain and page as a proxy for the quality and popularity, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other websites link to are ranked high. This system has given us the search engine as we all know it at present, however, the system can be abused by ‘shady’ websites by making a large number of spammy links pointing to their own sites. Many firms today provide ‘SEO services‘, and claim that they can bring your site at the top of search results using certain keyword.

New Scientist’s Hal Hodson reports on the proposed Knowledge-Based Trust rating:

The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.

Google has recently implemented a form of Knowledge-Based Truth rating with its medical search results. Now, doctors and medical experts vet search results about health issues, which means tha anti-vaccination propaganda is not going to appear in the top for a “autism” search, for example.

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