Tag Archives: fake news


Fake News & Facebook Ads: It’s Shockingly Cheap to Influence Elections [DATA] by @LarryKim

This data proves that it only takes $50 and an hour of work to promote fake news using Facebook Ads.

The post Fake News & Facebook Ads: It’s Shockingly Cheap to Influence Elections [DATA] by @LarryKim appeared first on Search Engine Journal.


Bing Fights Fake News With ‘Fact Check’ Label by @MattGSouthern

Bing joins Google in the fight against fake news with the inclusion of the “Fact Check” label in search results.

The post Bing Fights Fake News With ‘Fact Check’ Label by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.


Facebook to Block Ads From Pages That Share Fake News by @MattGSouthern

Facebook is banning pages from advertising on its network if they have a history of repeatedly sharing fake news.

The post Facebook to Block Ads From Pages That Share Fake News by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Meet the fake news of the online marketing world (that Google loves!): Review sites

Move over, fake news. Columnist David Rodnitzky takes a look at fake facts about online marketing vendors and why Google’s SEO algorithm isn't separating the fake review sites from the real ones. The post Meet the fake news of the online marketing world (that Google loves!): Review sites appeared...

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

What does Google’s “Project Owl” mean for search and fake news?

Have you heard of Google’s “Project Owl” yet?

If not, then you’re in for some fun, because this is a hoot.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Fall of 2016: Trump gets nominated to the presidency.

Still in fall of 2016: All around the world, people are asking “WHO? WHAT? HOW?” That’s when researchers found that American voters were influenced by misinformation on the internet.

The world is completely distressed. They demand that 1) someone be responsible and 2) for them to take action and fix the ‘fake news’ problem.

Oh – hi Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg.

Who else other than Google and Facebook, right?

The public wants solutions from search engines and social media giants to tackle ‘fake news’ and any other misinformation on the internet.

May 2017: TA-DA! Welcome Project Owl.

Project Owl is introduced as Google’s answer to addressing fake news. It plans to do this with new feedback forms for search suggestions and the answer box, and authoritative content prioritization in the answer box.

And no, we don’t see this affecting marketers or SEOs. As long as you continue to practice white hat methods, your day-to-day should be the same. However, given this can affect searchers’ user experience, we see a few challenges.

Challenge #1: Search engines are supposed to be neutral

Google is walking on a tight rope. If search engines manage to accomplish tackling fake news, then first, that feels like a violation of the first amendment but second, they will come off as bias to specific news/media sources.

Remember, feedback from some users will change the search experience for all on that query. It will be difficult to differentiate what’s ‘right’ for one searcher versus what’s ‘right’ for the other.

But, you know what? When personalized search engines are the new thing, this may not even be a challenge.

Challenge #2: The proposed plan

Let’s take a step back and look at Google’s track record when they are “working to fix” something. Just like many updates in the past, Google says one thing and marketers notice something completely different.

Right now, “Project Owl”, according to Google, will rely on the searcher to provide feedback on the autocomplete or on the featured snippet.

But, we’re missing the obvious.

Let me ask you: When was the last time you went in and changed any of your Google search settings? Or rather, did you even know that it was possible to change Google search settings?

Don’t feel bad – I know SEOs who didn’t even know they could do that!

Google said and I quote, “We plan to use this feedback to help improve our algorithms.” That is what they told us years ago about link disavow and they still don’t have that right. My take is that it will be several years before Google is able to filter out “fake news”.

I personally think TMZ.com spreads lots of fake news, yet they rank for 2,133,648 keywords on Google; and I don’t think Google is going to start taking their keywords away anytime soon.

As you can see I don’t think Google is going to put much into this and even if they do it will take years before it’s perfected. I believe Google is in crisis mode right now but sooner than later people will forget and Google will move on or deprioritize this.

Challenge #3: Obscure and infrequent queries

The third part of Google’s solution is prioritizing authoritative content specifically for obscure and infrequent queries. But, when it’s already such a niche group, how can you determine who that authority should go to?

Challenge #4: The blackhats

Like every other SEO tactic, there is always the one group of SEOs that capitalize on Google making an algorithmic change or giving us the capabilities to affect how the algorithm reacts.

I know blackhat SEOs are going to jump at this chance to devalue other people’s content that don’t serve theirs or their client’s interest. They will probably work from C class IP addresses and run bots on specific timing intervals to make it seem natural.

Now what?

Overall, a first step is better than no step at all, but here are two ways I recommend as a stronger combat against fake news.

First, Google should not only rely on end users to report content that is fake or offensive. Its focus should be less on that and more on perfecting RankBrain, Google’s artificial intelligence.

Second, it’s not just up to the Googles and the Facebooks to take action. It’s also a user’s responsibility to determine whether a search listing is worthy of your click and trust.

When you see something that sounds outrageous, it probably is. Hoaxes appeal to natural human curiosity, which is why it’s hard not to click, but still, that’s a choice you get to make.

SearchCap: Google fake news, Yext IPO & Google answers

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: Google fake news, Yext IPO & Google answers appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Owl & Updates, AMP Bugs & How Search Works

This week in search, Google documented their fake news efforts code named Project Owl. We covered a potential Google algorithm update, but it is unclear if there really was a big update. Google told publishers to noindex content from the AP...

Google Adjusts Ranking Signals to Demote Fake News by @MattGSouthern

Google is making serious efforts to filter fake news, which the company says is its “most high profile” issue.

The post Google Adjusts Ranking Signals to Demote Fake News by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Google Owl Update Promotes Authoritative Content For Fake News Queries

Yesterday, Google officially announced both an algorithm update and procedure changes for managing search results for fake news like content, which Google calls "offensive or clearly misleading content." Danny Sullivan, by far...

Google launches Fact Check in search results worldwide

After a tentative launch in October 2016, Google has released its Fact Check feature in search results worldwide.

Google provided the following examples of Fact Check in action:

We can see clearly the format taken: What the claim is, who made the claim, and whether the claim is verified by a reputable source. Two early sources that are set to meet this standard, as shown in the screenshot above, are PolitiFact and Snopes.

There is also an option for users to provide feedback just below the listing, if they have any qualms about the veracity of the claims made.

This is an important point to note, as Google has explicitly stated that, “The entire process is conducted programmatically; human intervention only occurs when user feedback is filed.”

Will Fact Check show up next to all News stories?

No. The first step towards Fact Check showing up alongside your results is to add ClaimReview Schema.org tags to your page’s source code, as in the example below from Snopes:

Google launches Fact Check in search results worldwide

A full list of the guidelines can be found on the Google Developers blog, but I have summarized some of the most important aspects below:

  • Fact checks associated with news articles can be shown in either News results or the combined search results view; all other fact checks can appear only in combined search results view.
  • A single page can host multiple ClaimReview elements, each for a separate claim. (This occurs frequently on Snopes, for example.)
  • If different reviewers on the page check the same fact, you can include a separate ClaimReview element for each reviewer’s analysis.
  • The page hosting the ClaimReview element must have at least a brief summary of the fact check and the evaluation, if not the full text.
  • You should host a specific ClaimReview on only one page on your site. Do not repeat the same fact check on multiple pages, unless they are variations of the same page (Mobile and Desktop, for example.)

In essence, if your site makes a claim that you believe to be verifiable and true, add this markup and Google will take it into consideration.

Even with these tags applied accurately, it is still far from guaranteed that Fact Check will kick into action. There is another, more substantial, bar to clear before you can gain the Fact Check tag.

Which sites are eligible for Fact Check?

Google has stated that only publishers that are “algorithmically determined to be an authoritative source of information” will be eligible to display the tags.

This seems a little perplexing, if we dig just slightly beyond the surface.

Some publishers will undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to substantiate their claims, believing that their articles contain the truth, as in this mildly humorous example provided by Google:

Google launches Fact Check in search results worldwide

But what of the hyperbolic news outlets that profiteer from making polemical – but clickable – claims?

Would they be so willing to add these tags and jeopardize their traffic volumes, should the results show their news to be false? This seems unlikely.

Therefore, would a site like PolitiFact have to reference those claims – and show them to be false – in order for the truth to surface in search results? This is essentially what PolitiFact and Snopes already endeavor to do, so it seems improbable that Fact Check will convert the unbelievers by dint of showing the same findings in Google results.

Accusations of bias have already been leveled at both PolitiFact and Snopes, so it seems we will all have to arrive at a universal definition of what a fact is before this takes hold across the political spectrum.

Moreover, Google has stated, “if a publisher or fact check claim does not meet [our] standards or honor [our] policies, we may, at our discretion, ignore that site’s markup.”

There will undoubtedly be some sites upset by their lack of inclusion, casting, as it does, serious aspersions on their reliability as a news provider.

Truth versus interpretation

Facebook recently tackled the same issue in a slightly different manner, by trying to educate its users on how to spot a false story.

Google launches Fact Check in search results worldwide

Given the nature of both the Google and Facebook platforms, they are in a tricky position. Pressure has been applied at government level to push them into action over ‘fake news’, but with millions of pieces of content going live every minute, this is not a simple task.

Furthermore, is it the place of a technology company to decide on our behalf what is true or false?

Google is understandably cautious about this launch and made the following statement:

”These fact checks are not Google’s and are presented so people can make more informed judgements. Even though differing conclusions may be presented, we think it’s still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clear information on which sources agree.”

We can see here an attempt, echoing Facebook’s recent launch, to place some responsibility on users to “make informed judgements”.

Fact Check is a step in the right direction – but this is not a battle that Google can win on its own.