Google & The Trust Project: Help Identify Trustworthy News

Nov 20, 2017 • 8:06 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

In an effort to help with weed out fake news stories and make sure their news results, and core search results, are correct - they announced they are working with the Trust Project to help publishers use "eight trust indicators that newsrooms can add to their content."

The eight indicators include:

  • Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet and their mission, plus an outlet’s commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards.
  • Author Expertise: Details about the journalist, including their expertise and other stories they have worked on.
  • Type of Work: Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.
  • Citations and References: For investigative or in-depth stories, access to the sources behind the facts and assertions in a news story.
  • Methods: For in-depth stories, information about why reporters chose to pursue a story and how they went about the process.
  • Locally Sourced: Lets people know that the story has local roots, origin, or expertise.
  • Diverse Voices: A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives.
  • Actionable Feedback: A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy.

This is on top of the new publisher knowledge card added the other week and on top of Google's project owl and the news tweaks they made several months ago.

This will supposedly work with schema and markup, but it is not clear how small or any publisher not part of the initial test bed of 10 or so publishers will work with this. I suspect over time, Google will communicate with publishers how to markup their content to hit all eight points above. Although, I still don't know how this will solve the bigger issue exactly.

Google explained:

News publishers embed markup from schema.org into the HTML code of their articles and on their website. When tech platforms like Google crawl the content, we can easily parse out the information (such as Best Practices, Author Info, Citations & References, Type of Work). This works like the ClaimReview schema tag we use for fact-checking articles. Once we’ve done that, we can analyze the information and present it directly to the user in our various products.

Our next step is to figure out how to display these trust indicators next to articles that may appear on Google News, Google Search, and other Google products where news can be found. Some possible treatments could include using the “Type of Work” indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as “Best Practices” and “Author Info” in our Knowledge Panels.

So at first, Google will just add more rich snippet like content to the search results to show searchers more about the publication, the article, the journalist, etc.

We will see how this works over time...

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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