December 18, 2017
Google has updated its guidelines to keep sites that fail to disclose their country of origin out of its News results.
The updated rules penalize sites that seek to “misrepresent or conceal their country of origin or are directed at users in another country under false premises.”
First spotted by Bloomberg, the change, for example, would target a Russian website trying to pass itself off as an American news provider.
“We update our policies on a regular basis to reflect a constantly changing web and how people look for information online,” a Google spokeswoman told the publication. “As a result, we want to ensure that people can understand and see where their news online is coming from and that sites are being transparent about their origins.”
Google has been under fire for allowing fake news to appear in its search results and was called before the Senate and House intelligence committees to answer questions on how fake news out of Russia appeared in its listings during the U.S. presidential race last year.
Both committees have been investigating suspicions that Russia posted bogus news items online in a bid to get now-president Donald Trump elected.
Whether Google’s updated guidelines will be a deterrent remains to be seen. Google’s algorithms will have to spot sites masking their true location before their news makes it into the search results for it to be truly effective.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.