Steven C. Wyer | Google Fact Checking Expanded Worldwide

Not all claims posted online are true, says search engine marketing expert Steven C. Wyer. Now, Google hopes a special callout will help Internet searchers make better decisions by offering visible notations of an article’s legitimacy provided by third-party reviewers. In October 2016, Google launched a new fact-checking article support system within the Google News feature. Originally released in the US and UK, fact verification is now a part of global search results, according to Steven C. Wyer.

Fact checks now standard

Internet users now have access to rich snippets showing fact checks by verified third-party resources, says Steven C. Wyer. The fact check feature is visible under the search results and notes who made the claim and which independent party performed the check. For instance, a search result for the query “Clinton sold uranium to Russia” finds the claim is untrue as verified by Snopes, the Internet’s most trusted fact-checking website. Steven C. Wyer reports that any publisher is eligible to apply for Google’s special fact-checking callouts, though there are certain guidelines which must be followed.

Information overload

According to Google, the search engine was built to help people uncover useful information through great content and trusted sites. But, with hundreds of thousands of new articles released every day, the amount of content searchers face on the web can be intimidating and overwhelming. And, as Steven C. Wyer points out, not all of this content is based on facts.

Authoritative results

Google spent months testing its fact check feature in the US and UK before releasing it globally in all languages in 2017. For the first time in history, when searchers look for something on Google, they are given a quick snapshot outlining the trustworthiness of that particular claim. Steven C. Wyer notes that not all search results are backed by the fact check tag but those that are list not only the claimant but also the verdict of one or more third party source verification sites, such as Snopes.

Conflicting conclusions

It is possible that search results pages with different publisher checks may arise when multiple publishers have reached a different conclusion regarding the search term, says Steven C. Wyer. Wyer asserts, however, that conflicting results are offered so that users can make more informed decisions. Steven C. Wyer believes that it’s important for researchers to have access to differing opinions on controversial subjects.

Publisher inclusion

According to Steven C. Wyer, publishers that wish to be included in the Google fact checking feature must use the claim review markup or the aptly named Share the Facts widget, which was created by Google partner Jigsaw and the Duke University Reporters Lab. Steven C. Wyer explains that only publishers previously deemed to be an authoritative source qualify for inclusion into the fact checking program. As of April 2017, there were 115 organizations certified for inclusion in the Google fact checking community.

Posted on April 28th, 2017
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