What is Google Fact Checker?
The term fake news is well known in the internet world, way before someone running for president in the US managed to coin the term. But if you ever wondered where news information typically comes from, then you are thinking what we all are when we read news on any website that’s not considered a major news network.
Google has been at work on Fact Checking features with a group of over 115 organizations specializing in the issue. You can see the list here.
Fact Checking Organizations
This venture is not isolated, as Google is partnering with organizations across the globe. In France, Google’s CrossCheck project is a joint venture with twenty French newsrooms and the First Draft Coalition to help debunk fake news published for the upcoming French elections.
Google is also behind the Digital Initiative Fund which supports 10 projects related to fact checking and authentication systems. The projects span the U.K., France, Italy, Scotland, and even Norway.
This is super exciting, because there are a lot of websites on the internet cashing in on spreading false, misleading, and even bogus information.
When is Google Fact Check going into effect?
After the initial rollout in October of 2016, the official rollout was on April 7th, 2017.
How does it work?
Publishers can now use a “Fact Check” tag in their news stories for Google News. This new label identifies articles that include information that was actually fact checked by news publishers & fact-checking organizations.
The Fact Check label is now available everywhere, and Google is expanding it globally in all languages. The Fact Check snippet will work with Google searches that trigger it, and display key information such as claim info, who is making the claim, and the actual fact check on that specific claim.
Keep in mind, the actual fact checking is not done by Google itself, but the partnered organizations.
Publishers who are interested in using this feature will require to update their code with the Schema.org ClaimReview tags. However, this will all only work with publishers who are identified as authoritative sources by Google’s own algorithm.
If something is fishy from the publisher side or fact check, Google may simply ignore the code completely.
Are website rankings effected?
Google has strayed away from any indication that these new fact checking tags would get you any extra brownie points on Google search.
However, it does not mean that in the future, Google won’t change their minds about how it may effect website rankings.
I would imagine, if I was Google (yea right), I would wait until the fact checking system really works and then start to slowly give sites with more factual based news more weight.
Just my two cents of course.