Updates to the Google News algorithm and its negative impact on the validity of the information

Written by: Ahmed Abdel Qader, founder and CEO of the Arab Gate for Technical News

As a dominant player in the search engine industry, Google’s algorithm updates have a significant impact in determining the quality and relevance of the information users access online. However, recent updates have drawn criticism for their tendency to prioritize certain types of content over others, resulting in spam blogs and other low-quality websites being included in search results, particularly in Google News. This has significant consequences for the credibility and reliability of the information users obtain, and highlights the need for continued efforts to improve the algorithm’s ability to identify and prioritize high-quality sources.

Unpredictable consequences

One problem with Google algorithm updates is that they can be unpredictable and have unintended consequences. For example: An update in 2021 aimed at prioritizing trusted news sources cracked down on smaller, independent sites that lacked the same level of resources or visibility. According to a study by Columbia Journalism, this update resulted in an average drop in traffic to independent news websites by 27 percent. This had the effect of reducing the diversity of viewpoints in the search results, as users only had a narrow set of viewpoints on current events.

manipulation bAlgorithms

Another problem is that spam blogs and other low-quality websites can often manipulate the algorithm to rank high in search results. For example: in 2021, a spam blog was able to rank high in Google News when searching for a coronavirus vaccine; This is because they are used for keyword stuffing and link structuring. This led to the inclusion of misleading and erroneous information in search results, which could have severe consequences for users looking for accurate and reliable information on a critical public health issue. In fact, a Pew Research Center survey found that nearly two-thirds of Americans have encountered false or misleading information about the coronavirus online.

Thus we conclude that Google’s algorithm updates aim to improve the quality and relevance of search results, but there are still cases where results can become irrelevant or biased. It is imperative that Google continues to monitor and improve its algorithms to ensure that they deliver the most accurate and relevant results for users. This includes addressing the problem of spam blogs and other low-quality websites that undermine the credibility of the information available in Google News.

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