Project Owl – Google Fights Fake News

It happens that fake news, not verified information or manipulated content appear in Google search results. Some articles are not only fake news but even hate speech.

Fortunately, users offended by search results inappropriate content, finally have the possibility to report it and suggest changes. Project Owl is there to help. By introducing the project Google tries to eliminate fake or contrary information and lower poor quality websites rankings.

It’s obvious that users search for trusted and useful information. Unfortunately, it’s not always what they get. Google is aware of poor quality search results. Introduced at the end of April 2016 Project Owl is to remove fake news from search results. Project’s name doesn’t matter so much but owl as a symbol of wisdom seems appropriate.

Project Owl fights harmful content

Project Owl fights fake news in SERP

Project Owl – search engine changes

It’s impossible to completely remove fake news from appearing in search results. Yet, Google’s changes can heavily influence websites rankings, especially when users finally have a say.

Google manual raters face changes

Google manual raters follow a set of directives form Google document. Project Owl engages trained teams who with increased accuracy are to verify reliability of information on websites. It’s necessary to check information against facts from trusted sources. Raters task is to flag results coming from shady places.

Google modifies ranking factors

Google doesn’t disclose factors influencing website rankings but SEO specialists can easily name the most important. Still, rating factors are constantly changed. Project Owl further modifies them. Its goal is to promote authoritative websites and lower rankings of poor quality websites.

Possible inappropriate content reporting

Users can report which Google autocomplete suggestions are inappropriate, false, offensive or calling to violence.

Changes in feedback form

Project Owl also updates feedback form appearing below search engine autocomplete suggestions (when you select “send feedback.”) The form allows to report content as hateful, sexually explicit, violent or including dangerous and harmful activity or simply misleading. Users can also comment on the content and suggest changes.

Google search engine

Project Owl and SEO

Google’s intensified actions against fake news will definitely influence on site SEO performance. Fight for appearing at the top in organic search results must be combined with valuable content. Content for some time has been getting more and more attention. Recently introduced Google algorithms (not only Owl but also Fred and many other not disclosed) prove that spammer websites will have a short land problematic lives.