Google will warn users if search results are likely to be poor

The warning will mostly appear for searches with numerous recent hits, but which come from non-reputable sites. (File/AFP)
The warning will mostly appear for searches with numerous recent hits, but which come from non-reputable sites. (File/AFP)
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Updated 28 June 2021
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Google will warn users if search results are likely to be poor

The warning will mostly appear for searches with numerous recent hits, but which come from non-reputable sites. (File/AFP)
  • Google began displaying warning messages for users when they searched for topics likely to have poor results.
  • The message says results for said searches are “changing quickly” and may not yet include reliable sources.   

LONDON: In an effort to combat unreliable sources on the search engine, Google began displaying warning messages for users when they searched for topics likely to have poor results on Monday. 

The message says results for said searches are "changing quickly” and may not yet include reliable sources.   

Danny Sullivan, public liaison for search at Google, stated in a blogpost: “We’ve trained our systems to detect when a topic is rapidly evolving and a range of sources hasn’t yet weighed in. We’ll now show a notice indicating that it may be best to check back later when more information from a wider range of sources might be available.”

Google also explained that the new function will detect when several sources have not yet provided input or reporting on the topic.

The aim of this new function is to provide more context about search results so users can evaluate information found online more confidently and accurately.

The warning will mostly appear for searches with numerous recent hits, but which come from non-reputable sites.

It is reportedly the first time that Google has introduced a concrete function to combat unreliable sources and misinformation, and the function has thus far received positive responses from academics and professionals alike. 

Renee DiResta, an academic studying misinformation at Stanford University who was the first to spot the warning, said: “First time I’ve seen this response from Google. Positive step to communicating that something is newsy/breaking and highlighting that facts are not all known or consensus on what happened is still being formed.”