Google Tests New Feature That Will Notify Users If their Search Results Are Not Reliable


Google has been taking measures to stop unreliable news from appearing on its platforms. But the search engine giant has now announced a new feature that will notify users if their search results do not have reliable results. It is one of the several measures that the company is working on to tackle the online misinformation crisis. Google has been working on incorporating several things in recent years to provide only reliable information to its users. The new feature will inform users that the topic they are looking for online is developing and therefore the search results are likely to change quickly. The feature will tell users that the result will change depending upon the authoritative information coming to light. “If there is breaking news or certain topic is very new, there are chances that it may take some time till the information is added by reliable sources,” the prompt that appears above the search says in part.

In short, it is important not to believe totally what you are seeing in your search result. Google has trained its software about when to include the warning. The software is being trained to detect topics that are rapidly developing and have only a limited range of sources. “We will now prompt users when their search results are not reliable. The notice will tell them that they can check back later for best results when more information from a large number of sources would be available,” said Google’s public liaison for search Danny Sullivan. Google said that testing of this feature started a week ago. A company spokesperson told a news website that the warning is currently popping up in very few search results and that too only for trending topics are still developing. These warnings are being displayed in English and to users only in the United States. However, Google is planning to expand the feature to other reasons in the coming months.

Explaining the feature, Sullivan said that it in no way indicates that something that users are seeing is right or wrong. “It is just a warning that the development about certain topics has just begun and more information may come out later,” Sullivan said. Be it the US presidential election or coronavirus pandemic, online platforms have faced challenges of spreading misinformation or conspiracy theories. Google and several other tech companies are working on providing more reliability to the information users are looking for. Google has been actively adding new features for this purpose. In 2020, it added fact-checking labels to images on its platforms. Most recently, it added a new label ‘about this result.’ The label allows users in the US to get important context about the sources they are seeing. The search engine had recently said that it is working in collaboration with Wikipedia to provide users with background information or short descriptions about the topics they search.