Google makes updates to give original news more prominence

Posted on September 19, 2019


Search giant Google is believed to be updating the algorithms of its iconic search engine to give more weight in the rankings to original news reporting.

As part of the update, Google will aim to give original coverage more prominence in the search results over follow-up coverage that surfaces from other publications and sources. Furthermore, Google will also ensure that the original news story will be featured in the search results for a longer period of time in comparison to follow-ups.

Google initially made the announcement in a blog post last week, in which it said that the changes were being made so that it can highlight the articles it identifies as significant in terms of original reporting.

At present, Google shows the most comprehensive and most recent versions of news stories, with reputation being another ranking factor.

As well as this update, the focus on original reporting is being emphasised in recent changes to Google’s search quality rater guidelines. The change is being made to help both searchers and publishers. Those searching for a story will benefit from finding the original source, and the publisher will gain greater exposure and visibility as a result.

What is ‘original reporting’?

According to Google, there is no actual definition for original reporting. This means that there is no standard or guideline in place for establishing the originality and authenticity of an article from one source to one from another.

Google has said that while the meaning will be interpreted differently from one publisher to the next, the search company’s efforts will evolve as it gets to learn and understand a story’s life cycle.

This can pose a challenge to Google, especially if a piece of breaking news is reported on by multiple news outlets at the same time, making it difficult to establish which story is the original report. However, if one outlet had an exclusive story that was later covered by others, it would be relatively straightforward for Google to give one source the prominence it promises.

This change is now in effect, so it will only be a matter of time before we see how Google handles news coverage.

Operations Manager at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Operations Manager.
Alan Littler

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