Google plans to rank websites on its search engine based on factual accuracy, a move that will prevent sites full of misinformation from appearing first in search results.
The search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher.
The disadvantage of the system is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them, ‘New Scientist’ reported.
The trustworthiness of a web page might help it rise up Google’s rankings if the search giant starts to measure quality by facts.
A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web.
Instead of counting incoming links, the system will count the number of incorrect facts within a page.
The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score. The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet.
Those facts which the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.