“True or False?” That’s the question that goes through the minds of many users when reading so-called news articles on any platform. Google released its fact-check labels last year, attaching them to Google News articles as a qualifier for confirmation that would help viewers know that the news source is reliable. Now, Google wants to expand its fact-checker, according to Search Engine Land.
Fact checking for a normal query will provide evidence from the web to confirm or deny. If you put in the query “Is the world flat or round?”, the SERP may give you facts from NASA about the world being round. However, some query results will not align with each other as different points of view may be presented. In the same “flat Earth” query, at least one of the sources may claim that NASA is lying to us about the spherical shape of the planet we live on.
It’s all in the algorithms, according to Google, but little specific detail is given as to how their encoders can cull out the “false fact” sources and retain the reliable objective sources. A variety of fact-checking publishers can appear in answer to a query. There are known fact confirming websites like Snopes or politifacts.com that might appear in answer to some queries. On the other hand, “false fact-checkers” may also appear in the query result. Apparently, a content writer can present his/her concepts in such a way as to “seem” objective to the algorithms (i.e. the present-day Flat Earth Theorists). Thus, they too may appear on the first SERP.
So, if a searcher wants to sift through the false facts in a query, they may have to do their own research and rely on their own reasoning and common sense.