[Editors note: We are republishing an article by Monojoy Bhattacharjee that dives into the Google News rank. This piece was originally published on What’s New in Publishing.]
Google recently shared new details about how it ranks news sources, with transparency being a major factor. The search giant provided more information about how it evaluates transparency to determine which publishers to prioritize across its products, like Google News and the top stories carousel in search results.
Transparency is “an important element of Google’s news policies,” says Jen Granito, Search Product Manager at Google. “These policies help determine what’s eligible to appear on Google News and other News surfaces, and they help ensure we’re elevating content from trusted, authoritative sources.”
We’re sharing more about our transparency policy today because we want to help news sources understand the principles behind the policy and how to meet them in practice.Jen Granito, Search Product Manager at Google
According to the company, an important way news sources can build trust with their audience is by providing information about their articles and site. This includes information like
This type of transparency helps ensure that readers can easily learn information about both the content they are reading, viewing, or listening to and the creators of that content.
“To determine what constitutes meaningful transparency from news sources, we consider what types of information an ordinary person might find helpful if they want to assess a site’s credibility,” Google states on its Search Central Blog. “This is strongly aligned with information we know is important based on academic research, journalism industry best practices, and our own user testing.”
In a diverse and evolving global news ecosystem, to ensure a transparency policy that is inclusive and responsive to industry changes, the company follows a set of principles to guide its approach:
“Our systems are designed to use these guiding principles when assessing if a site adheres to our transparency policy,” says Jen. “At the article level, we consider information that helps users quickly gain context about articles or the journalists covering stories.”
This includes information like:
At the site level, Google looks for information that helps readers understand a site’s purpose, its organizational structure, and the kinds of information they can expect from that site.
This includes a breadth of information such as:
Google concludes its post with a note about how it is fine-tuning its approach, taking into consideration various differences — e.g., in local norms and editorial philosophies — and sharing a commitment to help publishers get more recognition for their work.
Transparency requires a thoughtful approach that is attuned to differences in local norms, editorial philosophies, and resources, as well as being dynamic and reflective of evolving standards. We hope our commitment here and to all our news policies helps people around the world stay better informed about the news, and helps news sources be recognized for their work.Jen Granito, Search Product Manager at Google
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