Have you heard of Google's "Project Owl" yet?
If not, then you're in for some fun, because this is a hoot.
We should begin at the beginning.
Fall of 2016: Trump gets nominated to the administration.
Still in fall of 2016: All around the globe, individuals are asking "WHO? WHAT? HOW?" That's when researchers found that American voters were influenced by misinformation on the internet.
The world is totally upset, they request that:
1) Someone takes responsability.
2) Someone makes a move and fixes the 'fake news' issue.
Goodness – hello there Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg.
Who else other than Google and Facebook, correct?
The public needs arrangements from search engines and social media monsters to handle 'fake news' and some other misinformation on the internet.
May 2017: TA-DA! Welcome Project Owl.
Project Owl is introduced as Google's response to addressing fake news. It arrangements to do this with new feedback forms for search proposals and the appropriate response box, and authoritative content prioritization in the appropriate response box.
What's more, no, we don't see this affecting marketers or SEOs. The length of you continue to practice white hat strategies, your everyday should be the same. However, given this can affect searchers' user encounter, we see a couple challenges.
Google is walking on a tight rope. If search engines figure out how to fulfill tackling fake news, then to begin with, that feels like a violation of the primary revision but second, they will come off as bias to specific news/media sources.
Remember, feedback from some users will change the search understanding for all on that query. It will be difficult to differentiate what's "ideal" for one searcher versus what's "ideal" for the other.
But, guess what? When personalized search engines are the new thing, this may not be a test.
How about we make a stride back and take a gander at Google's reputation when they are "working to fix" something. Just like many updates in the past, Google says a certain something and marketers see something totally different.
At this moment, "Project Owl", according to Google, will depend on the searcher to provide feedback on the autocomplete or on the featured bit.
But, we're missing the obvious.
Give me a chance to ask you: When was the last time you went in and changed any of your Google search settings? Or, on the other hand rather, did you even know that it was possible to change Google search settings?
Don't feel bad – I know SEOs who didn't know they could do that!
Google said and I cite, "We plan to use this feedback to help enhance our algorithms." That is what they told us years prior about link deny regardless they don't have that privilege. My take is that it will be quite a while before Google can filter out "fake news".
I personally think TMZ.com spreads loads of fake news, yet they rank for 2,133,648 keywords on Google; and I don't think Google is going to begin taking their keywords away at any point in the near future.
As you can see I don't think Google is going to place much into this and regardless of the possibility that they do it will take years before it's culminated. I believe Google is in emergency mode at this moment but sooner than later individuals will forget and Google will proceed onward or deprioritize this.
The third piece of Google's answer is prioritizing authoritative content specifically for dark and infrequent inquiries. But, when it's already such a niche group, how can you determine who that authority should go to?
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Like every other SEO strategy, there is always the one group of SEOs that capitalize on Google making an algorithmic change or giving us the capabilities to affect how the algorithm responds.
I know blackhat SEOs are going to seize this opportunity to devalue other individuals' content that don't serve theirs or their customer's interest. They will most likely work from C class IP addresses and run bots on specific timing intervals to make it appear to be natural.
Generally, an initial step is better than no progression by any means, but here are two ways I recommend as a more grounded combat against fake news.
To start with, Google should not just depend on end users to report content that is fake or offensive. Its focus should be less on that and more on perfecting RankBrain, Google's artificial intelligence.
Second, it's not just up to the Googles and the Facebooks to make a move. It's likewise a user's responsibility to determine whether a search listing is deserving of your click and trust.
When you see something that sounds outrageous, it likely is. Hoaxes bid to natural human curiosity, which is the reason why it's hard not to click, but rather still, that's a decision you get the opportunity to make.