Google has come under fire as of late due to the search suggestions and results that pop up when certain queries are entered. These include suggestions like “Are women evil?” or results questioning whether or not the Holocaust actually happened. As a Google Premier Partner, Pure Digital was able to get the scoop on how these issues are being handled and whether or not any real changes will be made to remedy the problem. Google recently addressed the issue in a statement that read:
“The goal of search is to provide the most relevant and useful results for our users. Clearly, we don’t always get it right, but we continually work to improve our algorithms. This is a really challenging problem, and something we’re thinking deeply about in terms of how we can do a better job. Search is a reflection of the content that exists on the web. The fact that hate sites appear in Search results in no way means Google endorses these views”.
One of the easiest ways to fix this problem would be to filter the suggestions that are auto-populated whenever a search is conducted. For example, if you begin a search with, “Why are Italian” the first auto-populated result is, “Why are Italian families dysfunctional.” Does Google believe this to be true? No, but the suggestions are in fact drawn from real searches, so it seems the world and Google are on completely different pages.
Google’s scrutiny is largely attributed to autocomplete results. When you search “did the holocaust happen,” the number one result is a website containing the “Top 10 reasons why the holocaust didn’t happen.” This type of content can be avoided by ranking pages by a truth factor. If this was the case, fake news outlets and conspiracy websites would be ranked much lower and not show up among the top results.
It’s unclear what Google plans to do to curb the ongoing flack . Many are wondering what impact the response will have on digital marketing, specifically paid and organic search. We all know the autocomplete search function is the reason your website is ranked high for certain queries. Your business might be poised to gain or lose a significant amount of traffic, but, as usual, only time will tell!