Google debunks reports of change to search rankings

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Despite headlines, Google research paper doesn't mean a change to rankings of search results is in the works


Despite headlines popping up on the Internet, Google has no immediate plans to change the way it ranks its search results, giving more weight to facts instead of links.

After Google researchers posted a paper last month on the site, an online archive of scientific research, rumors began spreading that Google was working on changing the way it ranks its search results.

Some news sites reported that instead of using the number of incoming links to a web page to calculate the top search results, the company would begin counting the number of inaccuracies in a web page. The more inaccuracies on the page, the lower the search result.

Since Google is, by far, the largest search engine in the world, that would be big news.

Google, however, says that's simply not the case.

"This was research," a Google spokesperson told Computerworld. "We don't have any specific plans to implement it in our products. We publish hundreds of research papers every year."

The company has no plans to roll it out. At this point, according to Google, the plan isn't even under consideration.

To make that kind of change in the way Google's search engine handles rankings would be a major overhaul.

For instance, how would the new system handle issues like satire, jokes and memes? How would it deal with a situation where something is thought to be true and then evidence comes to light disprove it? How would it know if all the information that's out there is more trustworthy than new information?

The notion of basing search results on facts instead of links could one day be a possibility, but it's not even on a roadmap at this point, the company said.

This story, "Google debunks reports of change to search rankings " was originally published by Computerworld.

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