Google Promises Better Accuracy in Your Search Results

And makes it easier to check your sources

A number of changes have come to Google's search to present more relevant info and make it easier to see how trustworthy the results may be.

Google revealed a number of improvements to the way it collects and presents search results, along with updated tools that make assessing the legitimacy of those results a little easier. So, at the very least, you won't need to rely on advanced search commands quite as much to find what you're looking for.

Using a smartphone in front of Google logo

Adam Berry / Stringer / Getty Images

Featured snippets (the first non-sponsored result) were adjusted so Google's systems can cross-reference other sources it considers to be reputable to look for a consensus. In other words, the featured snippet should be something that multiple sources agree on, so the information is more likely to be accurate. On the opposite side of this, featured snippets are now downplayed (or just not used) when a query has no real answer.

Google's also enhancing search results so that the About this result feature includes details that make it easier to determine a source's credibility—details such as how often a source is shared, reviews of said source, what company owns the source, and whether or not Google can actually find any legitimate details about the source in the first place.

New Google featured snippet results

Google

Searches that involve situations with constantly-updating details (such as breaking news) or are otherwise in a state of flux also have content advisories now. So, if the system isn't confident in the results (due to the reported details changing often), it will give you a heads-up and recommend checking back later when more details have been verified.

Lastly, there's Google's push to promote information literacy, which isn't really a change to the search but is still relevant. It's begun a partnership with MediaWise (from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies) and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs to release a free weekly lesson plan for middle school and high school teachers to review with their students to help everyone better understand how to verify what they read online.

All of Google's search updates and improvements are available now. The first of its information literacy lesson plans is also out now, with weekly releases coming throughout the foreseeable future.

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