The internet is an amazing place, filled with the collective knowledge of humankind. You can learn almost anything if you look in the right places. Unfortunately, the internet is also filled with lies. Tons and tons of filthy, no good lies. From honest mistakes to conspiracy theories to snickering trolls, the web can teach you a whole bunch of wrong stuff too.
Google is trying to fight back. They are reportedly planning to implement a Knowledge-Based Trust rating that will kick those pages with suspect information way down the search results. In particular, their medical search results will be vetted by doctors and medical professionals, meaning things like anti-vaccination propaganda will not appear near the top results of someone searching for information about autism.
Previously, SEO experts have been able to get sketchy pages ranked near the top of Google for certain keywords. The new system will prevent that, according to NewScientist.com:
Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team. The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.
The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.
We think that’s pretty awesome.