Created for breaking news
Google has to cope with many websites that spread false news, and weeding out untrustworthy sources is difficult when it comes to breaking news. As a result, the search engine is developing a new feature that would alert users when the results they view are rapidly changing.
As reported by Recode, the feature is designed to give people more context about breaking information that’s trending online. The notice is only appearing in a small percentage of searches right now, usually related to developing topics.
“It looks like these results are changing quickly,” the warning reads, without blocking any sites. “If this topic is new, it can sometimes take time for results to be added by reliable sources.”
“When anybody does a search on Google, we’re trying to show you the most relevant, reliable information we can,” said Danny Sullivan, a public liaison for Google Search. “But we get a lot of things that are entirely new.”
Sullivan said the notice doesn’t mean what users see in the results is true or fake, just that it’s a changing situation and more information might arrive later. He cited a reported UFO sighting in the UK as an example.
“Someone had gotten this police report video released out in Wales, and it’s had a little bit of press coverage. But there’s still not a lot about it,” said Sullivan. “But people are probably searching for it, they may be going around on social media — so we can tell it’s starting to trend. And we can also tell that there’s not a lot of necessarily great stuff that’s out there. And we also think that maybe new stuff will come along.”
The functionality builds on earlier Google platform enhancements, such as one introduced last year that alerts users when there aren’t enough results for their search. There are also the “about this result” panels, which debuted in February and provide a description of a site next to the result.