Google Adjusts Standards for Newsworthy Material

Google News has always maintained a strict set of guidelines for which sources it will display in the “In the News” section. But now, as evidenced by a discovery by Search Engine Land, Google News has clearly changed its standards. 

Over the past few days there have been many surprising headlines popping up in the “In the News” area of search results. More important, though, is the source of these headlines: Reddit, as well as additional nontraditional “news” sources, have been appearing in news results.

A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that they “will be pulling from all over the Web, which means that we will present as diverse a range of voices as possible to ensure we get users the answer they are looking for.”

Below are just a couple of examples of some of the unexpected news results for various topics:

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While sources such as Reddit are not currently appearing in Google News, they are prominent on the “In the News” section of search results. It is unclear if Google will expand access to Google News at this point.

Based on Google News guidelines, there is a very rigid set of standards in place that a website must meet in order to be a part of Google News. Their news general guidelines include the following:

  • News content
  • Journalistic standards
  • Authority
  • Accountability
  • Readability

When providing information about its news quality guidelines, Google shares:

“Publishers who strive to uphold the basic principles of good journalism will provide a much better user experience and consequently likely enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.”

Do you think Google will be changing its tune in the upcoming months? If so, what are the potential repercussions?

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