Google’s tweaks search to highlight ‘original reporting’
Google’s vice-president of news Richard Gingras said changes to the firm’s search guidelines would help it to ‘better recognise original reporting’ and make it more visible on the internet
After weeks of reporting, a journalist breaks a story. Moments after it goes online, another media organisation posts an imitative article recycling the scoop that often grabs as much web traffic as the original. Publishers have complained about this dynamic for years, ever since the explosion in digital news obliterated the daylong exclusive enjoyed in the print era. On Thursday, Google said that it had made changes to its search algorithm to give an advantage to “original reporting” that would be reinforced by chang
es in other guidelines.
In a blog post, Richard Gingras, Google’s vice-president of news, said the changes to the company’s search guidelines would help it to “better recognize original reporting” and make it more visible on the internet. “This means readers interested in the latest news can find the story that started it all and publishers can benefit from having their original reporting more widely seen.”
In a phone interview, Gingras acknowledged that the shift was in Google’s own interest. “We do everything here with Google Search and Google News to continue to earn and retain the trust of our users.”
Google and other major tech platforms have lately come under scrutiny in part because of their influence over the digital news industry. Google, Facebook and Amazon reap most of the available online advertising revenue. The News Media Alliance, a trade group, has been sharply critical of the tech companies and has lobbied lawmakers for a limited antitrust exemption that would enable outlets to bargain collectively with the platforms.
In turn, several platforms have signalled a willingness to work with publishers. Facebook has pitched an initiative to license articles from major publishers and display them in a “News” tab. The Apple News app has made deals with some media firms, including Conde Nast, to highlight their articles and split revenue.
David Chavern, the News Media Alliance chief executive, welcomed the announcement but cautioned that he had to wait to see how the changes were carried out. “If we can get to a place where they do better, that’s good.” The guidelines from Google would also elevate outlets known for a history of accurate reporting, considering metrics like how many awards a publication has won. It
took 22 years, but a missing man’s remains were finally found thanks to someone who zoomed in on his former Florida neighbourhood with Google satellite images and noticed a car submerged in a lake. The skeletal remains were of William Moldt, who went missing in 1997 at the age of 40, according to the Palm Beach county sheriff’s Office. The former resident called the sheriff's office on August 28, and deputies later arrived to find the white sedan’s exterior “heavily calcified”. After they got the car out, they found the skeletal remains inside. The National Missing and Unidentified Persons Syste
m says Moldt went to a nightclub in November 1997 but did not appear intoxicated as he left alone before midnight. He had called his girlfriend saying he would return home soon. The subdivision was underconstruction when Moldt went missing, but the pond was already there.
Coffee spill forces jet to make emergency landing
A commercial flight with 326 people on board was forced to make an emergency landing when hot coffee was accidentally spilled over the cockpit control panel over the Atlantic ocean, according to a report on Thursday. The Airbus A330-243 flying to Cancun, Mexico, from Frankfurt, landed at Shannon in Ireland.With the hot liquid causing a strong electrical burning smell and smoke rising from the panel, the captain decided to
divert, the report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said. The incident happened after a pilot put his coffee cup without a lid on a tray table rather than in a cup holder, the report said. There were no injuries in the incident, which happened in February.
PIO cop in UK suspended for looking up Beckham at work
An Indian-origin police officer escaped a jail term in the UK after he was handed a threemonth suspended sentence for the misuse of his work computer. Ajit Singh of Leicestershire Police was also ordered to pay 300 pounds in legal costs after being found guilty of computer misuse between 2002 and 2018 at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. His illegal searches included looking up information on David Beckham.