Google’s tweaks search to high­light ‘orig­i­nal re­port­ing’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - Marc Tracy

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.

Reuters

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