Google will now show a warning to users when its search results might be unreliable

At the moment, the tool is available only in the US. Google will expand the tool’s presence to other markets in the coming months.


Users will now be informed by Google when search results are rapidly changing around a breaking story. Some extensive searches will now pop up a warning which will state that “it looks like these results are changing quickly,” and a subheading will explain that “if this topic is new, at times it might take a while for results to be added by reliable sources.” The company in a latest blog post notified that users might want to check back later when it’s found more results.

The warning is currently appearing on US-based English-language results “when a topic is rapidly evolving and a range of sources to assert necessary evidence hasn’t yet weighed in.” Google informed that it will expand the tool’s presence to other markets in the coming months.

The company further explained, “While Google Search will always be there with the most useful results we can provide, sometimes the reliable information you’re searching for just isn’t online yet. This could be the case with breaking news or emerging exclusive topics, when the information that’s published first may not be the most reliable or might just not have enough evidence to make it sound convincing enough.”

Google search screenshot - ufo filmed traveling 106 mph
Google search screenshot – ufo filmed traveling 106 mph | Image Credit: Google

A sample Google search screenshot which featured the query “ufo filmed traveling 106 mph,” connected to a recent tabloid story about a 2016 UFO sighting in Wales, got leaked and someone had gotten this police report video viral in Wales which gained a little bit of press coverage too. But there’s still no relevant information about it,” Google search public liaison Danny Sullivan informed Recode. “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.”

Google has unknowingly showcased incorrect information after mass shooting events — in such events early official reports are mostly inaccurate, lack necessary proofs and misinformation is quite high. Though this warning won’t totally stop bad content from surfacing, and it’s not yet clear as exactly how Google determines a sufficient range of sources. But it could definitely remove few false legitimacies that high Google placement can confer on early, unreliable search results.

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