Google wants to change its algorithm to promote investigative journalism
Exclusive news and original reports involving investigative work will be highlighted in Google’s search results, announced the US giant of the internet, a change that required changes to its algorithm.
Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president of information, posted the ad on Google’s blog on Thursday, explaining that original sources of information, items for which production has taken a lot of work, or skills of an experienced investigator.
Articles that present “original and thorough investigative work” will be given the highest possible score by a panel of users, he said.
Members of this panel – some 10,000 people whose opinions help Google set up its algorithm – will establish a media reputation for creating original stories and content, for example by promoting those who have received the prestigious Pulitzer Prize.
“The story that generates information does not always stay in the spotlight for a very long time. Many articles, surveys, exclusive interviews and other works can be remarkable to the point of being taken up by other publications “, which blurs the tracks to find the original source of the information, explains Richard Gingras .
With the changes undertaken by Google, the original articles should stay longer in a “very visible” position, he says, adding that the definition of an original article is not engraved in the marble, “our efforts will evolve. permanently as we understand the life cycle of a story. ”
The media blame Google and its mysterious algorithm, which ranks content on the search engine, to highlight “click-bait”, information that is catchy and not always reliable that capture the attention of Internet users, to the detriment of serious, original and verified articles produced by the media.
In addition, by taking over proprietary information, third-party publications deprive the original source of valuable clicks and therefore advertising revenue.
Unsurprisingly, the Google ad was therefore rather well received by the profession.
“Google’s search results have not rewarded investment in journalism. If we can come up with a model where they do it better, that’s fine, “commented David Chavern, the head of the News Media Alliance who represents the American press, interviewed by the New York Times.
“Google will change its algorithm to favor original articles. It’s good! How are they going to do it? With a very cool technology called + Humans + “joked on Twitter Nicholas Thompson, Wired site editor.
“It’s welcome, but I wonder if there will be a return of flames. It naturally favors large organizations with teams provided in investigative journalism. Is not it going to aggravate the economic imbalance between national and local / specialized media? “Asked Gideon Lichfield of the MIT Technology Review.
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