Google Modifies News Section To Bring Company Statements On Top Of Search Results
Google keeps on playing around with the way it shows you information. This time it wasn’t very noticeable but even a slightest variation over web gets good traction all over. Recently, it was their ‘in the news’ section which has been modified to include company statements to make it to the top of that section. That up till now only showed relevant stories from approved newspaper and television sources.
According to a Google spokesperson, the search engine did increase the number and type of sources it uses to list entries in the news section of the search engine’s main page. “The goal of search is to get users the right answer at any one time as quickly as possible — that may mean returning an article from an established publisher or from a smaller niche publisher or indeed it might be a press release,” the Google spokeswoman said. Countering any assumptions, she also mentioned that Google doesn’t get paid for any such measure.
Because this new scheme has been in action for a couple of months now, it has affected companies like Gemalto – a Franco Dutch SIM maker. Last month, the company suffered from a hacking attempt by US and British spies. Yes, the story did get a lot of media attention as well as when users looked up the keyword “Gemalto,” the company’s official statement, denying the huge impact of hacking, made it in the first few results of Google’s ‘in the news’ section.
Similarly, with the release of the Apple Watch, promotional links to buy the watch did turn up in the news section as well.
So the search giant’s move to allow companies’ official statements to top search results will increase relevancy of the search, and help users distinguish between facts and opinions.
Although this may seem to be a plus point to get the consumer’s attention, but it comes at the cost of declining web traffic for the news publishing websites. Their loss is one side, but directing readers towards public relations material and away from news reports, the system could confuse casual readers who might be misled as a result of it.
Moreover, the companies could use search engine optimization techniques to try and force their own press releases into the news listings.