Google spoke in more detail about evaluating news sources in Google News. Their transparency plays a very important role in this process.
The company explained how transparency is assessed and how it affects the ranking of sources in Google News and the Top News section of the main search. This parameter is also one of the main points in the Google News Rules.
According to Google, transparency is important because it helps ensure that users can learn more about the publication from which they receive news and the authors who write it.
Transparency is also used in assessing the reliability and credibility of news sources, says SearchEngines.
How Google measures transparency
When determining the level of transparency, the search engine looks to see if the site is listed:
- Date of publication
- Authors’ names
- Information about the authors
- Contact Information
- Basic information about a publication, company or network
According to Google, this information is used by users when assessing the reliability of the site. This view is supported by academic research, journalism best practices, and company-led user tests.
Other factors that Google takes into account when evaluating transparency:
- Regional and country-level expectations. Google understands that there are countries where crediting is associated with significant risks.
- Different editorial policies. Google also takes into account the difference in the policies of different publishers. For example, the publication of articles without the author’s name will not affect the credibility of the authoritative source.
- Accessibility to users. Google strives to provide the same experience for larger sites with advanced interfaces and smaller sites that use a simple UI.
Google went on to explain how transparency is assessed at the site and article level.
Assessing transparency at the article level
At this level, Google looks for information that allows users to quickly understand the context of a story.
Publishers can convey these signals by including elements such as link to author information, publication date, and tags/categories in articles, notes NIX Solutions.
Assessing transparency at the site level
At this level, Google looks for information that allows readers to understand the purpose of the publication, its organizational structure, and what types of information can be found on the site.
You can improve this rating by adding the following information to the site:
- Mission description
- Editorial policy and standards
- Information about the staff and a brief biography of both editorial staff and employees of business units
- Contact Information
- Other details such as owners and funding sources.
This does not mean that all of these materials should be present on the site, but adding them increases the transparency of the resource in the eyes of Google.