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Google on Penalizing Misinformation

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A member of the SEO community expressed the opinion that misinformation in medical search results topics are as harmful and bad for users as spam content. And if that’s true, then why why doesn’t Google penalize misinformation sites with the vigor that Google penalizes sites for spam? Google’s Danny Sullivan offered an explanation.

Should Misleading Information Be Treated Like Spam?

Joe Hall (@joehall), a member of the search marketing community, framed the question of misinformation in the search results within the context of a bad user experience and compared it to spam.

One of the reasons why Google cracks down on spam is because it’s a poor user experience, so it’s not unreasonable to link misinformation with spam.

Joe Hall isn’t alone in linking misleading information with spam. Google does too.

Google Defines Misleading Content as Spam

Google’s own Webmaster Guidelines defines misleading information as spam because it harms the user experience.

This what Google says:

“A rich result may be considered spam if it harms the user experience by highlighting falsified or misleading information. For example, a rich result promoting a travel package as an Event or displaying fabricated Reviews would be considered spam.”

If a user searches for “this” and is taken to a page of content about “that,” according to Google’s own guidelines, that’s considered spam.

Is Misleading Different From Misinformation?

Some may quibble that there’s a difference between the words misleading and misinformation.

But this is how the dictionary defines those words:

Merriam-Webster Definition of misleading:

“…to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief often by deliberate deceit… to lead astray : give a wrong impression…”

Merriam-Webster Definition of Misinformation:

“…incorrect or misleading information”

Regardless if you believe that there’s a gulf of difference between misleading and misinformation, the end result is the same, an unfulfilled user and a bad user experience.

Google’s Algorithm Designed to Fulfill Information Needs

Google’s documentation on their ranking updates states that the purpose of the changes is to fulfill users information needs. The reason they want to send users to sites that fulfill their information needs is because that’s a “great user experience.”

Here’s what Google said about their algorithms:

“The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs.”

If a site that provides quality information provides a great user experience then it’s not unreasonable to say that sites that provide misleading information provide a poor user experience.

The word “egregious” means shockingly bad, an appropriate word to describe a site that provides misleading information for sensitive medical related search queries.

So, if it’s true that misleading information provides a poor user experience then why isn’t Google tackling these sites in the same way they take down spam sites?

If misleading information is as bad or worse than spam, why doesn’t Google hand out the most severest penalties (like manual actions) to sites that are egregious offenders?

Joe Hall first tweeted:

“If you are found to spread misinformation about COVID19 vaccines… Then you shouldn’t be in Google’s index at all. It’s time that G puts it’s money where its mouth is in regards to content quality.”

Joe next tweeted about the seeming futility of the algorithm or concepts like E-A-T for dealing with misinformation and the difference between how Google treats spam and misinformation:

“Forget Core Quality Updates, YMYL, and EAT, just kick them out of the index. Sick of seeing Google put the hammer down for things like buying links… But consistently turns a blind eye to content that causes real harm to people.”

Google Responds to Issue of Misinformation in SERPs

Google’s Danny Sullivan insisted that Google is not turning a blind eye to misinformation. He affirmed Google’s commitment to showing useful information in the SERPs.

Joe Hall asserted:

“Bottom line, protecting your user’s life/health should take a higher precedence than punishing link buyers.”

Danny responded:

“It already does. You are choosing to deliberately focus on the fact that we take manual action on *some* things in *addition to* automated protections to make it seem like our existing ranking systems are somehow not trying to show the best and most useful info we can.”

Google’s Danny Sullivan then followed up with:

“It seems like you equate manual action in the case of some spam attempts as somehow like we’re not working across all pages all the time to fight both spam and misinformation. We are.”

Joe Hall returned to ask why misleading sites aren’t penalized in a similar manner as spam is:

Danny explained in two tweets the challenge of manually reviewing millions of misleading sites and of ranking breaking news:

“There are millions of pages with misinformation out there. We can’t manually review all existing pages, somehow judge them & also review every new page that’s created for topics that are entirely new. The best way to deal with that is how we do, a focus on quality ranking…

Remember the whole 15% of queries are new thing. That’s a big deal. Some new story breaks, uncertain info flows, misinfo flows along with authority info that flows. Our systems have to deal with this within seconds. Seconds. Over thousands+ pages that quickly emerge…”

Next Danny asserted that automated systems do far more heavy lifting against spam than manual actions.

Danny tweeted:

“Yes, we will take manual actions in addition to the automated stuff, but that’s a tiny amount and also something where a manual approach can work, because it’s pretty clear to us what’s spam or not.”

Google and Misinformation

It’s uncertain whether Google’s algorithms are doing a good job surfacing high quality information in the search results.

But the question as to whether Google should elevate how it treats misinformation is a valid one. Particularly in YMYL queries in medical topics, blocking misinformation in those search results seems to be as important as blocking spam.

Searchenginejournal.com

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OpenAI Introduces ChatGPT Plus with Monthly Subscription of $20

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Open AI - Chat GPT

OpenAI, the leading artificial intelligence research laboratory, has launched a new product – ChatGPT Plus. The new product is an advanced version of its previous language model, ChatGPT, and is available for a monthly subscription of $20. The company aims to provide a more sophisticated and efficient conversational AI tool to its users through this new product.

ChatGPT Plus is a state-of-the-art language model that uses advanced deep learning algorithms to generate human-like responses to text inputs. The model has been trained on a massive corpus of text data, allowing it to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses. The model is designed to handle a wide range of conversational topics and can be integrated into various applications, such as chatbots, customer support systems, and virtual assistants.

One of the main advantages of ChatGPT Plus over its predecessor, ChatGPT, is its ability to generate responses in a more human-like manner. The model has been fine-tuned to incorporate more advanced language processing techniques, which enable it to better understand the context and tone of a conversation. This makes it possible for the model to generate more nuanced and appropriate responses, which can greatly improve the user experience.

In addition to its advanced language processing capabilities, ChatGPT Plus also offers improved performance in terms of response generation speed and efficiency. The model has been optimized to run on faster hardware and has been fine-tuned to generate responses more quickly. This makes it possible for the model to handle a larger volume of requests, making it an ideal solution for businesses with high traffic websites or customer support centers.

The monthly subscription fee of $20 for ChatGPT Plus makes it an affordable solution for businesses of all sizes. The company has designed the pricing model in such a way that it is accessible to businesses of all sizes, regardless of their budget. This makes it possible for small businesses to take advantage of advanced conversational AI technology, which can greatly improve their customer engagement and support.

OpenAI has also made it easy to integrate ChatGPT Plus into various applications. The company has provided a comprehensive API that allows developers to easily integrate the model into their applications. The API supports a wide range of programming languages, making it possible for developers to use the technology regardless of their preferred programming language. This makes it possible for businesses to quickly and easily incorporate conversational AI into their operations.

In conclusion, OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT Plus is a significant development in the field of conversational AI. The new product offers advanced language processing capabilities and improved performance, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes. The affordable pricing model and easy integration make it accessible to businesses of all sizes, and the advanced language processing capabilities make it possible for businesses to improve their customer engagement and support. OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus is set to revolutionize the conversational AI industry and bring advanced technology within the reach of businesses of all sizes.

Visit OpenAI.com to read more and to get the latest news about ChatGPT.

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What can ChatGPT do?

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ChatGPT Explained

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that is trained on a massive amount of text data. It is capable of generating human-like text and has been used in a variety of applications, such as chatbots, language translation, and text summarization.

One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is similar to human writing. This is achieved through the use of a transformer architecture, which allows the model to understand the context and relationships between words in a sentence. The transformer architecture is a type of neural network that is designed to process sequential data, such as natural language.

Another important aspect of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is contextually relevant. This means that the model is able to understand the context of a conversation and generate responses that are appropriate to the conversation. This is accomplished by the use of a technique called “masked language modeling,” which allows the model to predict the next word in a sentence based on the context of the previous words.

One of the most popular applications of ChatGPT is in the creation of chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation and can be used in customer service, sales, and other applications. ChatGPT is particularly well-suited for this task because of its ability to generate human-like text and understand context.

Another application of ChatGPT is language translation. By training the model on a large amount of text data in multiple languages, it can be used to translate text from one language to another. The model is able to understand the meaning of the text and generate a translation that is grammatically correct and semantically equivalent.

In addition to chatbots and language translation, ChatGPT can also be used for text summarization. This is the process of taking a large amount of text and condensing it into a shorter, more concise version. ChatGPT is able to understand the main ideas of the text and generate a summary that captures the most important information.

Despite its many capabilities and applications, ChatGPT is not without its limitations. One of the main challenges with using language models like ChatGPT is the risk of generating text that is biased or offensive. This can occur when the model is trained on text data that contains biases or stereotypes. To address this, OpenAI has implemented a number of techniques to reduce bias in the training data and in the model itself.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful language model that is capable of generating human-like text and understanding context. It has a wide range of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and text summarization. While there are limitations to its use, ongoing research and development is aimed at improving the model’s performance and reducing the risk of bias.

** The above article has been written 100% by ChatGPT. This is an example of what can be done with AI. This was done to show the advanced text that can be written by an automated AI.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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Searchenginejournal.com

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