Google tweaks Search and News results to direct people to trusted sources

New labels will offer information literacy tips and highlight widely-cited sources.

Clodagh Kilcoyne / reuters

Google is rolling out some updates for Search and News it hopes will reduce the spread of misinformation. Since last June, the company has applied labels to results for "rapidly evolving topics," which include things like breaking news and viral videos that are spreading quickly. It may suggest checking back later for more details as they become clearer. Starting in the US (in English) today, the labels will include some information literacy tips.

The idea is to help people assess whether the information they see about a rapidly evolving topic is legitimate. It will suggest actions such as checking the publication date and searching the author's name to find out if they're credible. Taking information at face value is rarely the wisest approach, so it's good to see Google encouraging users to dig a little deeper.

In Google News, there will be a new label in Top Stories to indicate sources that have been widely cited by other news organizations. It may be applied to things like a news story from local newspapers, an interview, an investigative feature, an announcement or even a press release that other publishers have linked to. Google says it's interested in using the label to highlight original reporting as well.

Again, the aim is to help users find more relevant and helpful information. The label will initially be available on mobile in the US (again, only in English). Google plans to roll it out worldwide in the coming weeks.