Connections Between SEO And Misinformation
Due to the connections between SEO and misinformation on search engines like Google, a number of users are increasingly looking for other search options. With 92% of users turning to Google for search queries,1 Google is most people’s go-to choice for quickly finding information. But with the rise of fake news and sensationalized content circulating on Google’s results, many people have grown skeptical of this internet kingpin’s credibility.
There are a growing number of people who believe that smaller, more private search engines like DuckDuckGo are superior for finding trustworthy content. Let’s explore the connection between SEO and misinformation further, including the steps Google takes to fight misinformation.
The Problem of SEO And Misinformation
One of the key reasons why misinformation has become a problem online is how algorithms have inadvertently played a role in ranking misinformed content higher than trustworthy content. This is because search engine algorithms prioritize content perceived as relevant and valuable to the searcher.
Studies find that individuals mistake misinformation for trustworthy content around 50% of the time. It is all too common for users to click on and engage with fake content entirely by accident. The more user engagement that a piece of online content has (misinformation or not) the more that search engines make the mistake of appraising this content as valuable, which improves the SEO of the misleading content.2
DuckDuckGo VS. Google: Which Search Engine Is The Best?
When it comes to fighting misinformation and privacy breaches online, some users prefer DuckDuckGo. Unlike Google’s dominance of search engine market share, DuckDuckGo accounts for just 0.63% of searches.1 Despite this seemingly low number, DuckDuckGo has a specific appeal for many users: it doesn’t store any personal information.
This makes each searcher anonymous, which means that they aren’t targeted with personalized ads and content in the same way that search engines like Google are utilizing. On the other hand, Google stores an ample amount of information and data on its users to better target content, ads, and search results that are most relevant to each person based on this information.
Although DuckDuckGo has competitive advantages due to its privacy protections, it doesn’t have nearly the level of resources and technological advances that Google possesses. With 181.69 billion dollars in revenue in 2020 alone3, Google has the money to invest in the best staff, algorithms, and site crawlers on the market, a feat that DuckDuckGo cannot replicate.
3 Ways That Google Fights Misinformation in SEO Results
Despite the issues that occur, Google is still considered one of the best platforms for obtaining trustworthy information on the web. This is because the company is constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to improve its search results and strengthen its technologies to combat misinformation.
Google has even donated millions of dollars to organizations committed to fighting online misinformation and fake news.4 While these aren’t foolproof tactics for completely eradicating misinformation online, here are three ways that Google is attempting to fight it from ranking highly on SERPs:
E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, is important in Google’s search quality guidelines. Google has hired a team of employees tasked with manually reviewing web pages to determine their level of E-A-T. They evaluate the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the content itself, the website, and the content creator.
Y-M-Y-L, known as ‘your money your life,’ is one of Google’s crucial content quality guidelines. Y-M-Y-L is any content related to the overall health, safety, and finances of the audiences it reaches. Because of the content’s significant impact on readers’ well-being, Google is very strict at appraising these types of sites as reputable. Examples of Y-M-Y-L content include:
- Medical and health-related sites
- News and event sites
- Online stores and finance-related sites
#3: Beneficial Purpose
Google uses beneficial purpose for ranking sites from high quality to low quality. Sites and content with good beneficial purpose on Google provide value, have a clear purpose and intent, and improve and add to the viewer’s life.
Enhance Your Search Engine Marketing With Full Circle SEM
While Google is by no means a perfect search engine, its quality guidelines and algorithms offer users the best shot at viewing accurate and relevant content. To create optimized content with E-A-T, Y-M-Y-L, and benefit purpose in mind, get in touch with the marketing experts at Full Circle SEM for comprehensive SEO services today.