What you need to know
- Google is improving its search algorithm to better protect online slander victims.
- Once someone requests removal of a page with information about them, Google will now automatically demote search rankings of other similar low-quality sites to prevent the content from appearing in search results.
- Google already allows people to request removal of pages that contain information about them from search results.
Google has announced that it is making a big change to its search ranking systems to help protect "known victims" of repeated online harassment.
When someone places a request to remove content from a website with predatory practices, Google Search will now apply ranking protections to ensure content from similar low-quality sites doesn't appear in search results for people's names. Google uses a similar approach to help victims of non-consensual explicit content. The search giant is working on further expanding these protections with future updates.
Google has been allowing users to request removal of pages with information about them from search results since 2018. Beyond removing such pages from search results, Google also demotes search rankings of websites with these exploitative practices.
Pandu Nayak, Google Fellow and Vice President, wrote in a blog post:
The announcement comes as a response to a recent report published by The New York Times, which highlighted how Google's Search algorithm could inadvertently help people destroy their enemies' online reputation.
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