Rumors are circling the web that Google is planning a future update to its search engine that will rank websites by quality of facts. In the past, the number of sites linking to a page was used as one of the prime factors for trust but this system is often gamed. Google is now working on a model that can measure the trustworthiness of information that aims to bump down page full of misinformation.
A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. "A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy," says the team (arxiv.org/abs/1502.03519v1). The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.
The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.