Authoritative news content will remain “highly visible” in Google for a longer period after the search giant tweaked its algorithm to add more weight to original reports of breaking stories.
Google’s latest ranking change comes amid a renewed focus on high-quality reporting, which was also mentioned in the latest search quality rater guidelines.
“While we typically show the latest and most comprehensive version of a story in news results, we’ve made changes to our products globally to highlight articles that we identify as significant original reporting,” Google said on Friday.
Google believes that the latest update will aid searchers and publishers as the former will be able to track down the original source for a story more easily, while the latter will enjoy greater visibility for a longer period of time.
While original reporting is now in vogue, Google stopped short of providing a clear definition and said that it can “mean different things to different newsrooms and publishers”.
The open-ended nature of that statement means that efforts to make an article more original than one from another outlet will mostly be futile.
Google says that it expects things to change as it tries to get a better understanding of the “life cycle” of a respective story.
A focus on original reporting won’t mean that other content will not be featured prominently as Google aims to surface the main story with other recent articles so that users can get a more comprehensive overview.
The algorithm is live now, so publishers will likely see the changes in action in the coming days and weeks.