Google is adding a new “highly cited” label in Search results to direct users to trusted sources, the company announced on Thursday. The new label, which will appear in the Top Stories carousel, is designed to help users identify stories that have been frequently cited by other news organizations. The highly cited label is launching soon on mobile in the United States and will roll out globally in the coming weeks.
The label will be placed on investigative articles, interviews, announcements, press releases, local news stories and more. Google says it’s particularly interested in how the label can be used to elevate original reporting.
“Let’s say a local news organization breaks an investigative story looking into problems at your local school district,” the company said in a blog post. “The story is so big that it gets picked up by numerous other media outlets. But what if you didn’t see that original story, which had unique context for local residents? We’re introducing a way to help you identify stories that have been frequently cited by other news organizations, giving you a simple way to find the most helpful or relevant information for a news story.”
In addition to launching the new highly cited label, Google is also expanding its “rapidly evolving topics” notice that appears alongside breaking news in search results to indicate that it can take time for information to be published. Starting today, searches in English in the United States will include tips to help users evaluate information online and remind them to check whether a source is trusted on a topic or come back later when there’s more information available.
Today’s announcement comes a day after Google said it’s rolling out improvements to its AI model to make Google Search a safer experience and one that’s better at handling sensitive queries, including those around topics like suicide, sexual assault, substance abuse and domestic violence. It’s also using other AI technologies to improve its ability to remove unwanted explicit or suggestive content from Search results when people aren’t specifically seeking it out.