Search algorithms from Google have been updated to protect people who have experienced repeated online harassment.
Google will now automatically apply ranking protections once someone requests removal from a site with predatory practices, ensuring that content from similar low-quality sites does not appear in search results for a person’s name.
When Google first began filtering its search results, it restricted them to things like web spam, pirated content as well as financially compromising data. Fortunately, the company has only recently taken a more active role in improving search results.
The new system prevents low-quality content from appearing in search results once a user requests the removal of personal information from a page. Other similar sites can be delisted to prevent the content from showing up in search results when users request their information be removed.
Google’s search algorithms were changed after a New York Times investigation reported repeated case of harassment and pointed out the weaknesses of Google’s approach.
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According to Google, its ranking algorithms were designed to bring high-quality results to as many queries as possible, despite the fact that some types of queries come with a greater probability of bad actors and require specialized solutions.
The company uses a similar method to help victims of non-consensual explicit material. With future updates, Google plans to expand these protections further.