tech2 News StaffJan 21, 2015 18:57:08 IST
A recent survey of over 27,000 people by Edelman has proved that people trust Google as a trusted source over news sites that the search engine aggregates.
A report by Quartz explained how online search engines have overtaken traditional media as the most trusted source for general news and information. This could be the first time in years that online search engines like Google have gained importance over traditional media.
It is rather interesting to see that one of the biggest search engines, Google, is trusted by millions of people out there when it does not even report anything but only serves the purpose to link stories of various other websites that users, sadly, trust less than the aggregator itself.
Google, as a search engine indexes news from all categories worldwide which in turn, brings in a lot of traffic to websites. Search engine traffic is in fact, one of the biggest sources of traffic to websites. It is mostly because of this reason, that news outlets put so much emphasis on criteria like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and 'indexability' so as to garner more eyeballs. In the race for more eyeballs and pageviews however, it looks like websites pandering to Google News indexing has resulted in a situation where users are trusting the aggregator more than the original source of news and reporting.
It is exactly because of this, that some European news websites have fought off Google's indexing policies. They believe they draw in their audience without Google's help and in turn, increase their website's credibility. French media sites for example, demanded a commission every time Google indexed one of its stories, resulting in the search engine threatening to exclude their copies, says this report The Guardian.
For example, if a Google search about the French president, François Hollande, listed articles by French newspapers, Google would have to pay a commission fee for displaying those links.
Another report by Search Engine Land stated that a similar strategy was followed by Belgium, where Google was required to get permission from publishers to index their content in Google News. The search engine on the other hand, conveniently removed the websites of the involved publishers from its index.
Digital Trends pointed out that user's trust in news that’s posted to social media websites like Facebook, still significantly lags behind both traditional media and online search engines with just 48 percent turning to social media for news. However, when news is posted by a trusted friend or family member, 72 percent of people trust that source of information. This is one of the things that Facebook wants to capitalise on. It recently introduced trending news stories and recently announced that it would take action to remove spam links from user news feeds.
The report also stated that 30 percent turn to online search first. Around 26 percent turn to newspapers and 21 percent turn to television.