Big Moments: Google is changing the way search engines report news

  • The Google team spent over a year developing a search engine feature called Big Moments to better handle the latest news.
  • Big Moments are supposed to play a more active role in determining what information is shown in search results about major news events.

Google News, a news aggregation service developed by the search engine giant, has been around for nearly two decades. While it offers a simple and easy-to-use experience for aggregating current events, Google News has never really made significant headway in this area. In fact, over the years it has become less of a go-to solution, given the more targeted alternatives for breaking news than the Google search engine.

Information recently revealed that “a small team within Google’s search organization spent over a year developing a search engine feature called Big Moments that takes a more active role in determining what information to show in the search results on major current events “.

Citing three people with first-hand knowledge of the work, the report states that “the group continued the project as Google search has continuously struggle to keep up with the latest news such as the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol and the Black Lives Matter protests of last year ”.

That said, Big Moments seeks to provide insight into current events by providing more historical context, highlighting key details of a particular event in real time (like death and injury statistics) and putting them into focus. updated as new information becomes available.

How does Google News work now?

Classic Google News uses search engine algorithms, artificial intelligence (IA), and machine learning (ML) components to filter and decide what topical content to display But for the big moments, Information says Google needs to make editorial decisions to determine what’s worth covering. Decisions are made “algorithmically and based on signals embedded in algorithms and practices”.

In other words, the implementation can be quite similar to how Google News works today, except maybe instead of the AI-based algorithms that simply analyze the content to be presented in the appropriate section based on search parameters, Big Moments uses similar algorithms to inform editorial decision-making. -do too.

How will be Great moments work?

When it comes to aggregating information, Google would like to be more like Twitter, according to Bloomberg. “In recent years, Google has placed a carousel of links to news sites at the top of search results for certain events, such as the recent negotiations in the United States Senate on the debt ceiling.

“The company is working on plans to present more research-relevant data and features on a range of breaking news topics, such as big-ticket sports games, prize-giving discounts and natural disasters, a confirmed the company, ”the report said.

Before that, Twitter already excelled in such an approach despite the competing efforts of Google and Facebook Inc. Google finally realized a few years ago and in 2015, conclude an agreement with twitter to run tweets at the top of Chrome search results for hot topics.

In short, Twitter has established itself as one of the most visited sites during a last minute news event when the event takes place. The reason is that during such events anyone can update by sharing live video and audio from a given location, making the platform a reliable real-time source for any. person with an account worldwide.

When the pandemic struck early last year, Google revamped its search results for Covid-19-related content to highlight visuals and data from medical authorities, rather than its standard web links. The strategy inspired internal efforts to bring a similar approach to other hot topics, according to a Google spokesperson.

The Google spokesperson in a statement also said they “are constantly experimenting with ways to ensure that people who come to Google can find the most reliable and up-to-date information when they need it. “. Any functionality or enhancement to our systems goes through a rigorous testing and evaluation process to ensure it delivers value to people. “

The Search Engine Journal said using algorithms to organize real-time news will be a big challenge for Google, especially with “polarizing” stories. It was also noticeable when Google added a search advisory, to alert if a story is moving too fast to appear on the search app.

“It seems these results are changing quickly. If this topic is new, it can sometimes take time for the results to be added by reliable sources, ”says the research site. Information has been informed that Google is testing Big Moments in live search results, with further testing planned before officially releasing the feature.

Rosemary S. Bishop