Google hs recently introduced a new feature to their list of guidelines for evaluating content. Under this new rule, people who work for Google by assessing search engine results are instructed to rate certain types of content and websites as "Upsetting-Offensive."

Who evaluates Google's search results

Google's Search Results are controlled by a complex algorithm that attempts to bring up the most accurate, popular, informational content. The higher quality a website is, the higher it will rank in Google's search results.

However, this algorithm can make mistakes, and Google also relies on thousands of workers who manually enter keywords and evaluate the results that Google brings up.

These workers comb through Google's top results for those search queries, and flag content that shouldn't be there.

One of the new flags that these workers were told to flag content with is an "Upsetting-Offensive" flag.

What types of sites will be affected

So, what types of sites are going to be affected by this? Google shied away from just saying "fake news." There is more to it than that.

Offensive or upsetting content can be anything that has racial slurs or is offensive to a particular demographic.

In fact, Google's guidelines give a good example. When someone enters a search term for the Holocaust, the best pages that can come up are pages that explain the basic history of the Holocaust, such as a Wikipedia page.

If, however, a page of a white supremacist site comes up with a list of reasons why the Holocaust didn't happen, which is mostly Holocaust denial, that website would be flagged as offensive, as many people would be offended by such a search result.

How this will affect the search results

Just because a site was flagged doesn't mean that it will all of a sudden be penalized by Google and lose its rankings.

The people evaluating search results have no power over the actual rankings. They just provide Google's algorithm with an indication of what types of sites should be categorized in certain categories.

Eventually, the algorithm can start recognizing sites that have offensive content and give them lower rankings so that they won't appear in Google searches.