As you search Google for news stories, you may be seeing some unexpected results. According to the search engine giant, non-traditional news sources like Reddit, blogs, and social media should be considered relevant.
This is a topic that could be debated time and again: on one hand, anybody can have a blog… but many of the prolific writers online are well-reputed and have contributed to many of the more traditional news outlets. Some people are going to argue that the inclusion of these new sources will dilute search results such that higher profile sources fall below the fold, but others will delight in knowing there are other points of view to read other than what the likes of CNN is able to choose and then shove in our faces.
Sure it means you have to be a little cautious about who you cite and what information you believe, but we shouldn’t be trusting any sources blindly. At a time when universities need to remind students that community-contributed content collections like Wikipedia are not considered authorities you can attribute, this lesson is already being taught.
“We are always working to give our users the best possible answer to their question. That might come in the form of a video, a press release, a blog, a photo, a social media post or a news article,” noted a Google Spokesperson during a discussion with Search Engine Land.
Do you think including these anecdotal news sources is wise? Does a broader definition of news make Google more or less valuable as a search engine?