Understanding the sources behind Google News

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

An important way news sources build trust with their audience is by providing information about their articles and site. This includes information like clear dates and bylines, as well as information about authors, the news source, company or network behind it, and contact information. This type of transparency helps ensure that readers can easily learn information about both the content they are reading, viewing, or listening to and the creators of that content.

Transparency is also an important element of Google’s news policies. These policies help determine what’s eligible to appear on Google News and other News surfaces, and they help ensure we’re elevating content from trusted, authoritative sources. We’re sharing more about our transparency policy today because we want to help news sources understand the principles behind the policy and how to meet them in practice.

Principles behind our approach

To determine what constitutes meaningful transparency from news sources, we consider what types of information an ordinary person might find helpful if they want to assess a site’s credibility. This is strongly aligned with information we know is important based on academic research, journalism industry best practices, and our own user testing.

We also recognize that the global news ecosystem is diverse and evolving. To ensure our transparency policy is inclusive and responsive to industry changes, we have several further principles that guide our approach:

  • We consider different regional and country-level expectations and practices around transparency. This is particularly important in areas with less press freedom where practices like naming a journalist can carry significant risk.
  • We look at a number of inputs and consider a breadth of editorial practices. This helps ensure that distinctive editorial philosophies—for example, publishing pieces without bylines —don’t affect the credibil