How Google and Bing choose news for search

President Donald Trump

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Although both search engines use algorithms that are largely a black box for outsiders, their own descriptions of how they rank news are largely the same. The two determine which stories to feature based on their judgment of a source’s relevance and authority, though Bing also weighs “readability” and “originality” in its ranking.

Here’s how the two search engines determine which news to display.

When Google’s algorithm chooses the main news to displayit takes into account freshness, relevance and authority, according to the Associated Press. It chooses which stories have “authority” based on judgments on the site that publishes them, guided by a group of more than 10,000 employees known as Search Quality Assessors who judge authority. based on the recommendations of professional companies, as well as factors such as whether the outlet has won Pulitzer Prizes, clearly labels advertising, or may intentionally mislead users.

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When Bing’s algorithm chooses which stories to display, it takes into account whether the source of the information ranks well in terms of timeliness, originality, authority, relevance and readability. Bing also has research quality raters, and defines “authority” as outlets that “identify the sources, authors, and attribution of all content.” Readability includes sites with correct grammar and spelling and where advertising does not interfere with the user experience. He defines “originality” as sites with unique facts or viewpoints.

Bing also has a feature called “Spotlight” for provide insights into certain hot topics by showing a timeline of events from “different perspectives” (an example is shown below for the query “NFL anthem on your knees”). Google has similar features in its revamped News app, although it doesn’t include them in its main search interface.

Here’s a look at how Google and Bing ranked the news on Wednesday morning (click on an image to enlarge).

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John McCain

Climate change

NFL Anthem on your knees

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