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Google Search Gets New Pointers to Reliable Information

A new "highly cited" label will mark certain news stories, and developing stories will come with tips for verifying the trustworthiness of a source.

Google logo and a phone screen
James Martin/CNET

Google users will soon see search results giving them two new ways to identify trustworthy news sources. First, a "highly cited" label will alert users to articles that have been cited in other news stories. These highly cited stories are often early, authoritative and local stories that provide necessary context, Google said in a blog post Thursday. 

The label will appear in the Top Stories box "on anything from an investigative article, to an interview, an announcement, a press release or a local news story, as long as other publishers indicate its relevance by linking to it," Google said.

Second, for breaking news or newly trending topics when reporting changes as stories develop, Google is adding tips for finding reliable information. Starting Thursday, Google searches for developing stories will come with tips for verifying the trustworthiness of a source. Google will prompt users to check the credibility of the source and the publication date or even come back later when more information has come to light.

Both features will appear in the Google search results. The label for highly cited sources will roll out in the coming weeks.

Google and other tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have made moves to combat misinformation on their platforms before. The problem of misinformation has drawn increasing scrutiny from the public and elected officials in recent years.