Google is adding “Fact Check” labels to thumbnails in image search results in a continuation of its fact check efforts in Search and News.
“Photos and videos are an incredible way to help people understand what’s going on in the world. But the power of visual media has its pitfalls—especially when there are questions surrounding the origin, authenticity or context of an image.”
This change is being rolled out today to help people navigate issues around determining the authenticity of images, and make more informed decisions about the content they consume.
When you see certain pictures in Google Images, such as a shark swimming down the street in Houston, Google will attach a “Fact Check” label underneath the thumbnail.
Is that image of a shark swimming down a street in Houston real? Google Images now has “Fact Check” labels to help inform you in some cases like this (no, it was not real). Our post today explains more about how & when fact checks appear in Google Images: https://t.co/YisZuOyGEH pic.twitter.com/aRntlIo6qT
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 22, 2020
After tapping on a fact-checked result to view a larger preview of the image, Google will display a summary of the information contained on the web page where the image is featured.
A “Fact Check” label will only appear on select images that come from independent, authoritative sources on the web. It’s not exactly known what criteria a publisher needs to meet in order to be considered authoritative.
According to a help page, Google uses an algorithm to determine which publishers are trusted sources.
Google also relies on ClaimReview structured data markup that publishers are required to use to indicate fact check content to search engines.
Fact Check labels may appear both for fact check articles about specific images and for fact check articles that include an image in the story.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Google already highlights fact checks in regular search results and Google News. YouTube also utilizes ClaimReview to surface fact check information panels in Brazil, India and the U.S.
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Google says its fact check labels are surfaced billions of times per year.
While adding ClaimReview markup is encouraged, being eligible to serve a Fact Check label does not affect rankings. This goes for Google Search, Google Images, Google News, and YouTube.