Browse Definitions:
Definition

Project Owl

Project Owl is an endeavor by Google to try to reduce the amount of fake news and hate speech from showing in its search results. The effort is supported primarily through user feedback with changes to a few of its search capabilities.

The significant change is to Google’s Autocomplete search suggestions. This is when a user begins to type in the search bar and Google suggests topics to search on. It was designed to speed up searching and came from the most popular searches. However, since suggestions come from real user searches, there can be some distasteful suggestions that are related to the topic the user was initially interested in. For example, if a user started typing “Did the holocaust…”, Google often suggested “Did the holocaust really happen?” as a possible search.

With Project Owl, Google has made a change to their search bar by including a new “Report inappropriate predictions” link that appears at the bottom of the search box. Users can click the link and fill out a form detailing issues with search predictions. There are clearly labeled categories so users can directly flag content they find unhelpful, hateful, racist, offensive, vulgar, dangerous, misleading, inaccurate or more. Users can also leave comments or suggestions. Users are also able to provide feedback on Featured Snippets, which is a summary of information relevant to the user’s search at the top of their search results.

Under Project Owl, Google has also adjusted its ranking signals and updated its Search Quality Rater guidelines so its evaluators, who assess the quality of Google’s Search results, have better standards for knowing which low-quality webpages to flag or why suggestions might need to be removed.

Lastly, Project Owl signals a move by Google to provide more transparency about its products. They have published their new policies to their Help Center webpage and have provided a How Search Works site to provide more information about the technology behind their search function.

This was last updated in May 2017

Continue Reading About Project Owl

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement)

    A cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement) is an agreement between a cloud service provider and a customer that ensures a ...

  • wear leveling

    Wear leveling is a process that is designed to extend the life of solid-state storage devices.

  • storage area network (SAN)

    A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated high-speed network or subnetwork that interconnects and presents shared pools of ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close