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No change in search algorithm to rank websites: Google tells Russian media

Google initiating ongoing efforts to improve search quality: Alphabet Executive Chairman

Reuters  |  Moscow 


does not change its search algorithm to re-rank individual websites, it said in a letter to Russia’s communications watchdog, after expressed concerns the search engine might discriminate against

The watchdog said earlier this month it would seek clarification from Alphabet’s over whether it intentionally placed articles from Russian news websites Sputnik and Today lower in search results.
Responding to a question about Sputnik articles at a conference earlier in November, Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said was working to give less prominence to “those kinds of websites” as opposed to delisting them.
That prompted complaints from Russian authorities, with saying past week it would take action against if it discriminated against
“We’d like to inform you that by speaking about ranking of web-sources, including the websites of Today and Sputnik, Eric Schmidt was referring to Google’s ongoing efforts to improve search quality,” said in a letter posted on Roskomnadzor’s website.
“We don’t change our algorithm to re-rank,” it added.
A spokeswoman confirmed the letter had been sent by the company but provided no further comment.
The Russian government funds Sputnik and Today. US intelligence agencies have said both websites spread misinformation and published stories that were negative towards Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US presidential election.

First Published: Tue, November 28 2017. 01:01 IST