Web giant Google will reportedly be hosting an event in New York on March 20, where it will announce that it plans to start promoting search results containing paid articles when subscribers search for news. To be clear, this means that if Google knows that you subscribe to a certain publication, searching for news that publication has covered will see that particular publication's articles on the subject promoted higher than they would be for non-subscribers. This move is meant to help both Google and publications; while Google can fall back on the quality of paid publications to help it fight fake news and incendiary content in its search service, publications can reach out to their paid subscribers via Google in order to get more eyes on pages and keep subscribers interested enough to stay subscribed.
None of this information has been confirmed by Google yet which means that it should be taken with a grain of salt. It is worth noting that New York will be hosting a number of concerts, wine tastings, and other events on March 20, which means that Google's event could be a pop-up event associated with another, bigger event going on in the city, or it could be a somewhat small-scale event not meant to catch the attention of the general public passing on the street.
This move could help Google prove its earnest to news publishers in the wake of a number of ongoing content policing and fake news scandals that have rocked the company's various properties and scared advertisers and content producers alike. Google and other companies have been working, sometimes together, to fight against fake news and other threats to their presentation of favorable and fair content on the web. There are arguments that the companies may not be sincere in this pursuit or may not have the best interests of outside entities at heart, and some lawmakers worldwide have even taken things a step further by threatening or fining internet giants for not doing enough to stop the spread of fake news and objectionable content through their various channels of user-facing services and content delivery mechanisms.