Google’s Fact Check Tools consist of two tools: Fact Check Explorer and Fact Check Markup Tool. Both tools aim to facilitate the work of fact-checkers, journalists and researchers.
Fact Check Explorer
This tool allows you to easily browse and search for fact checks. For example, you can search for a politician's statement, or for a topic. You can also restrict results to a specific publisher. You can search by keywords and see a list of matching claims and the corresponding fact checks. Keywords can be anything from specific topics to full politician quotes. Basically anything you would also put into the regular Google Search bar.
By default, results will be restricted by your browser language. You can also see results from all languages using the dropdown.
You can also search for all results by a publisher by either clicking on the Publisher pill in a result, or by using a site restrict. For example, "site:politifact.com" or "site:politifact.com immigration".
The Fact Check Explorer homepage contains a link to "Recent fact checks" which will show a chronologically ordered list of all fact checks.
Fact Check Markup Tool
When publishers write a fact check article, they can add schema.org/ClaimReview markup to that article. This markup is structured data that contains information about the fact check -- for example, what was the claim being assessed, who made the claim, what was the verdict, and more.
Attaching ClaimReview to a fact check article will allow search engines to easily recognize that it is a fact check article and thus render it as such in search results and other surfaces.
Note that ClaimReview is an open ecosystem: any publisher can choose to add ClaimReview markup to a fact checking article.
Prior to this tool, the only way to provide structured markup (i.e. schema.org/ClaimReview markup) for a page was to embed the markup in the HTML of the article. This process requires a certain level of technical expertise and can be error-prone.
The goal of this tool is to make the process of creating ClaimReview markup easier, by allowing markup to be submitted via a simple web form without the need to add anything to the article itself.
Any markup submitted via this tool is stored on datacommons.org and publicly available via a data feed. Search engines ingest this feed to ensure the corresponding articles are still treated as fact checks.
Who can create markup for a given site?
Users are authorized using Google Search Console. Any account that is listed as a restricted or full user of a site will be able to create markup for any articles of that site. The required steps are:
Talk to your webmaster to find out if your site is already on Search Console.
Ask your webmaster to add you as a user to the site, either as a restricted or full user.
Note that access is granted to sites exactly as they are specified in Search Console. For example, if Search Console has two entries for site.com and factcheck.site.com then you need to be added to both if you want to create markup for both sites.
For FAQs, guidelines and further information, go to Google’s Fact Check Tools website.
Background illustration: Photo by Kagenmi from iStock / iStock license