Coronavirus is making headlines as the World Health Organization (WHO) just declared it a global health emergency. And Google Search just switched on an SOS Alert for searches to calm some of the anxious users who turn to Google for more information.
The SOS Alert will lead users to some of the most authentic sites like the website of WHO and other credible sources rather than potentially misleading ones. Tech giants like Google and Facebook usually trigger these red alert systems when certain disasters either natural or man-made are born. Facebook’s mechanism helps users to inform their family and friends that they are safe. Meanwhile, Google has turned to prioritize information from verified sources.
The alert was announced through Twitter and anyone searching for information related to the coronavirus will be directed to WHO’s resources. Information includes the status of the virus outbreak and the necessary precautions that users can maintain to keep themselves safe.
But this information won’t be at the top of search results as Google usually reserves that position for the top news from verified sources. This is important because users are more inclined to read the first news that pops-up rather than a forum or blog post. The IT services giant also said that local information will surface as the algorithm picks up those news pieces.
Google has already made a donation of $250,000 to the Chinese Red Cross and is also arranging fundraisers and has gathered more than $800,000 so far.