6 tips to help you determine if the content you’re reading is high quality

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The Internet, since its inception, has promised to put the information of the world within everyman’s arms reach. Everything you could ever need or want to know is now at your fingertips, in no time at all.

These days, accessing information is fast, convenient and easy, but we rarely stop to ask… Is the information any “good?” And by “good,” I mean high quality.

The Geogetown University Library encourages you to consider the author of the content, the purpose, the objectivity and the accuracy of the piece, as well as the currency (time it was written) and links associated with the page. It’s all very academic and time consuming.

Below is a list of a few speedy observations and questions that I encourage you to apply to a website or online article to quickly evaluate its strength and merit.

How did I get here?

Ask yourself, how did I get to this site? Did you type it into the browser yourself? Did you search for it in Google? Did you click a link on another page? Did you get here by opening a link in an email sent from a Nigerian prince?

Typically, websites that are reputable and offer quality information don’t have ads linking you to their site. Often, they rely on the content they are putting out and on the strength of their brand to attract traffic. That being said, not all links are bad. Using links from a one reputable site to another is a great way to build on a resource. Wikipedia is a great starting point for any search for ‘real’ information thanks to the listed sources (with links) at the bottom of the article.

If you were looking for a five-star restaurant and on your way you got lost, and you came to a fork in the road, the high road is a freshly paved two-lane while the low road is a dirt road with billboards lining each side… Which direction would you choose? Which route looks like it would host something of quality? Take the high road.

What company’s website am I on and what do they do?

Whose website is this? Every website exists for a reason. An easy way to find out what the website’s motives are is to find out what company, organization, or dude in their basement is responsible for the content presented.

Explore the page you stumble on; check the ‘about’ section or take a look at the bottom of the home page. There should be an organization or company listed.

Ask yourself, have you heard of these people before? A quick Google check of the responsible party can reveal a lot. Is the company reputable? What kind of business are they in? How are they perceived by the rest of the Internet? Do people say good or bad things about these guys?

If your going on a date with someone you barely know – wouldn’t you try to find out as much about them before the date as you could? With websites and their owners… Same thing. 


Who’s the author and what’s their angle?

Who is this guy? Is the author qualified and knowledgeable on the topic or issue he or she is writing about. Check their bio or do a quick search of their other works.

I, personally, am a Content Editor for iBus Media. I write for several sites, mostly CasinoSmash, an online casino review site, and PokerNews. That’s my shtick. I want my readers to use my sites by acknowledging the material presented on them is strong and honest, which is why I am writing this article.

Again, it goes back to motivation and credentials. You wouldn’t want to reference an article on brain surgery written by a runway model or get a recipe for Duck Fois Gras from someone who runs a hotdog cart, would you?

Is the site pretty? clean?

Simple. What does the website look like? Does it look professional? Is it clean, organized and up-to-date? Usually, reputable websites have a decent sized team managing their site. They also, usually, employ ‘professionals’ who craft and design content for them. If the page is a mess, it’s probably no good.

You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari from a guy in sweatpants, wearing a dirty white-tee, in flip-flops, who was in bad need of a haircut. You would, however, buy one from a guy in a neatly tailored suit, polished shoes and a crisp white Oxford.

It may sound shallow, but how a website presents its content tells you how much value they place on the material, which, in turn, helps you determine how much value you should be willing to place upon it.

Are there links, images, videos, infographics and other media?

The more relative information provided in support of the content the better! You cannot have too much information and a good provider of content attaches links, pictures, charts, etc.

High quality content takes a while to create. It takes a lot of time to research and refine. Look for content that provides multiple other sites that support the article’s claim, this helps prove that the author did the necessary research. If you are not willing to compare several websites to gather all the information on your search for “the best toaster for you and your needs,” find a site and an author who is and proves it by providing the how with the why.

Check out social media, the comments and reviews

Use other peoples experience with the site to build your own opinion. Check the comment section at the bottom of the article page (if it’s enabled… if not, that says something too). Check the websites reviews by other third-party sites, like CasinoSmash (just saying).

Does the page have a lot of ‘likes’ or shares? If so, that would mean that a lot of other readers have found the information valuable and that you, possibly, should too.

You’re not alone in this world… Let others help you!

Is this content high-quality?

In the age of “fake news” and social media stars, where everyone and their mother has a blog, it can be difficult to tell what is “good” or not. Navigating through the ridiculous amount of information out there can be daunting but if you keep these tips and mind when browsing the web, you’re less likely to get taken for a ride. The correct answers are out there – go find them!

The post 6 tips to help you determine if the content you’re reading is high quality appeared first on BestTechie.

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