How do I determine good content from bad content on the web?
There is so much content out there on the web, how can I determine which resources are good versus which resources are bad? How much trust should I place in the content I pull from the web? Thank you in advance for the answers!
Hi Abby - I would like to offer a different perspective. I have read many of the answers below and they are all good and important. However, in the world I work in, we look at specific content in terms of measurable value. I will keep this short because by reading how you posed this question I feel you are asking about determining if content is trustworthy and accurate. My answer addresses a different consideration... measurable value.
In the digital marketing world we at least partially look at content in relation to "actual value". John Stein touched on this before me when he described the CTR measurement (click through rate). As a marketing professional, all digital content (online content) can be and should be stripped down to a specific keyword, key phrase and it's variations. The keyword or key phrase found at the foundation of all online content can & should be evaluated. This is important for any content (my opinion) because if the author sincerely wants to contribute to others, this keyword evaluation process helps others who would benefit from said content... find it.
Evaluating a keyword is fairly simple. Using available data, it is a balance between the amount of monthly searches (traffic) and the amount of competition (level of difficulty). When the keyword or key phrase is defined and the author uses this keyword strategically with a few variations, he or she is then in a better position to write an article, post an opinion, share information, comment on an event, etc. that will now be able to be found by it's target audience.
There are more technical components that are included in good content that make it even more friendly to search technology. The more this is understood by the author, the more likely it is to be found by the author's audience. To me, this process contributes to good or bad content. Just thought I might give you a different perspective.
There is so much content out there now, it is hard to determine these days. I always make sure by checking the source of where it came from. This method isn't always fool proof but it can give you an idea of where the writer got their facts and if the content is more opinion-based.
depends on what info you are sourcing and the reasoning for it as well as where you are right now in relation to the info you seek. There is no right or wrong answer to this.
There a few ways to determine the quality of web content.
The first thing you need to do is check the links they are promoting within the content. This will give you an idea of whether the information is biased or un biased.
An affiliate link is an indicationng factor of a biased recommendation. That doesn't necessarily mean that the recommendation is bad, or that the content is poor. It just helps you put things into perspective.
Another way to determine quality content is by identifying where the content is posted, if the content is posted on a high quality popular website with a good sized fan base, chances are, the content is higher in quality.
Overall, the number one way to determine the quality of the content and trustworthiness is to examine the writer's motive. One way to do this is by checking to see what they are asking you to do in terms of asking you for a sale or signup, or directing you to a specific website or webpage.
A writer asking for a sale or signup or directing you to a link, does not mean the content is poor or low quality, its just one more way of helping you put things into perspective when taking advice online.
Usually the most trustworthy place to find quality information is in a forum, because that's where you will find the most unbiased information online.
I will usually use forums to cross reference information I've received from other websites and also get some unbiased reviews from real people. I usually don't trust the person who only has one or two posts since its easy to create a few fake profiles and use a software to build hype for your brand.
But once you've cross referenced your information, you should be able to get a good idea of what advice is widely accepted in the industry.
Ask yourself a few questions. Is the content relevant? Is it current? Are the resources .org, .edu, .gov or .com? Run Copyscape or Duplichecker on the piece, but be careful and look at the dates of any possible plagiarism. Dates after your resource's publication used your source as their source too.
Gut feelings are important too - if you think the resource is "off" don't use it.
These are some of the things I ask myself when looking for resources.
There are many websites to compare content. What is your content's category?
"Content" is a very broad term; so how you determine which resources are good, from those that are bad is based on the actual source. For example: if you're looking to find content about health and wellness on the world wide web, you're more likely to find reliable content on respected sites such as WebMd. If you're looking more in terms of D.I.Y, folks that are in your shoes at the moment,or have been, respected sources like About.com are more reliable. You have to look at the source. I wouldn't rely on random Google or Yahoo searches, I would lean more towards "expert" content, where I can actually reasearch the author to determine if they are experienced in the field and on the subject matter.
In addition: learn how to use your search engine (query), get some special niche searching software or search on Youtube first than go to their site.. the rest is up to you.. usually you can say you like their content once u start to sign up for more of their stuff ^^
Hi Abby! It really is difficult to disseminate these days, isn't it? Even some of the most trusted news/media organizations have made questionable reporting choices over the last several years. I think the basic rule of thumb is to dig a little deeper into the source of the content. If the content on their site is mostly opinion with little research-based facts, you might be a little weary of completely accepting their points. I think it depends on what type of content you're talking about particularly. Google still has the Scholarly option when you search articles (it still is crazy to me that kids can cite Wikipedia on college papers these days). The scholarly pieces are typically published by higher ranking institutions. Check it out! And hope this helps: http://scholar.google.com
I know exactly what you mean. I am always researching topics on the web. The main thing I do is look for communities and blogs which are trusted and then go back to them when looking for answers. Some communities are well moderated and the moderators will keep a close eye on the content. For example http://stackoverflow.com/.