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/.
With the question the inquirer is asking about marketing. Content is one aspect of a overarching marketing program. The only true measure of good or bad, is if you get the desired response.
Ask yourself these questions:
Who is it you are talking to?
What do you want them to learn?
What do you want them to do once they have the information?
Did they do it?
If they did it was good...If they didn't is wasn't.
The concept is deceptively simple. The process of generating "good" content is devilishly difficult. Some businesses work long and hard with very little to show for their efforts. Great marketers come to understand, either consciously or unconsciously, that there is a scientifically establish methodology for generating good, effective marketing...marketing with an acceptable ROI.
There is a definable formula leading to a step by step process that will, every time it is applied, deliver good marketing (eventually). Sometimes quickly, sometimes over a longer time, but always with a greater ROI than a hit or miss, "This is what I want to do, I'm the Boss" type of effort.
One can often tell by looking at the language and turn of phrase. There are several phrases that immediately raise 'red flags' for me. For example - anything that suggests one or more of the following:
- a secret that no-one else knows.
- a conspiracy and therefore the 'true' facts are not known or hidden
- a 'unique' solution
- that a breakthrough is around the corner - if only more funds were available
-experts don't understand - and implies not being an expert is good
- that science is baffled or cannot explain the results
- that it is 'natural' 'common sense' and 'ancient/old' so we do not need to evaluate it
- claims that do not have quantitative elements e.g. 'recognised as the best' 'mothers prefer it' 'first choice for those in the know'
- drawing on general unrelated truths that don't substantiate the main claims of the website - e.g. 'most energy is wasted' therefore...There are a few other pointers too look for that may help such as out of date references and copyright signs, broken links, no 'about us', no contact method.
Hope that helps a little.
We call any content a good content when we find it useful, relevant , fresh and something unique. There are so many businesses that are offering the same services, the only thing which makes them rank well on search engines is a unique and fresh content.
If you find any content which contains something unique then surely you will like it.
You can check this content for reference: -http://www.fatbit.com/fab/content-marketing-real-estate-websites-get-right/
Well, I think I have a sweet,simple and short answer for you to understand how you can distinguish between good and bad content. So, the good content is something which you can easily understood the things discussed over the content is clear,straight to the point. And when I say clear and straight then it has to be the content that you can clearly understand and the term written over their has references to support what the post is talking about. Rest of the things are bad content !!
In addition to that what you can do is always look for information over the trusted sites like wikipedia and all ! But if there is something much more critical and wiki can't answer then you can always search for things over Google as the search results given by Google is something I would say you can try upon when it comes to the content as most of the time only good things are shown up.
I am pretty much sure this gives you a little idea about the good and bad content.
It depends on what you are searching for and how much precise or/and deep you need it must be your search. Web offers too much, also lot of rubbish! Many time you find the same content in more sites.
Start looking for in the main source (e.g. law > Government) and then pass to sites of professional that work in the area (e.s. labor law > Labor lawyers offices). Avoid any kind of general popularizer sites!
I think when you read an article and if you find its all about same topic i mean only details about that topic i think its not good. because we have to include its pros and cons of it. other wise you know what it is(meaning) but you don't know what it does or what effects its gone make. so before applying any thing directly make sure you have proper information of its outcome.
I am going through a website of web developer Bangalore http://eorbsolutions.com/ and found interesting content. They have mixed the professional content with blog. Let me tell you, how to find out quality content:
3. No palgarism
Check on the CopyScape to get extra sure...
I believe good content is content that solves a problem and offers a solution. You can tell when content is good. There is so much content on the internet. It's all about what you are looking for to. If content is short and filled with nothing but ads then you probably know that it isn't good or if it is re-hashed.
I think the best way to find out is do your own research. There are sites where you can read reviews about different products or services. You can usually tell if the content is geared toward generally helping someone.
Very curious to know what your main use of the content online is - for your own study, business/career research, for reuse, entertainment, etc...or as others implied below, you want to be sure the content you are putting out is valuable.
But would align with those that stated that the value is in the eyes of the reader...and with a little google and search you can find the any stats stated are real, that facts noted are documented elsewhere, but that others opinions you either agree or disagree with.
In my opinion, good content is, as Sunita noted, determined by how useful it is to the intended audience. That said, I believe that "good" content should include statement of a problem and provide some type of solution or suggested course of action to solving it. In short, it should be immediately usable by the audience reader. "Boasting" or "ad copy" type content is meaningless to the audience.