How to Find Information and Check Its Reliability?
You might think that the vast amount of easily accessible information in today’s world brings only benefits. News is available at your fingertips – all you need to do is to type the query into the search engine. However, how to make sure that the obtained search results are the most accurate and reliable? Keep reading today’s article to learn how to narrow down the results to find exactly what you’re looking for.
The huge amount of available articles and texts can cause some problems. There is much more fake news, meaning untrue information that’s deliberately made publish in order to bring its authors various benefits. What’s more, the Internet is full of low quality information.
Consequently, Internet users constantly need to face a considerable challenge. First of all, they have to learn how to search for information. Second of all, they need to find out how to check whether the information they’ve accessed comes from a reliable source.
Benefits from using Advanced Search
Basic Google search comes in handy if you’re looking for general information. However, if you want to get detailed news, typing a query into the search bar may not provide you with satisfactory results. But don’t worry. Google devised advanced search functions which allow you to adjust your search parameters so that you obtain the most accurate results. Learning how to apply Advanced Search on a regular basis will significantly increase your chances of getting search results that will meet your expectations at a given moment.
Google Advanced Search offers a wide range of tools which enable better and more accurate research that will help you explore a given topic in depth. This skill is very important in SEO, especially in the case of SEO copywriters who constantly need to familiarize themselves with new topics and create valuable content on the basis of texts that are already available.
Selected search operators and Google Advanced Search
On our blog, we’ve already discussed how to use various operators to search on Google more efficiently – https://delante.co/searching-on-google-life-hacks/. Today, we’d like to introduce you to the advanced search form that will help you to quickly and effectively narrow down the search results you get. You can find it in the Settings tab under the Advanced Search name.
Let’s check what can be found there:
- All these words: the search engine looks for all the entered words – standard search;
- This exact word or phrase: the search engine looks for the specific phrase you’ve entered – it functions similarly as quotation mark search operators;
- Any of these words: here, you type in two words and the search engine provides you with the results corresponding to one of the words – it works identically as the OR operator;
- None of these words: the words typed in won’t be taken into consideration by the search engine. So, if a given search result contains “none of these words” phrase, it won’t be displayed to you – it functions in the same way as the AND NOT operator (minus “-“);
- Numbers ranging from: thanks to this option you can enter a phrase and specific numbers from a given range that the phrase is supposed to fit;
- Language: this option allows you to choose the language in which websites will be displayed to you;
- Region: thanks to it you can narrow down your search results to websites operating in a specific region;
- Last update: searching for websites from a specific time period;
- Site or domain: this option enables browsing only one site or limiting the search results to a specific domain type – it plays the same role as the site operator;
- Terms appearing: thanks to this option you can determine the place on a website where the keyword should appear. It can be either any place or a specific area such as the website title, URL, hyperlink or content. It corresponds to operators like inurl, intitle, intext;
- SafeSearch: it filters content that is sexually explicit. It applies to pornographic websites and other undesirable content;
- File type: allows you to search for or omit specific file types – works similarly to the filetype operator;
- Usage rights: it enables searching for websites with specific licences under which these sites are distributed.
Search result filtering
Additionally, you can filter all search results which is very useful in obtaining information that is of interest to you. Apart from the already mentioned search operators, it can be done with the use of tools such as maps, news, videos or images, available in Google.
Furthermore, each of the categories is equipped with a separate tool that enables narrowing down the search results even more. For example, after selecting videos, you can select specific duration or quality of videos that will be displayed in the search results.
Assessing whether your sources of information are reliable – what to pay attention to?
Mastering the skills that will allow you to assess whether the analyzed information is reliable is the key to success. The development of digital technology facilitates obtaining most of the information effortlessly. Unfortunately, the current, overwhelming amount of news hinders determining which information can be trusted and which should be abandoned and filtered out of your search results.
There is so much fake news in the public sphere that being able to reasonably assess the source of information became worth its weight in gold. Especially if you’re an SEO copywriter who earns a living by searching, obtaining and processing information.
If you want to find out whether the article you’re reading is worth your time, you should evaluate its source. To do it properly, you need to take into consideration several issues:
Who is the author of the news?
If possible, scrutinize his or her qualifications and expertise to see whether the person is trustworthy.
Is the website reliable?
Very often the website where given information is published tells a lot about its reliability. Naturally, news published on renowned scientific portals are much more valuable and trustworthy than gossip website articles.
Can you verify the information with other sources?
If a given article is true and reliable, then the same views or information will be published on other websites in the same context.
When was a given text written?
Due to the constant development of science and technology, the world is changing really dynamically. If you’ve any troubles with determining when a given text was published, it’s worth checking whether the information is updated on a regular basis.
How did the author acquire the information?
You should monitor references and sources provided by the author. Maybe the writer is an expert in a given field. However, if the information is described only from his/her perspective and involves second-hand stories, then the chances that the news is reliable decrease drastically.
What is the website domain?
Very often in the about us tab, you can find information why someone decided to publish content on a given website. Here, analyzing the domain of the website can be of much help.
- .com domains denote commercial websites created for profits,
- .org domains are non-profit organizations,
- .edu domains denote websites connected with education,
- .mil domains mean military websites,
- .info domains inform that websites serve the informative function,
- .gov domains are associated with government websites.
However, be careful!
The rapid growth of online marketing and free market allows registering any domain, except from the .gov one. Nevertheless, such practices aren’t very popular yet, therefore, analyzing website domains is still helpful in assessing the trustworthiness of the source of information.
Who are the readers?
There is a considerable difference between a news site dedicated to average users and a website created especially for professionals and experts in a given field.
Does the website contain advertisements?
Advertisements displayed on the website where you found given news may denote that the information published there is less reliable.
The analysis of sources from which you obtain data can be much more complicated. However, it’s not about spending every hour of our life checking whether the news we’ve encountered is trustworthy. The aspects above include the most important elements that can clearly and quickly suggest you whether a given website and its content is reliable or whether you should keep looking.
Basic vs. Advanced Search
Every year Google introduces a number of updates to its algorithms which are supposed to ensure that users are provided with the most accurate search results that meet their expectations. Apart from the search query, Google takes into consideration other aspects such as location or search history.
In basic research you get many results which, according to Google algorithms, should fully answer your queries. However, it may be not enough.
Advanced Search may facilitate the browsing process and selection of more detailed information. Too much information can “kill you with kindness”. Effective search result filtering will help you access information that is of interest to you.
Certain industries such as SEO or marketing can be characterised by difficulties in finding reliable information. In these fields, obtaining quality news and verifying it is of key importance. Consequently, people working in the abovementioned industries should do their best to obtain information in a more effective and efficient way. Realizing that proper search of information enables getting advantage over others in terms of your knowledge increases the sense of validity and efficiency.
As an example, an SEO copywriter with such competences will be able to create valuable content full of substantive knowledge and will be sure that the disseminated information comes from reliable sources. Therefore, acquiring such skills makes it easier to work, obtain satisfactory results and outdo competition on the market.
To sum up
The ability to find trustworthy information that is valuable from the perspective of your job position and private life is one of the key skills that can not only improve the quality of your news resources but also develop your expertise in a given area. However, the search of information itself may not be enough and may not ensure obtaining the top notch information sources. Therefore, it’s worth double-checking that the articles you get information from are reliable and trustworthy.
I’ve been using Google since 2012 but didn’t know about these tips. Thanks for sharing such a valuable article.