The internet is filled with over a billion websites, some are owned by corporations, governmental agencies, religious organization, schools, and even private individuals.
Religious organizations own websites to propagate their faith or believes; corporations are all about marketing.
Private individual owns websites called blogs to discuss on their subject of interest.
So, basically anybody can have a website.
While some of these websites exist to provide reliable information, a lot of them are filled with unreliable information.
One might ask, since the internet is filled with many unreliable websites, how can I know which information source is reliable?
Written below are 20 practical ways to identify websites with reliable information.
- Identifying Websites with Reliable Information
- 1. Have a topic.
- 2. Don’t always trust Wikipedia.
- 3. Niche of the website.
- 4. Is the uploaded content up to date?
- 5. Cross check with other websites.
- 6. Is the website prejudiced?
- 7. Check the domain authority.
- 8. Make use of writing tools.
- 9.Checkout the authors qualifications.
- 10. Top level domain.
- 11. Don’t always trust business websites
- 12. Make use of governmental and scholarly websites
- 13. Is the website visitor friendly?
- 14. Content Quality.
- 15. Referenced contents
- 16. Grammar
- 17. Headline and content
- 18. Too much ads
- 19. Pay attention to comments or reviews
- 20. No glitches.
- A list of 15 websites with reliable information
- Benefits of having a website Reliable with reliable information
- Concluding thoughts
Identifying Websites with Reliable Information
1. Have a topic.
Finding information, that’s the main reason why you want to know which websites is trustworthy.
Knowing all the websites in the world is impossible, so, investigating each website to see which has trustworthy information isn’t feasible.
The first step is to write down your desired topic on any browser of choice e.g. Google chrome.
Only then can you begin to examine the listed websites.
2. Don’t always trust Wikipedia.
This website has a lot of information but it shouldn’t always be trusted.
This is because wiki has a special feature that allows anyone to add to or change its information completely.
While this special feature increases the contents on the website, one isn’t really certain if the added information is reliable or up to date.
To be sure if the content searched for on wiki is reliable, checkout the referenced materials or websites.
Also, compare your findings with other sources.
3. Niche of the website.
A websites niche refers to its specialized subject or topic.
For example, when searching for anything related to healthcare online, it’s highly likely that websites like mayoclinic.com and healthline.com will appear on Googles first page.
Why? Websites like the two I mentioned above already have a niche. They specialize in providing reliable information on particular topic.
Unlike some bloggers who just upload random contents, the contents they upload are carefully researched and reliable.
The main point is, it would be best to trust websites that specialize on the topics you’re researching on.
How to identify A websites Niche.
- Focus on the websites name. A lot of websites tend to bear a name relating to their niche.
- Checkout the websites about page to find out its purpose.
- Scan through the list of articles uploaded on the website.
4. Is the uploaded content up to date?
Even though the website has a specialized niche, the time the content was uploaded matters.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Are there more recent contents on the topic?
- Is the topic volatile i.e. subject to sudden change?
- Are older contents on the topic irrelevant?
- Is it possible that the referenced websites aren’t up to date?
Finding answers to the above questions will help you decide if the information contained in a website is up to date or not.
Even if all the criteria’s are met, still cross examine with other websites.
5. Cross check with other websites.
A website might be up to date and all its contents might have been updated, but that doesn’t make all its contents accurate.
When doing research online, make sure you compare the results of multiple websites.
6. Is the website prejudiced?
When going through the contents of a website, be observant to see if its contents are prejudiced.
Comparing its contents with that of other websites is also a good way to know if a site is prejudiced.
If the contents on a website takes a stand on a particular topic or news, find out if its stand is based on facts.
And if eventually you decide to make use of the prejudiced content, make sure there are facts to defend it.
7. Check the domain authority.
This isn’t something you can just google to find out.
To achieve this, you’ll need extension files on your browser.
Extension files give you more insight about a websites activity.
With the aid of an extension file you can learn the following about a website:
- The amount of visits a website has.
- The source of the visits e.g. Pinterest, Facebook etc.
- The search volume and difficulty of a topic.
- The websites domain authority.
The quality of content dished out by a website determines the percentage of a websites authority.
Older websites with specialized niche and quality contents tend to have a higher percentage.
How to check A website’s domain authority.
There are various extension files that can be used to check a website’s authority e.g. keyword lookup, Uber suggest etc.
I use Uber suggest, so I’ll be showing you how to install Uber suggest extension file.
- Open your browser.
- Input download Uber suggest extension file.
- Follow the procedures.
- Register on Uber suggest and pin the extension file to your browser.
Note: There are also other factors that affect the authority of a sites domain asides the ones I mentioned.
8. Make use of writing tools.
Writing tools can be used to check if the content uploaded on a website is unique or plagiarized.
Examples of writing tools include
- Online writing lab
Due to the unsupervised overwhelming contents been dished on the internet, it would be best to taking advantage of these listed tools.
9.Checkout the authors qualifications.
Knowing the author’s qualifications is a very good way to determine if the published information is reliable.
To better explain, if you need information concerning the female reproductive system, wouldn’t it be best to get the information from a certified gynecologist?
Someone with some reasonable years of experience, rather than some random bloggers.
Always remember to lookup the author. Anybody can post whatever they desire about themselves.
But remember that not everything online is true.
A lot of sites make use of freelancers to write their articles. But the genuine ones among them depend on professionals and reference their work.
10. Top level domain.
The top level domain refers to the suffix of every website address. Some examples of top level domains are .org, .com, .ng, .net, .gov, .cc, .edu etc.
The top level domain for ethicsage.com is .com and it’s the most commonly used top level domain.
Due to the overwhelming amount of those using it, I will advise thorough examination of contents from these kind of websites.
A lot of them tend to upload prejudiced contents, but there are still some with reliable contents.
In contrast, websites that end with .org, .edu, .gov tend to provide reliable information.
11. Don’t always trust business websites
A lot of business websites usually have their domain level as .com. All business websites have products they want to market.
A lot of them will say or publish any content either misleading or not just to make sales.
The contents they post will always be in favor of what they want to market.
12. Make use of governmental and scholarly websites
A lot of contents we see online haven’t been verified. Governmental and scholarly websites can be trusted to provide reliable information.
When searching for information online, you would be better served if you make use of verified websites.
These websites usually end with .gov, and .edu.
13. Is the website visitor friendly?
This isn’t always true but a website with a captivating interface tends to provide reliable content.
A website is mostly visitor friendly when it’s well organized. Even if a website contains reliable contents, it will be very hard to navigate through if it’s disorganized.
14. Content Quality.
Study the articles written on the website. Pay attention to the information it provides.
Focus on things like:
- The length of the article
- Its use of pictorial aids (optional)
- Use of English
- Main points
- Citations (optional)
15. Referenced contents
Just like research works reference their content source, websites with reliable information also do the same.
Most websites reference their content source by means of links.
But that doesn’t mean all websites with no referencing or citations upload unreliable information.
Some bloggers don’t reference or follow the official rules of writing and still they produce reliable information.
Too much complex sentences, bad spellings, poor sentence structure give evidence that the information on website isn’t reliable.
When sentences are too complex, coupled with poor spellings, the contents on display will be very hard to grasp.
17. Headline and content
How do you feel when you see a very catchy headline only to find out that its contents is something entirely different; Pissed right? Yes, the feeling is mutual.
Please avoid these kind of websites. Their goal is to gain more viewers which corresponds to more money for them.
They aren’t interested in providing edible contents.
But note that it’s not wrong to use catchy headlines to attract viewers.
What’s wrong is not providing edible contents.
Even if the call to action headline is entirely different from the content, it should at least be informative and accurate.
18. Too much ads
Ads can be invasive; they interrupt the view of contents and because of reasons like these, many don’t like ads.
The use of ads on a website isn’t bad, but when they are too much, people find it offensive.
Avoid websites with lots of ads on their page especially the ones that redirect.
The owners of these websites are only interested in the money the ads will give them.
It doesn’t seem like they really care about customer services or providing reliable information.
A website with less ads or none is more reliable.
19. Pay attention to comments or reviews
The reviews or comments about a website’s activity helps you know if a site is reliable.
The reviews of its visitors attests to its reliability.
It also tells you if the website is all about profit or reliable service.
20. No glitches.
A list of 15 websites with reliable information
What if you find the steps above too long?
What if all you need is just access to a website with reliable information?
Written below are some examples of website that provide credible contents.
Yup, the same company responsible for the famous windows operating system developed this website.
It was created as a research tool for students.
It mostly functions as a search engine and provides information to almost any academic topic you can think of.
The information it provides comes from millions of reliable websites, journals, publications and research works.
Searched topics are displayed in an organized manner.
For example, if arthritis is the desired topic, the search results will be displayed in this manner:
- Top Topics
- Publication types
- Top Authors
- Top Journals
- Top Institutions
The organized way in which search results are displayed attests to its reliability.
This federal site grants you easy access to information from scientific research works.
Science.gov searches more than 2,000 websites, millions of documents and journals.
The results of the searched topics are filtered and displayed in an organized manner.
This website serves as a search tool for researchers, student and virtually anyone looking for information.
Refseek provides encyclopedic information on numerous subjects for students.
It gets its information from millions of websites, books, journals, and encyclopedias.
The way Refseek operates is almost like the way Google operates.
The only difference is that Refseek focuses on providing information on matters relating to education and science.
Unlike the other search engine website listed above, wolfram alpha is different.
It provides information on subjects like Mathematics, Science and Technology, society and culture, personal health etc.
When a query is inputted, it provides an answer to that query.
You don’t have to go through series of search result before finding the answers to your question.
It works best when dealing with mathematical problems.
The information found on this website are listed in alphabetical order.
Academic info provides reliable links and comprehensive contents for students on various subjects.
You can also take online courses on this website.
Virtual learning resource gives you access to academic websites containing encyclopedic information.
Its catalogued information are arranged by lots of tutors from around the world.
The goal is to help students gain access to reliable contents for educational projects.
It’s a website that can grant you access to reliable information.
You can obviously tell from its name that it’s an educational website.
Google scholars search engine is exclusive to sourcing for academic literatures or research works.
The information on numerous fields you search for are delivered in form of abstracts, articles, online depositories, thesis etc.
It gives you access to reliable academic resources.
Some features Google scholar possess are:
- It provides up to date information on numerous disciplines.
- Serves as a door way to contents in numerous field or research works.
- Gives you access to contents related to your desired topic.
8. Google Books
Its forte is books just like the name says. It’ll grant you access to all kinds of books; old, new, scientific, religious etc.
Asides from reading books online through this site, you also have the option of reading a translated copy and downloading them.
It serves as a global database for anything scientific.
This website was created to serve as an aid in facilitating scientific research and sharing knowledge.
Thanks to intercontinental partnership involving over 70 countries, anybody with online access can find answers to a desired query.
Information on this site are translated into the following languages: English, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Arabic, French and Japanese
Some feature of worldwide science includes:
- Its contents are into translated into 10 languages.
- The search results are provided with reliable links.
- It allows you to highlight specific information and send to colleagues.
It stands for Educational Resource Information Center.
This online library is very useful in research relating to academics.
With Eric, you get access to over a million articles online, references to research works, journals, technical reports, books etc.
Eric’s goal is to grant its users access to encyclopedic reliable information.
Its content can be downloaded in pdf format.
11. Research Gate
This website is like social media. The only difference is that it’s specially design to connect researchers and science folks all over the world.
Members of research gate have the privilege of uploading articles, research proposals and findings, software codes etc.
Contents published or uploaded on this website can be downloaded in pdf format for personal use.
Infotopia gives you access to articles, journal, research works that have been catalogued by librarians and academic workers.
Users of this website are able to filter out their interested topics.
The topics offered on this website ranges from art to social science to science and technology.
It also provide links to other sites discussing on your topic of choice.
Base is an acronym for Bielefeld Academic Search engine.
It’s one of the biggest online search tool in the world.
Its database is mostly exclusive to academic information.
This multilateral search tool was made by Bielefeld University Library.
Its contents are harvested from academic depositories and digital libraries.
The information on this online platform can be found in the following languages: Greek, German, Polish, Chinese, French, Ukrainian, English and Spanish.
14. PubMed Central
PubMed central is a good search tool for queries related to science or healthcare.
It was created by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), which is a branch under the U.S. national library of medicine.
Over 2 million articles and journals can be found on this online database.
15. Lexis Nexis
Lexis nexis is the perfect search tool for queries related to legal subjects.
The results to queries are gotten from legal websites.
Benefits of having a website Reliable with reliable information
1. A good reputation
Websites with reliable information are mostly likely to get favorable reviews from its viewers.
Favorable reviews give visitors insight into how your website operates.
Visitors will be more inclined to trust your website if its contents are credible.
In addition to gaining the trust of your visitors, you’ll also experience an increase in your websites traffic.
2. Reduced bounce rates
Having high bounce rates is one of the fears of many website owners.
Bounce rates refers to the amount of visitors who leave your website after viewing only a page.
Too much bounce rates in a website is mostly caused by poor design, unreliable information, technical glitches etc.
In a nutshell, a reliable website tends to have a reduced bounce rate.
A lot of people own websites because they obviously want to earn.
You can earn with a website through some of the following ways:
- Google AdSense
- Sponsored Post
- Writing seo articles for companies on your blog
- Affiliate Marketing
Having a reliable website give you access to numerous ways of earning online.
Almost anyone can own a website but not everyone owns a reliable website.
For this reason, one shouldn’t trust the information he sees on all websites.
It would be best to do a background check on the website before accepting the contents published on it.
To make things easier, I highlighted 20 ways to check if a website is reliable and 15 websites or search engines to aid your search for factual information.
I really hope you find this article useful.