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Evaluating Sources of Information

Web Evaluation Myths

Domain Names

You might have heard that domain names, like .org or .com, were good indicators of a website’s quality.  While that may have been the case way back in the early days of the internet, a site’s domain name is no longer considered a good mark of authority.  You can find both high- and low-quality websites with almost any domain name. 

Production Value

How professional a website looks is not always a clue to the level of quality you’ll find.  It is increasingly easy to make a well-designed attractive website for little to no cost. It is more important to investigate the creators of the site than to rely on how professional a site looks.

Advertisements

Most websites have ads, including sites with good reputations and high-quality content.

Be aware of advertisements that are disguised as content, these can be labeled as: sponsored content, presented by, paid post, powered by, or partnered with. 

This website is disclosing that if you buy a product through the links they provide, they may earn a commission from the sale. 

PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.

About Section

About sections are an opportunity for organizations to tell you what they want you to know about them. They are not always a true picture of that organization's mission or purpose.  Do your own research on the organization to see what other trusted sources have to say.

Citations & Linked Sources

Just because a website includes citations doesn’t automatically make it reliable.  Many sites will link to or cite content from the same site or content that is unreliable. Check out the citations and linked resources to be sure they are from credible sources.