Summary Information

  • Understanding Search Engines
  • Basic Search Techniques
    • Use Keywords: Start with the main words related to your topic.
    • Phrase Search: Use quotes ("") to search for an exact phrase.
    • Exclude Words: Use the minus (-) sign before a word to exclude it from the search results.
  • Advanced Search Techniques
    • Site-Specific Search: Use site: followed by a domain to search within a specific website.
    • Related Sites: Use related: to find sites similar to a specified site.
    • File Type Search: Use filetype: to search for specific file types, like PDF or DOC.
  • Search Operators
    • AND: Ensures both terms appear in the result.
    • OR: Ensures either of the terms appear in the result.
    • NOT: Excludes a term from the search.
  • Evaluating Search Results
    • Check the Domain: Trusted domains like .edu, .gov, or well-known organisations can be more reliable.
    • Publication Date: Recent information might be more relevant for certain topics.
    • Author Credentials: Check the author's qualifications and background.
  • Safety and Privacy
    • Use Private Browsing: This mode doesn't store your browsing history, cookies, or search queries.
    • Consider Using Privacy-focused Search Engines: Such as DuckDuckGo.
    • Avoid Clicking on Suspicious Links: Look for HTTPS and trusted domains.
  • Using Search Tools
  • Staying Updated
    • Google Alerts: Set up alerts for specific keywords to get updates.
    • RSS Feeds: Subscribe to websites to get the latest content.
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

In this video, you’ll learn how to create content that’s better than your competitor’s by focusing on the four attributes that make content great. 

When you enter a query into a search engine, you’re presented with a list of results. However, not all these results are equally relevant, accurate, or trustworthy. Evaluating search results means critically assessing the information presented to determine its credibility, relevance, and value. Here’s a deeper dive into what this entails and what you should be looking for:

1. Content Clarity | Relevance to Your Query

Description: The first and most basic criterion is whether the result addresses your query in a clear and succinct way.

What to Look For: Does the content answer your question or provide the information you were seeking? If not, it might be worth refining your search terms or looking further down the list of results.

2. Source Credibility

Description: Not all sources are equally reliable. Some might present biased or incorrect information.

What to Look For:
Domain Authority: Trusted domains like .edu (educational institutions), .gov (government websites), or well-known organizations often provide reliable information.
Authorship: Articles or studies authored by experts in the field or reputable journalists are more likely to be credible.
Citations: A well-researched article will often cite its sources, allowing you to trace the origin of the information.

3. Publication Date

Description: The timeliness of the information can be crucial, especially for topics that evolve rapidly, like technology or current events.

What to Look For: Check when the content was published or last updated. For some queries, more recent information might be more relevant and accurate.

4. Bias and Objectivity

Description: Some sources may present information with a certain bias, either due to the author’s personal views, the publication’s stance, or external pressures (like advertisers).

What to Look For:
Neutral Tone: Does the content seem objective, or does it have a strong emotional or biased tone?
Balanced Perspective: A credible article should present multiple sides of an issue, especially for contentious topics.

5. Depth of Content

Description: While not every query requires an in-depth answer, for more complex topics, it’s essential to find sources that provide a comprehensive overview. 

What to Look For: Does the content delve deep into the topic, offering detailed explanations, examples, and insights, or is it just scratching the surface? Does the content answer the questions a visitor might have? Are there lists and tables that identify and separte the information in a user friendly format?

6. Check for Corroboration

Description: If a piece of information seems surprising or questionable, it’s a good practice to see if other reputable sources corroborate it.

What to Look For: If multiple credible sources present the same information, it’s more likely to be accurate.

7. The Presentation and User Experience

Description: Sometimes, the design and user experience of a website can give clues about its credibility.

What to Look For:
Professional Design: A well-designed, easy-to-navigate site can indicate a more reputable source.
Include a table of contents, readable fonts, skimmable headlines, engaging media – Photos / Videos.
Ads and Pop-ups: An excessive number of ads, especially if they’re intrusive or irrelevant, can be a red flag.