- Is the information on the Web credible?
- June 10, 2015
By Karla Sullivan
If it is found on the Web, it is credible, right?
Wrong. It is imperative that Web users develop a critical eye to evaluate the Internet information. According to most experts, finding dependable information as well as product can be extremely time-consuming.
When doing any kind of business with a company, you have to do the proper research first before making a commitment – including insurance companies. Many search engines rank material according to their idea of what is relevant, but that does not mean that the information is reliable.
Here are suggested guidelines to help determine the reliability of information:
1. Are there organizations and associations with which the author or business is associated? Can you find a link to the organization that includes a contact number or email contact? Is the content approved? Determine if the author has some authority in the field. Google the name and find out the qualifications, credentials, years of experience and connections to a product or subject. What types of reviews are available concerning the author?
2. Is the author published on other websites or in professional publications? Just because an author may not be published in a scholarly journal does not mean the company or service is not legitimate. Think about what may be lacking compared to other professionals.
3. Out-of-date business licenses are real problems as well as old links that are confusing leading to poor contact information, addresses of business and bad numbers.
4. Question reviews that may be counterfeit. According to Forbes, online reputation is becoming big business and hope for credible content is emerging. Yelp, for example, recently sued two companies for selling and posting fake reviews.
The good news is reputation management attorneys are helping to remove bad content. It is becoming easier to locate publishers of false information through their IP addresses.
Google, Yahoo and Bing are de-indexing items as the Internet grows. What that means is you may have a website you can find information on, but if it is de-indexed, you will not find it within an Internet search.
Checking out website owners, authors and their work is highly ranked on LinkedIn as another way to check out credibility as well as recommendations.
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