Finding information on the Web

A website can be published with no review or editing. For this reason, you need to be careful when using information you find on the web in your research. It is important to know how to identify quality websites. Here are some criteria to guide you in this task. Inside each criteria you can find a list of things to look for.

  • Authority

Is the author of the contents of the webpage identified?

What are the author’s credentials?

  • Accuracy

Are the references to the information presented provided? 

Are the sources of information reliable?

Are there spelling or grammatical errors?

  • Objectivity

Does the content appear to be biased? 

Are the goals of the author/company clear?

Are there advertisements on the page?

  • Currency

Is there information on the page about the date the content was last updated? 

  • Coverage

Does the content include a variety of viewpoints or is it one-sided?

Are the topics and arguments presented in a clear way?

Is the topic well-covered?

Does the page present an original view or does it just summarise other sources? 

What is the target audience of the content? 

  • Appearance

Is the site well organised?

Do the links work properly?

Does the site appear well maintained?

Using Google

Here are some tips to search on Google more effectively:


Exact word/phrase: use quotation marks in your search terms so that all your search results will have your search terms in them. Example: “corporate finance”

Exclude a term: include a hyphen before the word you want to exclude. 

Synonyms: use tilde when you want also its synonyms to appear. 

Search within a specific website only: site: use the operator site: followed by the url

Range: use two periods between to numbers (dates, measurements, prices, etc.). Example: movies 1920..1950