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Googling Effectively

Google is a good way to discover Government reports and statistics. But not all the of the information you find on the Internet is accurate, up-to-date and reliable.

It is important to evaluate your information before you decide to use it in your assignment.

Ask yourself:‚Äč

  • Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  • Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  • Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  • Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
  • Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  • Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?

Always check the URL of a website to determine what type of site the information is coming from:

.edu : an educational institution

.ac : an academic site

.gov : a government body

.org : an organisation

.com or .co : a commercial site

.net : a network

Is it published by a reputable author or organisation?

Evaluating web resources

There is no shortage of information on the web, but making sense of the huge range of information available and separating useful information from the junk is critical. There is a range of criteria you can use to analyse and evaluate the quality, usefulness and validity of the resources you find.

These guidelines for evaluating information will help you with the evaluation process.

Searching smarter

Web search engines are important tools for finding Government reports as well as resources from industry and professional organisations.

Advanced Search functionality available in search engines saves time and increases relevancy of results. Try using the Advanced Search options in Google to:

  • Search by file type - i.e. PDF (documents without intro web page content)
  • Search by domain - i.e. (useful for locating government reports)
  • Search by date

To see many other ways of refining your search in Google, view the short video below.

Subjects: Business / Advertising, marketing and public relations
Tags: business, communication, marketing