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Using Google and Online Sources for Information while Writing Content

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The initial name for Google was intended to be “googol”; a term for the number one with 100 zeros thereafter attached. This only makes sense, as Google is said to account for more than 74 per cent of all online traffic. Writers will obviously employ such a massive resource in order to encounter relevant information when composing an article. Are there any hidden tips to keep in mind and what additional portals could represent viable (or clumsy) options?

Google Search Tips Specifically Intended for Writers

There are many times when random search queries might not produce the desired results. This is particularly the case if you happen to be writing about a lesser-known topic. Thankfully, the learning curve can be drastically reduced by following some unique suggestions:

  • When looking for an exact phrase, place quotations around the text.
  • Use the minus symbol (-) if you are hoping to eliminate confounding results (such as “soft drink – Pepsi”).
  • Employ “vs.” when comparing two different products.

In fact, Google even offers an archive that enables users to access newspaper articles from 100 years ago in the event that you need to quote older material.

The Risk of Open-Source Websites

Have you ever noticed that specific clients prohibit the use of collaborative portals such as Wikipedia? They are not attempting to make your life harder. This is actually a logical request. As the vast majority of this information represents open-source content, it is sometimes difficult to verify its authenticity. Therefore, referencing direct pages from within Wikipedia is generally not recommended. It is much better (and authoritative) to find the hyperlink to the exact citation within the page itself. This provides a higher level of transparency to an article and ultimately, SERP rankings will improve. Having said this, well-known news websites and similar reputable bodies of information are normally fine to cite as sources within a text.

Distinguishing the Good from the Bad

Finally, always be aware of domain name endings. Citing a website that ends with .biz is not nearly as reputable as referencing an official portal such as BBC or The Guardian. Developing the correct tactics when sourcing online information is not necessarily difficult and yet, there are still a handful of pitfalls to avoid. In order to retain loyal customers, the concept of veracity should never be called into question.

About our author

Ron first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.

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