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How trustworthy is an online article? Here are some ways to identify quality content.
Google is often all you need to quickly learn a task. This informal learning is something that we all do and can be very effective, depending on the importance of your needs.
The internet is a treasure trove for IT resources that are free, but it also has its risks. Is the information correct? Is the material current?
You can find misinformation and bad information all over the internet. Here are six ways to make sure you are investing your time in quality, credible resources.

1. When was it published
Make sure you check the date. Technology is constantly changing so anything published more than a few years ago could be completely outdated.
Look at blockchain. Although cryptocurrency has been around for a while, it is only recently that industries such as banking and health care have started to use blockchain to increase transparency, efficiency, and reduce costs. A 2016 blockchain article would look very different from a 2018 one.
Think about cybersecurity. While the overarching concepts have remained constant for decades, the emphasis on security training for all IT professionals and the emphasis on specializations are new concepts that were developed out of necessity.
It doesn’t matter if you are researching an old or new technology; it is vital to your success.

2. Who/what is the source?
Is the website reliable? Is the author well-respected in the field? There are many great bloggers out there. Just make sure that the author is respected in the field. Make sure to do your research so you can trust the author/source of the content.
If someone is frequently mentioned in forums or blogs, it is a sign that they know what they are talking. There is a lot misinformation out there. Be sure to learn from real experts, not someone pretending to be one.

3. How often do they publish?
A trusted source will usually post regularly, regardless of whether you’re reading a blog or viewing a video. A red flag is publishing less than once a year. A thought-leading company will use their subject matter experts to produce valuable content on a regular basis. Although they may only publish special reports once or twice a year, their blogs and resource pages will be updated frequently.

4. Is it ranked highly by Google?
High SEO rankings are a good way to guarantee quality. Is the content on the first page of a Google search? Google’s algorithms do a great job ranking content based on quality. You can usually trust content that ranks higher in a search.

5. Make sure to check out the comments section
Want to continue the conversation? You can find comments on articles and blogs. You may find interesting and engaging anecdotes and answers from readers in the comments section.

6. Check out the social channels
Social media channels can reveal a lot about a company’s culture. Are they active on Facebook and Twitter? Are they posting regularly? Are they being followed by industry experts
It’s also possible for authors or companies to promote articles, blogs, and other content via social media.

There are tons of great informal content available. You just need to know where to find it! Don’t be afraid of trying other formats. Look out for blogs, infographics or webinars to enhance your learning.
Global Knowledge is a provider of formal training, but we also have a solution for quick fixes. You can access our informal content for free, and you should use it when you need. Bookmark the following Global Knowledge links to save your favorites. They’ll be constantly updated with new and useful content written by our instructors.
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