Good Sources for Writing Quality Content- By an Alabama SEO Blogger
Google, these days, are ranking websites based on not only how much you post, but also by how useful that post is to others. This is the major rule of thumb that I have learned as an Alabama SEO blogger. Which means that unless your keywords are relevant to the posts you are making, Google would either ignore or outright penalize you for bad content. If you have trouble coming up with new or informative content, click here and read the related article. If you have already gone past this part, I am going to be focusing on the “relevant” part of the Google SEO search algorithm.
So, if you have a topic in mind that you want to blog about, what do you do about gathering the right information? Here is where we start talking about…
Minding Your Sources
The internet in the U.S. has done amazing things for us over the last two decades. We are free to find almost all the information we could ever want about every subject with a lack of censorship, and we can connect to pretty much any community with common interests. However, the ‘power of the internet’ is more of a double-edged sword than most people think. Because the internet isn’t as regulated as some other forms of media, there is little to nothing stopping anyone from spreading false information or forming a negative community. So, how do we appear reputable to our readers and to Google? This is where minding your sources come in.
What Makes a Good Informative Source?
Know The Sources You Need
After being an Alabama SEO blogger for multiple companies for over two years, I’ve learned if you want to prove a point or provide an answer, you need to err on the side of primary sources. If you are writing an opinion piece, or if you are just trying to share a recipe that will match a certain theme or ingredient, then you would bebetter off to use a secondary or even a tertiary source.
According to Willamette University, these are the three types of sources of information, when it comes to accuracy and filtration:
- A Primary Source is “a first-hand account or individual representations and creative work. They are created by those who have directly witnessed what they are describing, and bring us as close to the original event or thought as possible without being filtered, influenced or analyzed through interpretation.”
General Examples: Letters, diaries, speeches, interviews, correspondence, original works of art or fiction, analyzed results from a biological study, etc.
- Secondary sources build off of primary sources with more extensive and in-depth analyses. They summarize, evaluate, and analytically interpret primary material, often by offering a personal perspective. While these are used to check what other experts in the field have to say, they are not considered evidence.
General examples: Textbooks, monographs (books), encyclopedias, analysis, review articles, dissertations, thesis, reviews of other experiments, lectures.
- Tertiary sources are These are sources that index, abstract, organize, compile, or digest other sources. Some reference materials and textbooks are considered tertiary sources when their chief purpose is to list, summarize or simply repackage ideas or other information.
General Examples: Dictionaries/encyclopedias (may also be secondary), almanacs, fact books, Wikipedia, bibliographies (may also be secondary), directories, guidebooks, and manuals.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Source
What source would be considered credible? After all, anyone can claim anything and claim its a study. After all, one scientific journal claimed that vaccines caused autism and since then we had eradicated diseases come back thanks to anti-vaxxers who read it. So, who can you trust? What makes a good source?
First, you need to ask these questions, when considering a source:
- Do they have an agenda?
- Are they an expert in their field?
- Are they being paid by a company for favorable results?
- Is there political or religious motivation involved that could bring bias?
- Is money a motivation?
- Do they intend to educate people?
- How current is this source?
Cite Your Sources
Even an Alabama SEO blogger like myself knows that citing your sources is crucial to gain credibility with your audience. But in the case of the SEO writer, it is also crucial to Google website rankings. Google penalizes plagiarism, and if you don’t cite your sources, your website will suffer and all the SEO in the world can’t save it. So how does Google recognize when you are citing a source? It isn’t like blogs have an MLA or APA format.
That is where backlinks come in.
By backlinking your sources, you are telling Google and your audience, “This is where I got my information from!” The older the website, and the more relevant the information, the more the backlinks will actually count in your favor.
What’s more, if you link to other relevant parts of your own site, you will gain further credibility as a someone who has taken the time to study the relevant subject matter.