6 Supposedly Reputable Sources That Aren’t Exactly What They Seem to Be

If you’re currently purchasing content for your website, you may want to know about a few supposedly reputable sources that aren’t actually as distinguished as they first appear.

Updated: May 16, 2023
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Many of the prolific websites that the average person consults every day are neither properly reviewed nor researched.

But linking to deceptive websites will ruin trust in your brand. In some cases, it can also cause legal problems for your company. Google’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust (EAT) guidelines should guide your content creation.

In the following paragraphs, find out 6 Supposedly Reputable Sources That Aren’t Exactly What They Seem to Be.

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    1. Forbes.com

    Fans of the Forbes magazine may not realize that Forbes.com has very little to do with the official publication.

    The articles on Forbes.com are not written or even edited by the writers of the magazine. Instead, they are contributed by writers from around the world.

    Contributors to the website write their own articles and submit them in exchange for royalty payments. None of the facts within the articles are checked, and editors do not modify the contributions in any way.

    Incredibly, Forbes remains one of the most popular business news websites despite this lack of overall quality control.

    To find accurate content on Forbes, check the author credits. Content written by Forbes’ in-house journalists is checked by Forbes editors before publication. It is more likely to be accurate and unbiased than contributor and opinion posts.

    Articles by Forbes Council members are also good sources of information. Forbes has strict rules as to whom can become a member of its council. The writers are typically industry leaders and experts in their field. Furthermore, they have a track record for providing accurate information.

    Screenshot Forbes (one of the 6 Supposedly Reputable Sources That Aren't Exactly What They Seem to Be)

    2. The Huffington Post

    Many people believe that The Huffington Post is some form of newspaper or news publication.

    In fact, The Huffington Post is a news aggregation and blog system. The content published on The Huffington Post includes articles by bloggers, celebrities, and simply those with an opinion to share.

    Recently, the online magazine has been criticized for lacking scientific support for many of its posts. The core problem with The Huffington Post is the vast spectrum on which its contributions lie.

    Some articles on the website are random blog contributions that have not been fact-checked at all, while others are Pulitzer Prize-winning articles by professional military correspondents.

    Always check the name and credentials of an author before quoting from his or her content. If the author links to the source of his information, make sure it’s an accurate source.

    Screenshot Huffington Post (one of the 6 Supposedly Reputable Sources That Aren't Exactly What They Seem to Be)

    3. Patch.com

    Those looking for timely news information in their industry will invariably run into Patch.com. Patch.com is a national news service that focused primarily on human interest stories and local news.

    Patch.com is run by AOL and was created as a way for AOL to break into the content generation industry.

    Articles were often republished between multiple websites, and many articles were simply rewritten from other sources online. A lot of it is reliable, but you have to check the sources to make sure it’s accurate. Google the information to see if other reputable websites back up what you read on Patch.

    Screenshot Patch.com (one of the 6 Supposedly Reputable Sources That Aren't Exactly What They Seem to Be)

    4. Wikipedia

    Wikipedia can be updated at any time by anyone. It has even been updated by bots. However, studies have shown that much of its information is accurate.

    To find accurate information on Wikipedia, check the source of each claim. If the source is authoritative, the claim is likely true. Additionally, articles on non-controversial topics are more likely to be accurate than content on controversial topics or people.

    Because Wikipedia isn’t widely accepted as an authoritative site, it’s best to avoid citing it directly in your content. Instead, look at the source list at the end of the Wikipedia article. Click on reliable links to find sources you can quote without ruining trust in your brand.

    Screenshot Wikipedia (one of the 6 Supposedly Reputable Sources That Aren't Exactly What They Seem to Be)

    5. Medium

    Medium is an online platform for guest contributors. It contains news articles, how-to articles, opinion pieces, and other types of content.

    There is no editorial board to ensure that articles are accurate. Furthermore, many of the articles are written by business owners. Their content is designed to push a particular point of view. It may also be written to promote a particular product or service.

    On the other hand, Medium can be a good source of accurate information. Click on the author of an article to find out more about him or her. A lot of the content is first-hand information written by experts in their field. This holds true even if the piece was ultimately written to sell something.

    Screenshot Medium

    6. The Internet Archive

    The Internet Archive is an NGO-run digital library. It has tens of thousands of books, magazines, and journals. It also contains audio and video content.

    Like all libraries, the Internet Archive contains content written by different authors. Some content is accurate, but other content is misleading.

    However, the Internet Archive also has more old content than the typical library. This is great if you’re writing about history.

    It’s not ideal if you are looking for current, up-to-date content. Always check the publishing date before you quote data you found on the Internet Archive on your website.

    Screenshot Internet Archive

    How to Find Reputable Sources

    You might be wondering what sources truly are reputable. CNN and Al Jazeera are both respected resources regarding domestic and international news.

    Similarly, websites run by the government or an institute of education are usually considered to be reputable. Examples include the CIA Factbook and the FBI Uniform Crime Reports.

    Niche and trade publications can also be extremely reputable, as can scientific periodicals such as Scientific American. When evaluating a new website, one of the first things you can look at is whether the contributor of the article is a legitimate expert within the field.

    The CRAAP test is the best way to find reputable sources. You can use it on a website or to examine a particular author.

    The CRAAP test will help you examine if a site is current, relevant, and accurate. It will help you check who wrote the content and evaluate why the content was written.

    Wrap Up

    Checking your sources of information to ensure they’re reputable is worth the hard work. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend long hours evaluating website content to create authoritative, accurate content. Outsourcing this task will give you time to focus on other aspects of business growth.

    WriterAccess is a content platform with over 10,000 vetted freelance content writers. Each article is written by humans and checked for accuracy. Only reputable sources are used to help your piece stand out.

    Do you need a steady stream of content that meets Google’s EAT guidelines? If so, check out our 14-day free trial period. Discover for yourself why tens of thousands of businesses use WriterAccess to create engaging, accurate content.


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