College Life

Assessing Websites

by Alan November

Ask yourself – Is this information REAL?

1.   READ the URL

Do you recognize the domain name?                 

What is the extension in the domain name?

Safe: .edu, .gov, .K12, .sch, .ac

Beware: .com, .org, .net – can be owned by anyone

Are you on a personal page?

  • a name
  • tilde (~)
  • percent sign (%)
  • the words: users, people or members

2. EXAMINE the Content

  • Is the info useful?
  • Are there additional links?
  • Is the site current?
  • Do you think the information is accurate?
  • Does the information contradict your findings to date?

3.   ASK about the author and owner

  • Is the author’s name provided?
  • Is there a contact person or address?
  • Is there biographical info?
  • Does the author seem knowledgeable?
  • What results do you see when you search the author’s name?
    Usually SAFE: .gov, .edu
    BUT: .org can be anyone

Want to know who owns a site?

Way Back Machine – allows you to look up the history of a site

4.   LOOK at the links

  • make sure that the forward links are to universities, museums or government sites
  • examine back links (who has linked to a site – can give insight into its credibility).
  • in Google, type link: and the website URL with no spaces

Hillfield Strathallan College. 299 Fennell Avenue West, Hamilton, ON L9C 1G3 | Tel: (905) 389-1367