5 Fantastic Tips to Help Writers Find Authoritative Links

The QG staff is working on getting more resources together for writers based on the feedback from the recent writer survey. Today we are going to tackle authoritative links, how to find the best sources out there, and learn how to weed out the not-so-authoritative sites.

Finding the authoritative link seems to be a struggle for many QG writers, including myself as a freelancer. Links are an important part of creating valuable resources for our clients. QualityGal writers are expected to include only the most reputable links available. To help you on your search for quality links, here are a few link finding hints:

Use Site Commands
Before your search engine entry to narrow your search and help to eliminate non-authoritative sources. More site commands are available on in the Writer Resources, but here are a few to get you started:

  • site:.edu
  • site:.gov
  • site:.ac.uk
  • site:.k12
  • site:.org

Double Dip
When researching information for your article, use site commands, then bookmark the sources you found most useful, these will make great resources to include as links and ensure that your work using the best sources possible.

When reviewing a lengthy source, it can be hard to tell if the source is relevant toy your article. Use CTRL+F to search through the source to get a feel for topic relevancy and where in the document the subject is discussed. If you CRTL+F a document and the topic you are looking for only appears as few times, or it first appears halfway through the document; this is not a source you want to use.

MFA Warning Signs
Made For Advertising sites can be hard to spot. Review the MFA site examples in the Writer Panel Writer Resources. MFA sites don’t ALWAYS have ad boxes all over the place, they are a little sneakier than that! Look around the site, including the navigation bar; if there is a word of phrase that is consistently popping up, that is a site to stay away from. Clickable ads are also a warning of MFA sites.

The chain of authority
The ending of a URL is one indicator of a sites resourcefulness. The following URL are arranged in order of authority and QG preference: .gov, .edu, .ac.uk, .k12, .org, .com. It’s important to understand that anyone can buy a website, the URL suffix does not ALWAYS mean that is a legitimate organization (.org); surf around the site for a bit and assess the site for focus and relevancy.

Please don’t hesitate to email me with questions or suggestions or concerns, I’d be happy to help.

Thanks for all that you do!


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3 comments on “5 Fantastic Tips to Help Writers Find Authoritative Links
  1. It wouldn’t hurt to post this every now and again as a reminder, especially if you have new writers coming in! The chain of authority is so important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found a site, then read through it just to find that it is a crappy site. I like to search for resource pages that have a lot of different links on them, but you have to be careful because you run into like sites much of the time. Sites may seem different, but going further into it, many times it is the same info, just rehashed. Still, a lot of times, you can get a few sites very quickly to use. Helpful for many link urgents!!

  2. One reference that would be very helpful to all of the writers: a blacklist of no-no sites, and a list of paid “authoritative” sites like springerlink, eric, etc. where you have to pay for a subscription to get the content. I hate reading through a google description and click too quickly just to find out that I can’t access great content due to subbing up. One of the most frustrating things about finding the links…

  3. What’s the syntax for exclusion on google? Anyone know? I used to, but can’t remember. Is it simply like “no wiki”?