Different types of websites

Whether you're searching the web for information on genealogy, DIY plumbing or your local football club's history, you want your search results to be fast, accurate and reliable.

The key to finding what you need is knowing where to look. But how do you get started?

Identify the source

Before you start your search, stop and think about who would have written, published, stored or collected the information you need, and why. This will help you identify the original source of the information you're looking for – always the best place to start.

Anyone can publish information online, in all sorts of ways – you can too. So when you use a search engine like Google or Bing, it might find all kinds of different websites, including:

  • government or other official websites
  • commercial websites
  • community websites
  • news sites
  • blogs
  • chat forums
  • peer-review websites
  • articles and other items collected on a database.

Official sources

Some of the first groups to get online were government departments and cultural organisations like museums, art galleries and libraries. Official sources such as these take the quality of information very seriously, ensuring that it is reliable and trustworthy.

For example, do you have a health question? The Victorian government’s Better Health Channel is a reliable source. Are you engrossed in your family history project and need records about a person? Try the National Archives or Public Records Office of Victoria.

Another great source of information is an online media service like ABC News, The Guardian and SBS World News. Any news service you trust will have a website, so look for them online.

Here's an optional activity you can do to explore this topic further:

Go to the healthdirect website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the About us section. Do you think it's a reliable source?

Now let's try the Wellness Mama website. Click on the About section to discover more about the author.

What are the key differences between the two sites? Which do you think is more reliable?

Things to remember
  • Identify whether a page was created by a government department, company, group or individual
  • Try to go straight to the source of the information you're looking for

Now, let's discover how search engines like Google work.


Last modified: Thursday, 22 September 2016, 2:06 PM