October 22, 2013 | In: Opinion

Good/Reliable Information on the Internet Is Extremely Scarce

Search for anything on the Internet and I dare you to find reliable information. Every single time I search for a topic – any topic on the Internet I get the views or theories of the so called “freelance writers” who may or may not be 12 years old. In my opinion, the Internet ceased to be a reliable source information over a decade ago for 2 reasons:

  1. Wikipedia
  2. On-site ads

Let me first start with Wikipedia. As we all (well most of us) know, Wikipedia is a collective project, meaning that there are thousands and thousands (if not tends of thousands) of people who contribute to this project, for free. At first, Wikipedia’s contributors were professionals – but once the project rose to fame, it lured a totally different caliber of contributors. At the moment, most of Wikipedia’s contributors belong to one (or more) of the following groups:

  • Spammers / SEO consultants: These people just throw spam links in the “External Links” section or just add spam references.
  • 12 year old kids: These kids usually love editing celebrity articles.
  • Liars: These people just insert lies or their own unproven theories in Wikipedia articles. These people are driven by hate or by ego. They might belong to the following 3 groups.
  • Jokers: These people insert some nonsense stuff into articles and, if they’re not caught, that nonsense turns into fact. Jokers are liars but their nonsense is usually funny.
  • Electronic armies: These are hired people who are there just to deface facts and to alter the public opinion about something. The are hired by parties or by countries.
  • Nationalists: These people tend to write everything good about their country, and everything bad about the enemies of their country. They also like to attribute inventions/famous people to their country.
  • etc…

Whenever you read a Wikipedia article, remember that, in 99% of the cases, at least one of the above groups was a contributor. Now, you might think, Wikipedia is just a site, isn’t it, so who cares?

Well, it is a site, but not just any site. Wikipedia usually ranks first (or at least in the first page) for every single keyword, which means that whenever people are searching for something, they will most likely get a Wikipedia article that is not accurate. In many cases, the article is the opposite of accurate.

The bigger problem in this is that famous sites tend to quote Wikipedia to support their theories or enlighten their readers – essentially transforming any garbage written on Wikipedia into facts.

OK – I think I’m done with bashing Wikipedia for now, so let me move to the other issue: On-site ads.

On-site ads were introduced back near the end of the previous century. A wise man thought, hey, there are many people out there with websites, why not slap some ads on their websites so they can make money and we can make money. At first, that didn’t work well, because the companies that were handling the advertising had a mentality of “we get the dollar, you get the penny” when dealing with their content network (e.g. the people who place their ads on their websites). So, if someone had a website with huge traffic, he would only make $100/year from these ads. Not too bad for money that he didn’t expect.

Then, at the the turn of the millennium, something happened. Google introduced Adsense, which paid over 50% of the cost of the click to the publisher, and this is where the problem started. People from all over the world started writing garbage articles containing high paying keywords to earn more from Google, and the web quickly became saturated with articles written by people who know nothing about nothing just for the purpose of making money.

OK – so what’s the solution? One might ask… Well, the answer is simple but very controversial:

  1. Ban Wikipedia as it’s causing more harm than good at the moment.
  2. Focus on branding in websites. For example, if a website is known for good quality information, then its search rankings should be higher than those sites that come and go.

I think the above 2 solutions are in the hands of Google, which has the opportunity to make things right on the Internet once again.

This article (as well as all other articles on this website) is an intellectual property and copyright of Fadi El-Eter and can only appear on fadi.el-eter.com.

1 Response to Good/Reliable Information on the Internet Is Extremely Scarce

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The healthcare.gov Debacle – Everyone Is Suddenly a Project Manager « Fadi El-Eter

October 29th, 2013 at 4:37 am

[...] I run a major site in project management – and so I read a lot about the topic. In the past few days – I’ve been reading quite a few posts on the healthcare.gov website, and what happened. What I noticed that everyone all of a sudden seemed to be a project manager – when I say everyone, I mean everyone! Kids, people with no PM experience whatsoever, janitors, you name it! Everyone who has access to the Internet has analyzed the situation and reached a conclusion that the website never worked and it’ll never work. This is just to prove my theory that the Internet nowadays is full of garbage. [...]

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