Whether you're on a blog, reading comments in a Reddit thread, browsing images on Pinterest, you're evaluating the information. Based on your interests or information needs at the time, you evaluate the piece by who posted/pinned (their knowledge or skills), the quality, the currency, its genuineness, and so on. When you research for an academic project, you employ similar techniques of evaluation. You will determine whether a resource is appropriate for your paper, credible, reliable, and authoritative.
The following list will assist you in developing a strategy for critically evaluating sources:
A Google search can be helpful in the preliminary stages of research, especially now that more quality content has been made publicly accessible on the web; a publicly accessible resource means you will not be charged an additional fee to access the content. While access to credible content on the web has increased so has the amount of unreliable, malicious, and undocumented content. All of us know that anyone can post or upload content on the web. As researchers we have to remain critical to determine the authority, credibility, and quality of the content.
A big difference between the content you'll find searching in the library's databases and catalog (locating articles and books) and searching using Google is that the majority of the content found through the library's research tools have been reviewed and edited. These resources had to follow a set standard of guidelines determined by the experts in that discipline and/or by the publisher. The content you find through the Internet does not necessarily have a standard of publishing guidelines, so there may be no one vetting the information for accuracy and credibility; a standard of publishing content on the Internet is determined by the organization or by the discipline. Develop a habit of evaluating each website you visit. The criteria list above can be also be applied to the web, but here's a short list of questions for you to consider: