Note: In many of these questions, I’m replacing the original word “article" with “video" since I’m talking about YouTube.
Would you trust the information presented in this video?
Erm, this really depends, but for the most part, I’m going to say no. The answer to this question is really going to depend on the type of video. If it’s offering financial advice or health information, my trust level is probably going to be pretty close to zero. On the other hand, if it’s a video from Corel explaining how to use a new software feature, chances are I’ll trust it just fine – assuming I can replicate the steps and get the same results.
Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant videos on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
Short, easy answer: Yes, on all counts.
Does the video provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
Sometimes, maybe. Should I include all the obvious copyright infringements of television and movie recordings when answering this?
How much quality control is done on content?
Okay, so YouTube does sometimes take down flagged content, but for the most part it’s a free-for-all. Anyone can post anything on YouTube, and there’s not really any quality control unless there are a lot of complaints after the fact – even then, the complaints may not be addressed unless it’s a high-profile issue.
Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
Yes – and I’m not sure how anyone could debate this. Anyone can upload a video to YouTube on any topic at any time.
For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
There may be some exceptions, but in general, the answer to this is a resounding no.
Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
This is an interesting question, because it really depends on the particular video. I love to share entertaining things from YouTube – you know, like cutesy kitten movies or the latest funny commercials. Sometimes, I’ll even recommend specific tutorials, especially if they were created by the developers of the software in question. On the other hand, I’d never recommend any YouTube video related to finances, health or other similar category.
Does this video have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
Sometimes – this is another one that seems to really depend on the video’s author. Some of the videos have so many embedded advertisements that the ads are the main content. In fact, there are a lot of cases where videos have been created simply to take advantage of YouTube’s high search rankings. Then, when you start watching them, the only thing you see is a message to go to another site to access the content you thought you were going to see in the video!
Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
To make this question more relevant, I’m going to interpret it as, “Would you expect to see this video on television, in an online class or on a training DVD?" In general, my answer is no. As with some of the other questions, there are definitely exceptions, like when very popular videos are shown on CNN. Still, I wouldn’t expect to see most YouTube videos any place other than YouTube.
Even though I don’t give my answers to all 23 questions from Singhal’s post here, my responses to the others are basically the same. So, if these are the questions to use as a guide, I don’t consider YouTube a high-quality site. But apparently Google does, so what's the point of asking these questions again?
On the other hand, all this doesn’t mean I’m anti-YouTube. To be honest, I’ve been known to spend quite a bit of time there (too much actually!), watching movie trailers or other people’s funny animal videos.
But, here’s the kicker. When I’m in the mood for some YouTube entertainment, I don’t search for videos on Google. Instead, I go directly to YouTube and use that site’s search feature. To go along with that, when I’m searching for something on Google, I pretty much ignore any YouTube results that pop up, because that’s not what I’m looking for and they’ve never seemed relevant to my searches in the past.
That leads me to my next point...