Fake news and content sceptics

By Lauren Dye | 18 Oct 2018

‘Fake news’ took a seat on the world stage during 2018. Donald Trump accused Google of only displaying ‘bad’ news stories about him and attacked the media by suggesting that the news about him is ‘fake’. Google responded by re-iterating that search results are not manipulated by politics.

Then it was revealed that in the lead up to the 2016 Brexit referendum, Vote Leave’ campaign spent a whopping £2.7m on Facebook adverts displaying inaccurate information about the European Union which was viewed more than 169 million times. It’s believed that this heavily influenced the outcome of the result. Since then, Facebook has vowed to make all political advertisements ‘transparent’.

Alongside this, huge corporations have been exposed for data breaching where sensitive personal information had been leaked. This led to the enforcement of the GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation).

These various factors have created a mistrust towards the Internet and a feeling of scepticism towards online content. As a result, there has been a tightening up of policing the World Wide Web. As mentioned above, the implementation of GDPR now allows users more control over the data that they hand over and the way in which companies collect and store it. Plus, the European Union has voted in favour of a new Copyright law which could mean that the information that we share online is limited and filtered.

So, how do we go about producing content to acquire links in the face of ‘content scepticism’? One word: trust. The key to dispelling uncertainty (or scepticism) is to make sure a brand has an excellent reputation and feels genuinely reliable to its audience. By placing them as an expert in their industry, a relationship is created in which people don’t feel the need to doubt what they’re viewing or reading when they see that particular brand logo. Here are three ways to establish this for your own brand or client:

  1. Expert opinion

One way of gaining trust with your audience is by using the opinion of an expert to provide explanation or add to your research. This helps to add authority to the piece whilst placing the brand as a leader in its industry.

  1. New research

Another way to place your brand as an expert is by presenting new findings relevant to your field. A great way to do this is by conducting your own surveys so that you can produce brand new statistics. This will present the brand as a market leader, while also generating high authority links. This will in turn improve rankings, another great indicator to users that they can trust your brand and your website.

  1. Trust indicators

Social buttons help users to feel more secure when browsing online, so consider adding these to any campaign landing pages. This can be done discreetly without detracting from the content itself. It goes without saying that adding a brand logo onto the content is an indicator to the user that it has been produced by a reliable source. It’s important to consider, though, that some publications don’t like explicit uses of brand logos on content as it can look too advertorial, so always strive to avoid making it the focal point of the piece.