Search Engine Ranking, Quality, and Content of Web Pages That Are Critical Versus Noncritical of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

Linda Y. Fu, Kathleen Zook, Zachary Spoehr-Labutta, Pamela Hu, Jill G Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose Online information can influence attitudes toward vaccination. The aim of the present study was to provide a systematic evaluation of the search engine ranking, quality, and content of Web pages that are critical versus noncritical of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. Methods We identified HPV vaccine-related Web pages with the Google search engine by entering 20 terms. We then assessed each Web page for critical versus noncritical bias and for the following quality indicators: authorship disclosure, source disclosure, attribution of at least one reference, currency, exclusion of testimonial accounts, and readability level less than ninth grade. We also determined Web page comprehensiveness in terms of mention of 14 HPV vaccine-relevant topics. Results Twenty searches yielded 116 unique Web pages. HPV vaccine-critical Web pages comprised roughly a third of the top, top 5- and top 10-ranking Web pages. The prevalence of HPV vaccine-critical Web pages was higher for queries that included term modifiers in addition to root terms. Compared with noncritical Web pages, Web pages critical of HPV vaccine overall had a lower quality score than those with a noncritical bias (p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Consumer health information
  • Evaluation studies
  • Health services research
  • HPV vaccines
  • Internet
  • Medical informatics
  • Quality control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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