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Seeking Online Medical Advice? Google's Top Results Aren't Always On Target

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THIS SITE Click Here To Read Entire Article

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A man walks past a building on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. Google search results about health can be influential, but sometimes they can be unreliable or wrong. Jeff Chiu/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jeff Chiu/AP

My wife is pregnant, and I’m terrified. I don’t even have a baby yet, but I have an untold number of questions and concerns that wake me up in the middle of the night. And as I lie awake, I inevitably dive down a Google rabbit hole searching for information.

And Google usually has an answer in a little box at the top of the search results. The information is displayed in a concise, easy-to-understand way, making it an attractive solution for filling in knowledge gaps. But look closer, and you’ll see that some answers contradict themselves, others come from questionable sources and sometimes they contain factual errors.

Google/Screenshot by NPR

Take, for example, the answer to the question, “Can pregnant women eat eggs?”

Citing a site called Mom Junction, Google says:

“During your pregnancy, you need to cook eggs properly until

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