Webmasters: Verify your website's Web of Trust reputation rating
Ilev yesterday mentioned in a comment that Web of Trust was flagging the Loginhelper.com website as a malicious site. When I checked the ranking it was in the lowest sector which meant that visitors with Web of Trust installed would receive a warning before the site was fully displayed to them.
That was a problem, not only because it meant that the site lost visitors every day who did not want to visit a malicious site, but also because it may have impacted other ratings and rankings on the web.
Since it is my site, I was pretty sure that the ratings were incorrect, and the most plausible explanations were either that competing webmasters left bad ratings for the site, or that users misinterpreted the purpose of the site. Two users left negative comments claiming that it was a phishing, scam and spam website.
I had to find a way to resolve the issue to get my site's reputation rating into the green which would remove the warning message when WOT visitors went to the site. Read on to find out what I did.
Checking a site's WOT reputation
You can check out any website's Web of Trust reputation rating on this page. Just go there, enter the domain name and wait for the results to be populated.
Here you see the domain's rating in four different areas: Trustworthiness, Vendor reliability, Privacy and Child Safety. By default, red and orange Trustworthiness, Vendor reliability and Privacy ratings will display a warning message as an overlay that many WOT users will certainly take serious.
The big issue here is that it is not clear why the ratings are that low, and while you can click through to the WOT website for additional details, most WOT users probably trust the rating without doing so. As a webmaster, you also do not know why someone has rated your website poorly when you look at the ratings alone.
It is important to read the comments on the site's reputation scorecard as well if there are any to understand the issues at hand. Now, these comments may still be bogus, especially if they have been placed with malicious intent, for instance to hurt a website's reputation. You may also find links on the page from trusted third party sources such as Symantec or hpHosts.
How to improve a website's Web of Trust rating
Lets assume the site is clean and not engaging in any illegal or malicious activities. If that is the case and it is listed in the reds on WOT, your best chance to get the situation resolved is a review on the WOT forum.
For that you need an account at the website, and once you have created it,I would suggest you rate your website and leave a comment as well. What you should do as well is contact users who left a negative comment asking for a new review of the site. Be polite and do not pressure them. While this will not convince the malicious competitor to change your site's rating, it may very well convince a regular WOT user to modify the site's rating.
To request a review, you first need to claim ownership of the site. This is done on the WOT Reputation Scorecard page where you find the link on the left sidebar underneath the site's screenshot and description. To claim ownership you need to add meta tags to your site for the verification process.
Once you have verified it, you can request an evaluation of the site on the forum.Â Be descriptive and polite when you are asking for a review. Explain the situation but do not use too many words to do so. Just a couple of sentences should be enough.
After that all you can do is wait for WOT users to take a look at the site and leave a comment on the forum or on your site's Reputation Scorecard.
I'd suggest you monitor the forum and the scorecard of the site, and since both support RSS, it is probably best to use that to monitor the process.
The process is not ideal, as it only works well for popular sites with thousands of ratings. If you have a site that is not that popular, a handful of maliciously placed ratings can hurt a website's reputation immensely. As a webmaster, I'd recommend monitoring all of your website's reputation scorecards using RSS to make sure you do not miss a single comment that WOT users leave.Advertisement