Articles

WOT The Heck Is Going On Here!

by Don Dousharm Electronic Publication Marketing

WOT, Web of Trust is a website rating system that is now using the power of 500 million plus Facebook users and you have no choice but to use them unless you leave Facebook.

The reason I am writing this is the fact that good sites get bad reputations through these types of rating systems. WOT has now partnered with Facebook and with over 500 million users this is a very powerful system and could be potentially deadly for the reputation of many trusted sites.

Once Facebook partnered with WOT I started getting warning signs from off site links on sites I have been visiting for years and realized that this is not a truth. One of the sites I am speaking of is APSense. APsense is a business social network that I am a member of but low and behold it has a very bad reputation with WOT and now with Facebook.

I decided to explore this further and joined WOT and started reading member comments. What I found was very negative comments. 

Here are some examples;

“Identity theft and phishing”

“Spam, Scam, Ponzi, beware about data collecting, data/identity theft”

“Spamvertised - Registered at GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC”

“is spaming master. So many spam in one day.”

 

Mind you I have found a number of positive comments but with many thumbs down. This is something I find very discerning as I see a pattern develop. I am as I said a member of WOT now and trying to do my part in helping the reputation of websites that I have come to know and trust.

 

Here are quotes taken from the FAQ at the WOT website. I think this will give you a better idea of how a web rating system works

“WOT, Web of Trust"

"Web of Trust is a Finnish company founded in 2006. Our family of products makes use of data about websites gathered from millions of users to guard individuals and enterprise from untrustworthy links that lead to trouble, without restricting access to the web. At the core of our products is WOT, our free browser add-on for rating websites. WOT Reputation Data is available to companies seeking to enhance and improve their products as well as protect their users’ experience. WOT Trust Seals help website owners display their excellent reputation to visitors.”

“WOT's unique tools are powered by our global community of millions of users who have rated millions of websites based on their experiences. All websites' reputation ratings in WOT are based on ratings from our users. WOT also uses information from numerous trusted sources, such as phishing and malware blacklists, to provide the WOT community with real time information.”

“WOT uses color-coded symbols to show the reputation of a site: Green indicates that the site is trusted by the community, yellow warns you to be cautious and red indicates potential danger. A gray symbol with a question mark means that there are not enough ratings to calculate.”

“Usually in reputation systems each rating is weighted equally and reputations are computed as the average of all ratings, which makes them extremely vulnerable to automated attacks. Therefore, we decided early on to value ratings by their merit and use some of the principles of Bayesian inference for combining the ratings into reputations. The short version is that the system analyzes each user's rating behavior from several aspects in order to determine their reliability. When you start using WOT, your ratings have little weight, but if you keep rating sites consistently, your ratings will be considered more reliable over time. The meritocratic nature of the system makes it far more difficult for spammers to abuse, because bots will have a hard time simulating human behavior over a long period of time.”

 

What concerns me is the fact that WAT hosts millions of users and will most likely grow into something bigger than any other website rating system on the net and if they do sites that have been reputable to those who truly know and use them will be turned into a discredited function by those who just skim through and develop their own impressions just from a first glance.

What needs to be done here is to get involved and rate those websites with an intelligent endorsement and reverse this insane pattern that is quickly developing here. We log incredible amounts of time build our reputations and building our business. We shape and mold our names and reputations by using these sites that are being systematically destroyed. I believe that we need to take a serious look at sites like Wot and help to save our business partners.

You can join WOT here and download the plugin for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.  Not really sure about IE but you can read all about it at the site.

What Are Your Thoughts?

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About Don Dousharm Committed     Electronic Publication Marketing

432 connections, 21 recommendations, 1,426 honor points.
Joined APSense since, December 13th, 2010, From Philadelphia PA, United States.

Created on Feb 20th 2012 11:06. Viewed 326 times.

Comments

Don Dousharm Committed   Electronic Publication Marketing
This article raises some concerns that affect all of us so please read.
Feb 20th 2012 11:09   
Philippe Moisan Magnate II Premium   APSense, Video Marketing Champions
What makes me laugh is that Facebook has nothing to teach to APSense or any other site regarding spam. I receive so many links in private messages and comments, and when I mention it to the people who send those spam links, they are many times offended that I tell them not to do it.
Feb 20th 2012 11:12   
Don Dousharm Committed   Electronic Publication Marketing
Doesn't it make you wonder why Facebook has a very good rating? This stuff really has me concerned and I really want to make it a point to inform all our friends, partners and connections. This is really scary stuff Philippe and as business owners and marketers we should be ever vigilant.
Feb 20th 2012 11:26   
Philippe Moisan Magnate II Premium   APSense, Video Marketing Champions
One other thing to consider is that Facebook is first and foremost a social site. Many people go there to socialize, most people, I guess. APSense is a business social network, so by definition, we are all here to make money, whatever the ways we use, good or not so good. So, of course, the percentage of spamming is much higher here than at FB. One site I go to often is a site about the movie industry, to hear the latest news about the movies, the stars, to see quotes from movie critics, well, most of the time, in the comments section at the bottom of articles, among the comments from people like you and me who give their opinions on the article, I see one or two spam posts, mostly ignored by other people.
Feb 20th 2012 11:35   
Don Dousharm Committed   Electronic Publication Marketing
I agree but where is the fairness here???
Feb 20th 2012 11:43   
Marko S. Professional   Web Presence Provider
I noticed that weeks ago. But not only the Apsense (i can it this at FB), the biggest problem is that almost all advertising activities are blocked, just for example TeamPromote offers are blocked as the site is not trustworthly. The solution: I always put the shortener as apsense.cc and problem solved ;)
Feb 20th 2012 11:54   
Don Dousharm Committed   Electronic Publication Marketing
Hi Marko, I even get the red circle with the APSense shortener and an initial pop up to follow stating that this site is unsafe and is not trustworthy. It's funny how Facebook is a spam factory but shows an excellent reputation....
Feb 20th 2012 12:02   
Marko S. Professional   Web Presence Provider
Hm.. really, must check this too...seems that this is something new...
Feb 20th 2012 12:04   
Don Dousharm Committed   Electronic Publication Marketing
I am now a member of WOT so I can dispute ratings for sites getting a bad rap. I would suggest the same for everyone that has a concern also.
Feb 20th 2012 12:10   
Philippe Moisan Magnate II Premium   APSense, Video Marketing Champions
I think WOT reported APSense as a spam site years ago, back in 2008, I haven't checked recently, so it might be old news
Feb 20th 2012 12:39   
Don Dousharm Committed   Electronic Publication Marketing
Yes but still it is now showing as a spam site on Facebook and that is new news...
Feb 20th 2012 12:54   
Bj aka Bill Brown Magnate I   Hosting and Backup Service provider
Why are you complaining that APSense is being posted as a spam / scam site. Wincer refuses to remove the spam posts and the scams that are posted. Hence APSense is correctly rated and until its cleaned up it will keep its bad reputation.
Feb 20th 2012 14:50   
Marko S. Professional   Web Presence Provider
I'm sure that this not depend on spam posts. there's around sites hunderd times worse than Apsense but they aren't on that list. There is something more, but I don't know what...
Feb 20th 2012 15:00   
Philippe Moisan Magnate II Premium   APSense, Video Marketing Champions
Marko, I think it's a matter of how much success a site has, and how long it's been around. I checked what WOT said about APSense a year ago, cause someone at another site had said he stayed away from APSense because of WOT said. I saw that the complaints were from a few years ago. I heard that back in 2008, there was a lot of spamming at APSense. Back in October 2010, when I became active, there were many people spamming in comments, in some cases they were writing things that didn't make sense. Either they were thrown out or they stopped spamming. As for writing articles or RevPages about programs that are spam, in some cases, it's a grey area. Site owners don't have the time to check every program that comes out, it's up to the members to judge for themselves. Also, a lot of people arrive on the online marketing scene and are attracted by exciting promises, and experienced spammers know that and keep coming out with new programs.
Feb 20th 2012 15:12   
Bj aka Bill Brown Magnate I   Hosting and Backup Service provider
I do not dispute that Marko S. What I am saying is We should not be complaining and protesting about the reputation being given. What everyone should be doing is demanding Wincer take action. APSense could be a brilliant site IF and only IF it is cleaned up and the trash are kicked off the site.
Feb 20th 2012 15:14   
Marko S. Professional   Web Presence Provider
Well, I just want to say that spam is everywhere, not only at Apsense. I know for the 2008' year here, I joined in late 2007. There was spam I know (I think I was defined as a spammer, too) but, you can't say than now the situation is different. And links from FB (I was a member of FB in that time too, nut is was small and unimportant) now still goes to 100 times more worse/spam sites than Apsense without any problem. So, there was something more (from my point of view). But, still, nevermind, the Apsense is for me one of the best places and I'm here a lot of my time. In last few years I found a lot of places but, with more spam and everything else than here.
Feb 20th 2012 15:53   
Don Dousharm Committed   Electronic Publication Marketing
I agree Marko and I also like APSense better than most other Social networks. @ Bill- Please don't misunderstand my intentions. The article wasn't meant as a complaint. It was to raise awareness now that WOT is partnered with Facebook and basically has control over 500 million people. The article was more of a call to action. Besides one of the positive comments I read at WOT was yours and I noticed it had 6 thumbs down. Probably by some nit-wit's who read a spam message and think the whole world is infected with a virus. That's where sites like WOT are very unfair. Also I want to make one more point. Facebook is more spammy and has more scams than any other social network I have ever seen so why do they have an excellent Rating with WOT? Answer that question for me and I bet you come up with the same answer as me....
Feb 20th 2012 21:44   
Bj aka Bill Brown Magnate I   Hosting and Backup Service provider
@Don I understand your primary purpose of the post but its guaranteed that many will complain at the reputation rating. I have said what needs doing and IF we all push Wincer understand the damage that wot is doing and push him to clean up the site, then we can go to wot and post that it has been cleaned up and should be revisited by those that have not been in a long time. but we can not post any good reports with things the way they are now, and you all know how much I have stood up for APSense. It really did hurt to have to resign having been an admin for 4 years, but my reputation is more important and I honestly could not afford to stay associated with a site permitting scam posts with total immunity.
Feb 22nd 2012 10:46   
Don Dousharm Committed   Electronic Publication Marketing
Yes Bill, I understand your frustration and your points are valid. I guess until action is taken there is nothing to be done, but still I'm glad I posted this as doing my part in the war against this garbage. For what it may be worth.
Feb 22nd 2012 12:09   
Bj aka Bill Brown Magnate I   Hosting and Backup Service provider
@Don if it helps make Wincer open his eyes and realize the damage HIS actions and stan point of quantity over quality is doing then its very worth while.
Feb 23rd 2012 10:18   
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