WOT (Web Of Trust) has grown to one of the most popular site advisory services around, but can we actually 'trust' WOT's ratings??
Because of the work I do both here at FreewareBB and for DCT, I utilize WOT's ratings service regularly and often. I am finding WOT is becoming less and less accurate and more and more unreliable. I've always considered the WOT ratings system, which is largely based on user input, to be vulnerable and open to abuse. WOT, as with other similar ratings services, can be hugely useful for augmenting browsing security BUT only if the ratings are predominantly accurate. Incorrect ratings are not only misleading they can also be totally unjust.
I am experiencing the following scenario involving WOT more and more - (I use LinkExtend to check site ratings, LinkExtend incorporates 7 leading site advisory services including both WOT and McAfee Site Advisor):
I am checking out relatively new software, I go to the home home page and click on the LinkExtend icon to reveal the ratings. WOT rates the site negatively, it is the only one in seven which does - all the others give the site a Green rating. So I go to the WOT Site Details page. There are absolutely zero negative comments, nothing whatsoever to substantiate the negative rating.
Here is a typical example: Just today I was checking out a freeware called PixBuilder Studio. I went to the home page and checked the ratings through LinkExtend as per normal. WOT gives the site a negative rating, both McAfee Site Advisor and Browser Defender rate the site Green. So I navigate to WOT's Site Details page and there is not one negative comment nor any other details to substantiate the rating:
This is also occurring in reverse, although less frequently, where there are lots of negative comments on the Site Details page yet the site is rated Green by WOT.
Seriously, I am finding WOT's ratings to be less and less reliable; often confusing, sometimes just downright wrong. If a service such as WOT cannot provide predominantly accurate ratings then as far as I am concerned it is next to useless. Plus it is often doing a disservice to the sites involved, possibly damaging reputations based on what appears to be zero evidence.