Jump to content

The Safe Free Download Site

Why not become a full member?, it's fast, free and allows you to participate in our forums and add or comment on our free software, leave reviews, access unlimited free downloads and more! - we NEVER share your details with anyone else, that's a promise! ... REGISTER FREE TODAY


Did you make a new years resolution?

Now we're nearly a third of the way into New Year, I'm wondering if anyone made any resolutions, and more importantly, have we all stuck to them?. Tell us HERE.

");

Can we rely on WOT's ratings system?


64 replies to this topic

#1 James (Jim) Hillier

    Platinum Poster!

  • Super Mod
  • 852 posts

    Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:12 PM

    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:
    http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/wnsoft.com

    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.

    Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

    #2 Claw

      Platinum Poster!

    • Advanced Member
    • 256 posts

      Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:39 AM

      I guess common sense in surfing the web is more important than ever now.You're right Jim , it can ruin good sites and even help some bad ones by supplying misleading ratings. One also has to wonder,how many computers could become infected by going on a bad site that WOT rated green!
      Maybe it's coming down to using mutiple ratings advisors , or just not having trust in anything , anymore!!!!

      #3 jjj

        Gold Poster!

      • Advanced Member
      • 54 posts

        Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:45 AM

        The recent discussion https://freewarebb.com/topic/72547-anyone-got-an-opinion-on-dvdvideosoft/ is a good example of what you mean and the headaches you face in letting new sites in and how different FBB is to most other download sites.
        I think one solicitors' letter to WOT would alter their referral and how many comments are from the vendors? the Chinese venders' are easily spotted -the comments from TOO english names.
        No doubt you already use gut feeling to determine the final ruling and you acknowledged that this may be unfair to bonafide developers and the input of members is also good .
        One thing I have noticed is the increase in downloads which I classify as CLICKWARE whose main purpose is advertising rather than the program's intent. Media converters is full of them -https://freewarebb.com/files/file/11353-avi-to-mp3/ and its various associates, no doubt putting more pressure on you and Marco.
        In the case of PixBuilder Studio at least the developer has a name (googling seems to verify this), although the soft in his websites' name would put me off- the negative comments in WOT could also be a result of the third party sites that distribute his program, rather than his own program, a similar thing would happen here, if not logged in, because of the deceptive advertising that occurs,
        good site
        JJ

        #4 marko

          Platinum Poster!

        • Root Admin
        • 25,401 posts

          Posted 14 December 2011 - 07:25 AM

          Some good feedback here guys - Jimbo, on the matter of wnsoft.com I'm seeing a conflicting story between the LinkExtend toolbar and the actual WOT plugin - using the LinkExtend toolbar you are correct, it shows up as negative but hovering over the WOT extension I'm seeing the tooltip "Good". I'm going to contact WOT themselves and hope they can enlighten us to what could be happening throughout the WOT system as I've seen multiple examples myself of sites we know to be suspicious or dangerous and have a lot of bad ratings, yet are still rated as good!.

          I do know that if people 'mark down' a negative comment, that is, they use the "thumbs down" button, it does have the effect that it can cancel out negative comments eventually but I'm wondering how effective the overall WOT rating system has become now. I think for the casual user like us, it still remains a useful tool, but for those who may be placing all their trust in it, then it could very well become an issue at some point, particularly if that person then goes on to download and install a piece of software from a developer who should be rated negatively !!.

          I've spoken to the guys from WOT before and they're a very approachable group of people, here's hoping they jump aboard and can offer some enlightenment as to what's happening on WOT at the moment - stay tuned guys :)

          wnsoft.com rating via the LinkExtend toolbar
          Attached Image: 14-12-2011 07-14-11.png

          wnsoft.com rating via the WOT extension
          Attached Image: 14-12-2011 07-16-09.png

          #5 James (Jim) Hillier

            Platinum Poster!

          • Super Mod
          • 852 posts

            Posted 14 December 2011 - 08:44 AM

            Marko - The variance between WOT's direct rating and the one supplied via LinkExtend is indeed puzzling. But even putting that example to one side, WOT is often at odds with the other site advisory services, and just as often rates sites negatively even though there is absolutely no indication nor reasoning as to why that rating has been applied.

            I think the main point here is 'proof'. I don't believe WOT should be rating any site negatively unless there is substantiating/concrete evidence - not merely because someone, somewhere anonymously clicked on a button.

            Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

            #6 marko

              Platinum Poster!

            • Root Admin
            • 25,401 posts

              Posted 14 December 2011 - 09:55 AM

              OK, not sure which direction the discussion over at WOT is going guys, but here's the link for anyone who wishes to jump in - could be we'll not have anyone participate in the discussion on our site so if anyone wishes to raise a question or join the discussion do so here : https://www.mywot.com/en/forum/18570-conflicting-wot-reports-and-confusing-results

              #7 James (Jim) Hillier

                Platinum Poster!

              • Super Mod
              • 852 posts

                Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:43 AM

                Hmmm, just read through the comments to date mate (on the WOT forum), seems to me you are dealing with a bunch of people who are very closed-minded and not really interested in listening to any criticisms - pretty much a waste of time and effort mate.
                Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

                #8 marko

                  Platinum Poster!

                • Root Admin
                • 25,401 posts

                  Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:47 AM

                  Let's remember that these people don't represent WOT mate, they are members like you or I and it's always the case that one persons opinions will not necessarily reflect that of another's - hopefully a member of staff from WOT will become involved in the discussion and offer some form of official response. I did actually try to contact WOT themselves although I didn't really see any relevant way of doing so other than to contact them through the press route which I didn't feel was very appropriate, but hey, here's hoping :)

                  #9 James (Jim) Hillier

                    Platinum Poster!

                  • Super Mod
                  • 852 posts

                    Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:28 AM

                    Quote

                    these people don't represent WOT mate
                    Well not officially anyway mate.

                    Here's something to put to them (or an official WOT representative, if and when you ever hear from one):

                    What would your reaction be if I were to accuse you of being unethical? My guess is your immediate response would be something like, "What makes you say that - I've done nothing wrong - on what are you basing that accusation."

                    That is exactly the situation with WOT when a site is rated negatively without any evidence or apparent justification - it just isn't right!!
                    Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

                    #10 Claw

                      Platinum Poster!

                    • Advanced Member
                    • 256 posts

                      Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:38 PM

                      Doesn't the saying go: "Don't judge a book by it's cover" ? Meaning you read through the pages to see whats inside, then you have the right to praise or condemn it's substance and purpose!! Evidence,,hard proof,,that is what is needed before you make a judgement!! Show the reason why a site is rated "Bad" or even "Good". If you are going to be in the business of "Lead" and "Advise" the way people do things,, you must learn how to "Lead and "Advise" correctly!!!! NO,,you are not to solely rely on WOT or any other ratings system , but the facts are, that alot of users "DO". I don't feel it is asking too much for a ratings system to what they are "actually there to do"!! The last word in WOT is "TRUST". Now give us back a reason to TRUST!!!!








                      1 user(s) are reading this topic

                      0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


                      • Alexa