Aug 24 2011

I am a Spammer, Scammer and Phisher – Why Web Of Trust Is Broken

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Warning: This is going to be a long post but needs to be to rightfully explain how Web of Trust is being gamed.

Who is Web Of Trust?

Web of trust is a user powered website that is used to rank websites that are classified as spam, scams, etc.

Places like facebook use them to check if links are safe to link to, etc.

How Web Of Trust is Being Completely Gamed By Five People… And How You Can Game It Too!

It all started a couple months ago… One day my Dad’s ecommerce site, which sells On Demand Hydrogen Generators for cars and trucks got flagged as being a spam/scam site. All his links on facebook stopped working.

In looking into it, it looks like a few regular ol’ users (five to be exact) on Web of Trust decided that the technology did not work. Despite having thousands of very happy customers, very real testimonials (verifiable by the way), etc these five users who have never purchased anything from his site were able to get it to be flagged as spam/scam.

I’m pretty sure that many of these trust sites seem to look at each other for information because shortly after, McAfee and some others quickly listed the same thing.

How is that even remotely a good process for determining what sites should be marked?

My site quickly follows

My dad’s website is hosted on this server and is registered on my registrar account but are completely separately owned entities. Soon after his site being flagged, they determined that if one site is flagged, all the sites on the server must also be bad!

Ergo, my blog now has a spam/scam/phish rating on it. I’m pretty sure they forgot to take into account the hundreds of thousands of visitors who have learned something here and the tens of thousands that have downloaded and learned from my free affiliate marketing guide. Lol.

Facebook Ads Guide was then also listed as an “affiliate scam”. Again, none of these people even know me or ever read anything I have done. They simply click a button and poof there is a rating. I think they completely forgot about the thousands of people who have read that ebook and been very happy with it… oh and the old forum members who have made a TON of money on Facebook because of it.

Think about this… All because of 5 users that have no accountability, no “real identity” or anything.

My Dad’s Customers Fight Back

What would you do if your website was being incorrectly marked as spam/scam? Of course you have your thousands of happy customers defend you.

My dad sent an email to his customers who quickly responded to his rating page.

After 100+ POSITIVE comments (having a “good site” rating) in less than 24 hours and still only a few negative comments by those original few people, the site is still marked as spam/scam.

How does that make any sense?!

Quickly, comments were disabled by site administrators and no more customers were allowed to comment despite many trying.

Seems fishy to me.

How can 100+ positive comments not out weigh a few negative regular users? Possibly there is some sort of power user like digg that cause your submissions to way unfairly weigh actual people.

What do you think of this blog?

I’d like to try another experiment and see how many positive comments I can get on WOT for my site. I’d love for you to go over and leave a positive comment about my website.

If after 50 positive comments, the ratings have not changed, we’ll know for sure something is up and further action will be taken.

Gaming WOT?

While I would NEVER condone gaming a website system, you have to be amazed at how easy it is. No accountability, no verification, no anything. Despite multiple requests for information on policy for falsely labeled sites, I got nothing. I don’t think there is a policy even.

Again, I would never do this but if you wanted to take out a competitor couldn’t you simply get 5 friends to mark their site for no reason? What action can they take… Apparently there is no action.

For starters it would block all their facebook links (ads too maybe? Gotta try still…)

They try to get their customers to post positive reviews and they get disabled from posting positive comments. They try to have it reversed by contacting the company and offering proof and no proof is taken into consideration.

How can a website be called Web Of Trust if there is literally no recourse for bad user reviews?

Take it how you will, I am set on seeing some policy changes. This is very wrong. Very. No accountability, no policy, no trust… Web of trust? Sounds more Web of User Opinion Without Accountability to me. WOUOWA (Has a nice ring to it eh?)

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