Sunday, July 24, 2011

A note on interpreting MyWOT ratings.

I’ve noticed something about MyWOT  (My Web of Trust) ratings.  Generally, I find I get green (good or excellent) on trustworthiness everywhere, but sometimes yellows on vendor reliability and privacy items on blogs that have ads and particularly those with many third party gadgets around the margins for decoration. MyWOT will provide the description "unsatisfactory" on the "yellow" subcategory even if it shows "good" for the site as a whole. 

Also, if any subcategory is “yellow” or less, the MyWOT report will display a warning from Panda Security that the site could have content of questionable safety and recommend purchase of the security package for browsing. I use Webroot and McAfee and sometimes do get warnings (especially from Webroot) of sites known to be unsafe.  I have MyWOT installed with Firefox. (I'm no longer able to find "Webutation"). 

I don’t sell anything directly on any of my sites or take any information from users.   (I do link to e-commerce, including Amazon and iUniverse for my own products.) Gadgets, however, and of course ads, might themselves encourage visitors to make purchases or supply personal information. Visitors who rate sites, as well as automated rating programs, may react negatively to the presence of some of these items in deciding ratings. 

Some visitors may wonder about the safety of embedded videos, especially those not from well-known services like YouTube and Vimeo, but perhaps those from movie sites.  Some embeds may have adult content when the blog invoking them does not.

My flat sites have “good” on trustworthiness but no ratings at all on reliability, privacy, or child safety. Recently, MyWOT seems to have recalibrated some ratings. And many sites that I visit do not have ratings at all.

Some of my blogs do have “good” on these intermediate subcategories, but some (not all) say they inherit ratings from

This link discusses WOT’s components (look for that string of words). 

By the way, Facebook gets a “low” excellent on all subcategories (meaning it isn’t perfect).   Twitter’s scores are a little higher (but I actually think Facebook is safer personally).  Myspace gets green everywhere, but “barely”.

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