The best tool that tells you which websites you can trust based on user ratings.
|Fast; highly compatible with browsers; works with most search engines and even Google image search; multiple categories of user comments; excellent warning and blocking; child safety rating; excellent documentation.|
|Less functionality in some browsers other than Firefox; slow on image search results.|
Web of Trust (WOT) from WOT Services is the Editor’s Choice because it leads in many areas: compatibility and integration with seamless operation; flexible options; searching; warning and blocking; and user input. It only loses in areas that it doesn’t compete in: meta-rating (combining the results from several raters as in Link Extend) and scanning.
WOT is the best implemented and the best documented rater – you can even view the source code. It is also the most heavily criticized. For these reasons I’m using it to discuss many of the features that can be found in raters.
The WOT scorecard shows ratings for two categories. [Don’t confuse these with the user comment categories which do not affect the ratings. It’s a shame that many critics of WOT do not realize this.]
- Trustworthiness – WOT calculates this with information from trusted sources and user feedback.
- Child Safety – Is the website safe for young children? Does it have material (e.g. pornography), games (e.g. age-restricted games), multimedia (e.g. music with explicit lyrics), or forums (e.g. political or religious viewpoints) that is better reserved for adults?
Warning and blocking
WOT is very good at warning and blocking. You decide how to handle each of the rating categories. Specify the level of danger you are prepared to accept – red, orange, or yellow – and then whether you want a warning or a block. You can also include unrated sites if you don’t want them to slip through by default. WOT’s block screen will redirect you to WOT or open in a new tab, but will not take you to a risky site unless you specifically chose to ignore the warning. It’s up to you which step you take next:
- Ignore the WOT warning and go to the website;
- Rate the site if you disagree with WOT’s rating;
- View rating details and comments about the website;
- Use your browser to take some other action: surf to a different website, close the tabbed window, go back, use a bookmark, etc.
WOT ratings appear for more search engines and other services than any other product:
- English search engines: AOL, Ask, Bing, Google, Yahoo!
- Non-English search engines: China – Baidu; Czech – Seznam, WebHledani; Korea – Naver; Russia – Rambler, Yandex;
- Metasearch engines and reference: Dogpile, Inquick, Search, Wikipedia
- Social networks and messaging: Facebook, Gmail, Mail Ru, Twitter, Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail
WOT has a comprehensive set of categories for user ratings and comments. When I collated these categories for all the programs I reviewed, I found that WOT covers most of them.