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The importance of comments for WOT users and site owners

typing on keyboardWOT support occasionally receives emails from site owners complaining that a comment on their site’s scorecard is not accurate and asking that we remove it. We understand their concerns. After all, the WOT community is increasingly influential when it comes to trust and reputation on the web, and negative comments, especially when they show up in search results, can cause damage.

Unfortunately, the answers we provide are not always satisfactory to site owners who just want the whole thing to go away. We provide the WOT service for users to rate sites according to their own opinion and experience, and as a hosting service provider, we are not in a position to validate their ratings or comments. We do not remove ratings nor comments unless they contain spam, profanity or clearly illegal material.

With great power, there must also come great responsibility

According to a survey by the Opinion Research Corporation, 83% of consumers say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. As a member of the WOT community, you have a responsibility to provide accurate ratings and comments based on your real experiences. Comments do not have any effect on a site’s reputation, however, people read them and make judgments based on the feedback.

If you have had a bad customer experience, relate the incident as truthfully as you can, without embellishments. If you are claiming malware on the site, include verifiable evidence. A comment that says "This site sucks" or something equally unhelpful, doesn’t add any value for other WOT users, so try to contribute something useful.

Turn on, tune in, drop out

Site owners also have a responsibility to tune in to what is being said about their business online. Social media  and services such as WOT allow consumers to post comments all over the web. Managing your online reputation requires a new skill set, including monitoring the online conversation and engaging with customers. The upside is that you can gather important feedback, foster good customer relations and use positive comments to win new customers. There are plenty of articles on the web explaining how to do this, including this one from WOT. Take some time to find out how you can best manage and promote the feedback you are getting.

WOT’s recommendations for site owners who disagree with comments are:

  • Write your own comment on the scorecard. Explain politely and clearly what your site is about, how you operate and why it is safe.
  • Contact the user through user’s boards on the profile page and ask the user to review or explain the comment and rating (you have to be logged in to do this).
  • Open a forum thread and ask our active members to review the site too. The more your site has ratings, the more accurate the reputation rating will be.
  • You can also ask your friends and customers to rate the site.

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