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I'd Rather Keep Off Of WOT!

WOT is an online site that enables itself to rate other sites online. Where this right does come from? They act a bit like the Internet police, rate sites as harmful or suspicious or good or bad... Though it shouldn't. Actually I wonder if they have any official authorization to act that way. Anyways, it's not the purpose of this post.

How do WOT ratings look

But I'm going to illustrate this with Squidoo's rating on WOT for example.

As you can see, there are 4 green buttons on the first page (trust), 4 red buttons (no trust), 1 yellow button (suspicious) and 1 grey (no rating).

Who on Earth would be granted to rate Squidoo as a suspicious site? I'm not sure they're members. Ok Squidoo is not on an SSL server, this means that your data is supposed to be at risk, still it doesn't imply that it actually is.

I'm not 100% ok with everything HQ comes up with but Squidoo has been a source of revenue for me for years and I don't really like seeing bad ratings for it from people who probably even never went on there.

Well back to my case.

I submitted MyHappyHalloween for review to WOT

I submitted for ratings to WOT not long ago. It was a real nightmare!

First, a member who confuses himself with someone with super powers provided my site a good rating. Then another member asked me to buy an SSL certificate so as to ensure his rating. I refused. Then the so-called hero came back and deleted his rating and demanded that I buy an SSL certificate.

I refused the requirement, of course. Suddenly this very same individual who was so agreeable, started getting angry. I then was victim of harrassement in public and then through private messaging and my site ended up with a very bad rating! Click here to see its rating.

The site isn't harmful at all, there are no transactions done on it either, so the SSL certificate was not indispensable, and the site is just an info/affiliate one. I know that Google is giving favor to SSL sites nowadays...

My Happy Halloween is now run by myself and a friend. So since she works very hard, I wanted the best for the site. That is why I submitted it for ratings on WOT.

However, a few days after I told the WOT member to leave me in peace, not send me any aggressive and harrasing private message any more, the site stopped getting Google's traffic.

Well I didn't link this traffic trend to WOT at all. And kept on working hard on the site. But after a few days I was extremely surprised to not see a single Google visitor to our site that had not long ago, its favor. I thus kept monitoring the stats and didn't see any kind of improvement although the site publishes a new article each and every day.

Moreover, it gest traffic from Bing and Yahoo for some specific highly popular keywords and none from Google? That is impossible!

MyHappyHalloween is deindexed from Google

I thus went to my webmaster tool account and there saw the disaster! The site got reported and penalized. It is nowadays entirely deindexed!

First things I've done is :

  • disavowing links I didn't recognize

  • removed all links from Squidoo to the site

  • cleaning up the account

  • removing lots of useless pages from Google webmaster tool account

  • fixed errors

  • submitted new sitemaps

  • asked for a review and reindex!

I know for a fact that Google rarely reinstates deindexed sites.

Strangely, all my other sites, built on the very same pattern weren't flagged or penalized or deindexed. Actually I didn't ask for any kind of rating on Wot for those sites because of the problem with the individual that seems to be dealing with personality troubles.

Where does the penalty come from?

It looks to me that the penalty could come from this specific individual or him and friends... who knows? But given that my other sites weren't hit, I don't know why Google would penalize one and not all of them built on the exact same pattern and shared on the same host.

Since I submitted my site for review to WOT, my site went from one problem to another.

It might not be that member responsible for the deindexation of my site, but it strangely occured two/three days after our discussion and the fact that I strongly refused to abide by his will.

From his profile, not a single site gets a fair rating, all ratings are negative, even worse from one to another.

By the end of August if my site isn't reinstated, I'll have to buy a new domain, get a new host and start from scratch. Right on time for Halloween season.

After all, this troubled personality might have helped me more than he thinks... My new site is going to be as clean as a newborn.

I thought I would join a community that would be helpful, in reality I joined a gang of people who think they are the Internet police and don't allow anybody but them to exist.

The most harmful sites on the Internet are probably not those that WOT's members flag like cow boys used to shoot Indians in western movies. 

Although I'm still unsure as to why this site was deindexed and reported as low quality, spam, etc. I'll rather keep off of WOT and won't recommend to anybody on Earth.

Posted by Holly Day