Interesting Ways To Abuse Well Intentioned Plugins

Here is a phenomenon I never really saw coming; Web of Trust rating exchanges.

As someone who has been involved in the internet marketing world for many years now, I am familiar with link exchange arrangements where website owners contact each other asking to swap links – the idea being to get more links to your website from other websites, thereby increasing your Google Page Rank, and hopefully, your search result rankings.

This Web Of Trust (WOT) thing is the same idea, but for a different reason. Here is the email I received:

From: Them
Date: 24 April 2013 14:40
Subject: Your MyWot Rating
To: <me>

Hello Webmaster,

I’ve seen that your website can use some improvement on the scorecard on Therefore I’ve reviewd your Site positivly using the toolbar. 🙂 I’d be happy if you could review our site and give us a good feedback. I’m happy to answer any questions.

Please review via toolbar:

Thank you,
<Persons Name>
SOME Marketing Team

Interesting huh?

For every system designed to sort the good from the bad, the shareable from the unshareable, the relevant from the non-relevant… there will always be a way of gaming that system, and someone trying to do so.

I have no doubt that people will try to game rbutr one day. That is how you know you have made the big time….



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