Archive for September, 2007

The need for tough standards

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

SiteTruth is a tough, but fair, rating system. Most sites don’t get the top rating. That’s by design and by intent.

If a web site is selling or advertising anything, it must disclose the actual business behind the web site. If you’re selling into California or the European Union, that’s the law. This basic requirement throws out most of the junk sites on the Web.

There are so many phony sites on the Web today that simply flagging “bad sites” is no longer enough. We have to identify the valid ones, and down-rate the others.

That’s just the beginning. We expect businesses to comply with the law. We’ll be checking business licenses, corporate records, and other sources of business legitimacy data. That information is available for most of the developed world; right now, we have it for the US and the United Kingdom.

We’re linking search engine ranking to business legitimacy. We expect that, in time, all major search engines will do that.

At last, on the Web, everyone will know if you’re a dog.

Comments and complaints

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Comments and complaints about SiteTruth go here.

Before complaining about a low rating of your own site, please read SiteTruth for Webmasters. In most cases, you can fix the problem yourself.


Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Aliasing of web sites, where multiple domains or URLs point to the same content, is a difficult area for search engines. Are “” and “” the same site? How can you tell?

SiteTruth, like most search engines, understands redirects. We recommend, as does Google, that webmasters pick one domain name for their site and redirect all others to it. For example, redirect “” to “”. Or vice versa.

SiteTruth rates the “base domain”, the domain one buys from a registrar. SiteTruth is about site ownership, so we have to work on the basis of what constitutes “property” on the Web. That’s a base domain.

If your base domain doesn’t work as a web site, and doesn’t redirect to your preferred URL, your site may receive a low rating.

SiteTruth page viewer (viewer.cgi)

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

As a service to webmasters, SiteTruth has some webmaster tools. One of these, the “site viewer”, reads web pages, parses them, cleans them up, deletes any active content, and redisplays them. This shows a page in the form our system read it. It’s useful as a means of seeing a search engine’s view of a page.

It’s not a general purpose web proxy, but some users have been using it that way. So we now place a banner at the top of each page it produces.

What is SiteTruth?

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

SiteTruth exists to solve one of the Web’s biggest problems – unidentified, and possibly fake, on-line businesses.

Every on-line commerce web site must display the name and address of the business behind the site. That’s the law in much of the developed world. SiteTruth tries to identify that business, then find information about it. That check is used to influence search rankings. That’s SiteTruth.

Try it at