I have to say that wasn’t the answer I expected. I didn’t expect someone, not web savvy in the least, would associate a blogger on Blogspot/Blogger with a trust issue.
In the early years of WordPress.com, people asked me over and over again why I was using that childish version of WordPress. “It’s for people who don’t know what they are doing with WordPress. You wrote the book on WordPress. Why are you on WordPress.com?”
Today, I rarely get asked that question because people like me and so many others proved the worth and value of WordPress.com. The team of staff and volunteers at WordPress.com work overtime to ensure sites are protected from comment spam as much as possible with Akismet, and spam sites are easily reported and shut down quickly, increasing the validity and trustworthiness of the site network. We’ve earned that respect and trust.
It used to be that if your site wasn’t a dot com, you didn’t get the respect you deserve. Today, there are dot info, dot biz, dot me, and all the other dot whatevers, so the importance of having that dot com ownership is not as high as it used to be.
While Google is working hard to improve and clean up Blogger/Blogspot, the majority of spam sites on the web have been sitting on their services for years. This doesn’t mean there aren’t trustworthy sites on the service. This is a growing perception. In 2008, I blogged about the splogs (spam blogs) on Blogger/Blogspot, demanding that Google clean up the mess. While their search algorithm now downgrades sites on their own services due to the spam blog rate, there continues to be a plethora of spam sites on their services, and people know it – and they don’t trust it.
Much the same thing happened to MySpace, though they are making a small comeback, targeting musicians specifically.
We’ve all done that. Arrived on a site and felt the creeps and clicked away as fast as we can. While we aren’t always sure what it is that makes us trust or not trust a site, we know it when we see it.
People today make assumptions about your site based upon a variety of information, some of it you can control, some if it you might not consider.
Today’s blog exercise is to make a trust list about your blog.
Take a good look at it and write down all the things you see, from the domain name and service to visual graphics, colors, fonts, ads to the articles, titles and content.
List the things about the site that promote trust in your mind.
Then list the things that make you not trust your own site.
Find some of those truly rare and honest friends to review your site and ask them to list the things that makes them trust or not trust your site.
Compare the lists. Are they the same or different?
If you start arguing and defending one of the things on the list, stop. As they say, you must kill your darlings if they aren’t working for you. Don’t fall in love with a design element or feature of your site that isn’t working for you. If it promotes a lack of trust, get rid of it. Only have trustworthy pixels on your site, the elements that make a first time visitor say, ah, this is the right place. I feel good here. This is nice. Safe.