their own web sites
businesses, which are illegal in many jurisdictions, now get low
search rankings. You're going to have to make it clear who's behind
your web site, or you will have low search rankings. Legitimate
businesses, even if small, will now rank higher.
Comply with California Business and Professions
code section 17538, even if you're not in California: Put
the real name and address of your business prominently on the
web site. If necessary, it can be a P.O. Box, but if it is, that
box must be registered using USPS Form 1583, the legal way to
operate a business semi-anonymously. We look for a name and address
in a format which, if placed on an postal envelope, would be delivered
correctly. We look for that information on, at least, the home
page, any "About" or "Contact" or "Checkout"
page, and on the pages directly linked from the site's entry page.
If we can't find it in any of those places, it's not being prominently
our system can't find that information easily, search ranking
information must be complete and correct. The registrant must
be a real, verifiable person or a real, verifiable business.
domains” kill your search ranking.
Get a Dun
and Bradstreet number and rating. It's free. Even sole proprietors
can get a D&B rating. Nor are D&B ratings limited to the United
States. If you're a sole proprietor and not a corporation, you
won't be able to get a High Assurance SSL certificate. at least
initially. But if you're rated by D&B, you're seen as valid by
a corporation, make sure your corporate filings with the appropriate
authorities in your country are up to date and have your correct
name and address.
Get an SSL
certificate for your site, one where the issuer validates who
you are and guarantees it to users. Get a “High Assurance” SSL
certificate if possible. Using a “domain only” certificate will
reduce your search ranking.
your secure site from search engine crawlers. If you use a different
site for login or payment, at least one link to it should be visible
without submitting a form. The secure site should have the same
base domain. (For
example, “ebay.com” and “signin.ebay.com” are clearly associated).
If you use the same domain for secure and non-secure connections,
there's no problem.
a big company with multiple brands, locations, or subsidiaries,
make sure they're all in your D&B reports. Large companies tend
not to have problems here; they can be validated against multiple
information should match. Domain registration, name and address
on the web site, address given to D&B, corporate registration
information, DBA name, name used on SSL certificates – all must
match, or be related in traceable ways.
All of this
applies only if you're selling something, or assisting in the
sale of something. Sites which sell nothing and don't contain
advertising need not worry about these rules.
off-site payment services
sellers operating on established auction sites are evaluated differently.
For major auction sites with well-established dispute-resolution
systems, SiteTruth looks at the seller's feedback rating and uses
it to compute the site integrity. Currently, this applies only
on "ebay.com", "auctions.yahoo.com", and "ubid.com".
For these auction sites only, sellers can be anonymous.
merchants use an off-site payment service to process their payments.
In such cases, the payment service must be known to us and have
suitable bank references. We then verify that the off-site payment
service acknowledges the identity of the merchant. The first
off-site page of the payment site should display the name and
address of the merchant (not the payment service), in a form
of a valid postal address. Some payment sites already do this,
displaying "You are purchasing from", followed by
a name and address. When a known payment site does this, we
consider that payment site to have vouched for the identity
of the merchant site, and the merchant site need not have an
can improve their ranking by obtaining a High Assurance certificate
for their domain. Even if your site has no secure pages, you
can still use a secure certificate to authenticate your site,
and we can find it, read it, and validate it.
You can check your
rating on these items with our web-based tool. You, the web site operator,
are in control of all this information. So it's entirely up to you.