Many websites are interested in communicating with their users. There are many reasons that users might have for contacting a website, from reporting problems such as broken pages, to asking for content removal. Many websites offer multiple ways for users to contact the website: email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, web contact forms, etc. Sometimes, this contact information is even organized by department and provides the names of individuals to contact.
The types and amount of contact information needed depend on the type of website. Contact information and customer service information are extremely important for websites that handle money, such as stores, banks, credit card companies, etc. Users need a way to ask questions or get help when a problem occurs.
For shopping websites, we’ll ask you to do some special checks. Look for contact information—including the store’s policies on payment, exchanges, and returns. Sometimes this information is listed under “customer service.” Some kinds of websites need fewer details and a smaller amount of contact information for their purpose.
For example, humor websites may not need the level of detailed contact information we would expect from online banking websites. Occasionally, you may encounter a website with a legitimate reason for anonymity. For example, personal websites may not include personal contact information such as an individual’s home address or phone number.
Similarly, websites with user-generated content may allow the author to identify him/herself with an alias or username only. To find contact or customer service information for a website, start with the homepage. Look for a “contact us” or “customer service” link. Explore the website if you cannot find a “contact us” page. Sometimes you will find the contact information on a “corporate site” link or even on the company’s Facebook page. Be a detective! Note that different locales may have their own specific standards and requirements for what information should be available on the website.
Reputation of the Website or Creator of the Main Content
A website’s reputation is based on the experience of real users, as well as the opinion of people who are experts in the topic of the website. Keep in mind that websites often represent real companies, organizations, and other entities. Therefore, reputation research applies to both the website and the actual company, organization, or entity that the website is representing. A website’s reputation can also help you understand what a website is best known for, and as a result how well it accomplishes its purpose.
For example, newspapers may be known for high quality, independent investigative reporting while satire websites may be known for their humor. Many websites are eager to tell users how great they are. Some webmasters have read these rating guidelines and write “reviews” on various review websites. But for Page Quality rating, you must also look for outside, independent reputation information about the website.
When the website says one thing about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what the website says, trust the external sources. Your job is to truly evaluate the Page Quality of the site, not just blindly accept information on one or two pages of the website. Be skeptical of claims that websites make about themselves.