Implications for Website Trust and Credibility Assessment

Implications for Website Trust and Credibility Assessment

Yahya M. Tashtoush (Department of CS, CIT Faculty, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan), Aisha Zaidan (Department of CS, CIT Faculty, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan) and Izzat M. Alsmadi (Department of CIS, ITS Faculty, Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/jeei.2012100102
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Abstract

With the expansion of the Internet services provided to users to cover almost all areas that were dominated by traditional face-to-face and location based businesses, one of the major challenges for such expansion is security and its related concerns. Customers or users need to trust the websites they visit in terms of the information or content. This research proposes a new formula for evaluating the credibility (called XD TRank) metric of websites. A case study of 40 selected websites in Jordan is used to assess the proposed credibibility metric. The metrics required to assess Websites and pages credibility are collected and evaluated based on 25 existing metrics and built a model using SPSS by applying stepwise linear regression analysis to predict the XD TRank. Results showed that there is a broad range of metrics that affect the credibility of a website or a webpage and their impact on credibility may vary on their significancy or impact on the trust rank metric. For e-business in particular, trust rank metrics can be used part of quality assurance and auditing processes. Those can be important assets for users to be able to distinguish known, popular and reliable e-commerce websites from spammers or websites which try to trick novice users. Trust rank can be also used like a logo in all Website pages to alert users if they were redirected to phishing pages.
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Introduction

With the evolution of the Web and the daily production of millions of Web pages and documents, unreliable information has misled Internet users who rely on the Web as a major source of knowledge. Search engines focus on retrieving the Web pages that are popular and relevant to user queries without necessary taking into consideration the credibility of those Web pages.

There is a need to have a sense of credibility and authentication in the information included in those pages or documents. For audience or users, they need to know how much to trust such information in terms of credibility. Credibility factors can be related to several attributes such as: The users or authors of those documents, the time of posting web page information, the authenticity of the content, and so on.

The aim of this study is to design an equation for Website credibility, to assess users through giving them a quick Figure on credibility of the Website they are visiting and also help companies in building their Websites to be more credible.

There are several trials through the Web to include credibility elements in pages before or at publication for auditing or verification purposes. In this paper, several parameters and factors related to credibility are evaluated, how credibility is or can be evaluated, what are the elements that can impact the credibility positively or negatively, etc.

Many studies and algorithms focus on measuring the PageRank, the relevancy of the results to user query, and the behaviour of users through accessing the Web by using data mining techniques.

In this paper, the evaluated existed credibility metrics about Websites such as: popularity, number of indexed pages, freshness, domain age, number of visitors, size of text, number of images, number of contacts, and freshness. A case study and gathered many parameters that can have impact in credibility are assembled. Forty selected Websites in Jordan are used to assess the proposed credibility parameters.

In this work, stepwise regression method is used to evaluate the measurements of Websites credibility in three different domains; universities, ministries, and banks, where the total summation of the metrics, the credibility variable, to be the dependent variable and generate new formula that considered the measurements that affect the credibility have used. Such measurements represent, the credibility aspects, and therefore, the credibility of Websites. In developing a model, a total of 25 measurements frequently used in evaluating related attributes are considered as independent variables. Our model suggests that credible Websites must satisfy various aspects of credible parameters.

It has become increasingly difficult to retrieve the relevant and trusted Web pages for users on the Web. As the WWW extends, the number of new Websites rapidly increases. This research aims to study and evaluate the parameters that affect the credibility of Websites as valuable information for both Websites users and administrators.

There are several characteristics of Web pages that are important for the information seekers such as: information content, language, desired words, undesired words, file: type, creation, and publishing dates. The problem relies on the verification of the registration or the publication date of the information uploaded to the Web page, in addition, to other important information such as the authenticity of the published information. All search engines retrieve the Web pages depending on popularity and the relevancy to user queries and don't take into account the credibility of those Web pages. In addition, many of them, except Google, don’t have the property which determines the publishing date or the date of creation of the file or the Web page.

Users can be misled by incorrect information obtained from the Web, where it is too hard for them to decide whether the Website is credible or not or if how to get reliable information.

This research aims to evaluate various parameters of credibility of different domains, and then predict a general formula that represents the credibility in terms of those parameters. Determining the credibility of a Website is difficult since a wide spectrum of parameters must be considered, including its content and ranking.

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