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Who's behind that web ad? Know before you click.

alpha test

False front building

AdRater is an extension for the Firefox browser which rates advertiser legitimacy for text ads on web pages. Ratings come from the SiteTruth rating system.

Installation instructions
Firefox Install the Firefox brower if necessary.
AdRater requires Firefox, versions 2 through 4.0.
Install AdRater Click to install AdRater.



AdWords with ratings

AdRater will place a rating icon alongside each text ad on every web page you visit. These icons show SiteTruth's automated opinion of the legitimacy of the advertiser. Ratings are based on multiple data sources, including secure certificates, business addresses on web sites, large lists of businesses, and other sources. They are not customer opinions.

Check out our AdRater blog.

SiteTruth ratings
Green checkmark Site ownership and business identity verified. No significant issues found.
Yellow questionmark Site ownership identified but not verified.
Red X Site ownership unknown or questionable, or significant negative information about the business was found.
Blank circle No information available.
For more information about a site, click on its rating symbol.

Privacy information

AdRater "phones home", but tells us as little as possible. AdRater sends the domain name associated with each advertisment you see to SiteTruth. Thus, we can tell what advertisers have reached you, but cannot tell what web pages you have been viewing. We can't tell if you click on an ad. AdRater does not use "cookies" or any other user identifiable information other than your current IP address.

If we change any of this, the changes will not take effect until you download and install a new version of AdRater.

AdRater does not rate ads on secure pages, so no information about a secure page is ever sent to our servers.

Removing AdRater

Plug-in removal, Tools button Plug-in removal, Add-ons dialog
Right-click Firefox "Tools" menu.
Select "adrater" extension, click onUninstall.

Current limitations

Only text ads from a few advertising services are rated. This includes Google AdWords. Most image ads are not rated. Ads are not blocked. (If that's what you want, check out AdBlock.)

Only English-language sites are well supported by SiteTruth at present, and only US and UK businesses are comprehensively on file within the SiteTruth system.

While we make an effort not to clutter up pages with our rating icons, at times they will appear on top of advertising content.

AdRater caches the domain names and ratings returned within in your browser on your computer. (They can be seen at "about:config"). There is currently no way to clear this cache and release the space, due to limitations in Greasemonkey and Firefox. We expect to fix this problem after a needed feature is installed in Greasemonkey.

AdRater is compatible with AdBlock, but a rating icon is still displayed for some blocked ads.

For ads where the advertiser link leads to a different site than the one displayed, AdRater will rate the actual target site.

Information for webmasters

Ratings favor the consumer, not the advertiser.You will see many Red do not enterratings. Webmasters unhappy about their low ratings should see SiteTruth for Webmasters for guidance on rating improvement.

Source code

For the technically inclined, the source code for AdRater can be obtained by right-clicking on the "download" link above and saving the Javascript file. This is a compilerd version of our previous Greasemonkey plug-in. The documentation for Greasemonkey and for the SiteTruth API will be helpful in understanding this client program.

Terms of use

This service is provided at no charge on a "best-efforts" basis. Ratings reflect the automated opinion of SiteTruth®. This is an alpha test. We reserve the right to modify or discontinue this service. We retain copyright in SiteTruth ratings. This service may not be sold, resold, or used in a commercial product without our express written permission. Use of this service in free software (as defined by the Free Software Foundation) is encouraged.

SiteTruth. Search, with less evil.

Another service from the publishers of Downside