Author Topic: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it  (Read 651 times)  

Offline James R Wells

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After reading about how Amazon has some scheme to weight reviews based on recency, verified purchase, or helpful votes, I have tracked my Amazon-assigned rating average compared to an arithmetic average of reviewer ratings. My finding (anecdotal, exactly one book): There is no weighting.

The rating average, which is presented in tenths, has faithfully matched the weighted average of user-provided ratings. The hundredths place rounds you up or down to the nearest tenth. For instance 4.55 or better results in 4.6, while 4.54 results in 4.5.

Based on this I think the only impact of Verfied Purchase is that the reader sees the tag and it may affect their perception of the review. The helpful votes matter more because they affect placement of reviews on the page (I think the Most Helpful Critical Review is the most important one), but they do not affect average rating.

Anyway hopefully review-weighting is one less thing to worry about.

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    Offline Monique

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 10:26:35 am »
    I don't remember hearing anything about this. Where did you read about it?

    Offline Becca Mills

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 10:29:57 am »
    I don't remember hearing anything about this. Where did you read about it?

    It was announced last year. It wasn't just weighting based on verified purchases. It was a whole machine-learning system for giving some reviews higher value than others in computing averages. I think we hypothesized that the verified purchase tag might figure into the matter, but no one knew for sure.

    Like James, I haven't seen any sign of it. The computation of my review averages doesn't seem to have changed at all.

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    Offline Monique

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 10:37:01 am »
    Oh, yeah. No noticeable change here either.

    Offline James R Wells

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 10:48:00 am »
    From CNet in June 2015:

    http://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-updates-customer-reviews-with-new-machine-learning-platform/

    Quote
    The change, which started Friday, will probably go unnoticed at first, as the e-commerce giant's new platform gradually starts altering the star ratings and top reviews on product pages. The new system will give more weight to newer reviews, reviews from verified Amazon purchasers and those that more customers vote up as being helpful.

    A product's 5-star rating, which previously was a pure average of all reviews, will also become weighted using those same criteria, and so may change more often.

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    Stella S. Fitzsimons

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 10:55:39 am »
    It changed for about two weeks, as far as I can tell, and then they just abandoned the whole idea.
    During that time two of my books that should have an average rating of 4.2 ended up with 4.3 and 4.4 respectively. Also, the top reviews changed completely on some of my book pages. Maybe it was a test, but everything returned to normal two weeks later.

    Offline Becca Mills

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #6 on: February 01, 2016, 11:11:34 am »
    It changed for about two weeks, as far as I can tell, and then they just abandoned the whole idea.
    During that time two of my books that should have an average rating of 4.2 ended up with 4.3 and 4.4 respectively. Also, the top reviews changed completely on some of my book pages. Maybe it was a test, but everything returned to normal two weeks later.

    I guess ... it just didn't work?

    ETA: It's sort of odd. I'd have thought Amazon would be pretty sure of the program's functionality and use value before announcing it.

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    Offline Monique

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 11:13:09 am »
    I guess ... it just didn't work?

    ETA: It's sort of odd. I'd have thought Amazon would be pretty sure of the program's functionality and use value before announcing it.

    It is odd. Maybe the number of unverified KU reviews made it a poor choice in the end? *shrug*

    Offline Becca Mills

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 11:21:14 am »
    It is odd. Maybe the number of unverified KU reviews made it a poor choice in the end? *shrug*

    Good thought, that. They'd hardly want to penalize KU books via a lower review average.

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    Re: Zon Rating average, weighting of Verified Purchase reviews - not seeing it
    « Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 11:22:52 am »
    I should also say that I could see the changes when I was using Firefox or Chrome on a computer, but not on my phone or Kindle tablet, so it might have been just testing at the time.

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