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Amazon addresses customer review system

23 June 2015 - 09:34 by Mike Price

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Just days after a report criticising the state of online review services was published, e-commerce giant, Amazon, has announced that it is altering the way its own system for customer feedback on products is operated, to improve the accuracy of ratings.

CNET reports that the firm is intending to give certain reviewers a verified status, which will allow their ratings to carry more weight because they are deemed legitimate, rather than exploitative, in sharing their opinions.

Newer reviews will also be given additional impact on the current rating of a product, meaning that firms attempting to exploit the system will have a tougher time achieving their malicious goals.

All in all, this will result in much more regular fluctuations in the rating of a particular product, as more people who have bought online submit their reviews and star ratings.

In this more fluid environment, products which have improved over time will have this represented in better ratings and rankings further down the line, without being penalised so much for a flush of older, poorer reviews.

Furthermore, Amazon is going to allow other users to engage with the reviews posted by people, to boost their visibility. So the more upvotes a particular reaction to a product receives, the more likely it is to appear at the top of the customer review rankings.

Rather than writing algorithms to weed out fake reviews and other underhanded practices, Amazon is relying on the collective power of its customers in order to pick out the reviews that best represent the reality of what is on sale via safe shopping online.

Of all this, the presence of verified reviewers, who are known to be impartial and reputable, could help Amazon improve the standing of customer reviews in general.