Job Search, Technology

Amazon gets rid of “negative” votes on reviews

Amazon review votes

Well…kinda.

Amazon reviews and Reviewer rankings

I’ve written over 1,000 reviews on Amazon’s website, and am ranked at 1,197 out of all reviewers on the site.   Not too bad, but if that was translated onto a Google style listing, I’d still only show up beyond page 100 of a typical search.  I actually even reviewed the Amazon store here in NYC on this site.

However, I still consider my contribution to the site as a valuable and valid consumer service.

How those reviewer rankings are derived is the secret sauce for the reviewer community.  Just like it is for Domain authority and Google page rankings.

One of the big components of Amazon reviews is the ability to say “NO” that a review was NOT helpful and the trolls love to exploit that “NO” button for a number reasons.

  1. If they disagree with your review (even if you have valid points)
  2. If they’re trying to ding your ranking

Negative votes

Those negative votes used to translate into being shown on your profile as an overall “percentage” of what percentage of your votes were “Positive” or received a “Yes” this review was helpful, vote.

As of yesterday, that percentage total is gone.

While the negative “No” button is still there for reviews.  It is not reflected on individual review totals (in the Yes/No count) and the percentage of positive votes is no longer shown.  That’s a pretty big shift and is important for both consumers and reviewers.

Nice community change

I really like this move by Amazon and applaud it, because I’ve always been willing to take my lumps and not sugarcoat my reviews.  Which is a big deal, when you’re accepting products from a company and you might feel obligated to provide a positive review.  I also have never used the “No” vote to ding others who review the same product, but whose opinion might differ from mine.  If the review doesn’t provide useful information, then I feel well within proper boundaries to say “No” this review was not helpful.

Overall, in the Amazon reviewer community, I think this change will be lauded as a positive move, and will discourage people from abusing the “No” vote as a pejorative penalty because they disagree with the reviewers’ position.

Customers will still be able to compare positive and negative reviews side by side, but the people doing the real work of reviewing the products won’t feel bullied into providing a positive review out of fear of retaliation.  Nice move Amazon.