How We Got Started
With a name like Reviews.com, we had the freedom to start anywhere. Our initial goal was to create “the ultimate review” for a product or service. We wanted to do it all, and narrowing our focus became a challenge.
Our original components of this ultimate review included massive amounts of data collection, an expert review, a compilation of other reviews across the Internet, and a price comparison or value score. By assembling these components, we expected it to lead us on a journey to fixing what was broken with online reviews. Paid reviews, false reviews, and reviews too narrowly focused – those things drove us to produce something greater.
We needed to simplify things. Truth, transparency, and credibility remained paramount, but we sharpened our approach to one that focuses on uncovering the best options across many verticals. We settled on using a combination of an editorial review component along with data. We worked with independent industry experts to help create our content and we scored products and services based on the number of important features each possessed.
There are still some remnants of this old approach on our site today, but our approach to content moving forward will be far more holistic and direct. Our goal is to convert existing reviews into our new format and rework as updates are needed. You'll still see some individual product reviews and comparisons around the site, but this is not the way of the future.
Where We Are Going
At the end of 2014, we decided to make a change. While we feel displaying data points and creating comparison tools are valuable, our goal now is to connect with people. To deliver reviews that actual humans want to read, and to answer the most common and direct question of all: “What's the best I can buy in a given category?”
Moving ahead, we're making content the primary element of our pages. We'll live, breathe, and operate with products and services in order to produce compelling stories that explain pros and cons. Our results will speak to people like you on a human level. Whether you have seconds or hours to investigate, we'll be here to advise.
Every time we review a new category of products, we spend a significant amount of time on audience analysis. Not only do we want to present our best overall choices, we also want to help you find the best choice for your situation.
As an example, we reviewed the best multivitamins. But let's say you don't care about the best overall because you're looking specifically for prenatal multivitamins. What we do in this situation is create an entirely new list of top products for prenatal vitamins, in addition to our best overall multivitamins. We ranked the best prenatal vitamins based on what ingredients, brands, and dosages matter most for women who are pregnant. It's an additional step we take because we know there is no single best choice for everyone.
We Review Categories, Not Individual Products
The approach of reviewing categories vs. individual products allows us to provide actionable advice to busy people. The goal is to save you time by eliminating the need to read through thousands of reviews of hundreds of products.
Why would I read your reviews if I can see product reviews on Amazon?
When you read product reviews on Amazon or elsewhere, you're trying to gauge the consensus opinion for how users feel about an individual product. These reviews typically occur in a vacuum – they're focused on the product, but not a host of alternatives. Our reviews provide context for making a better choice based on all available options.
How do we go about creating our reviews?
Here's an example: You're interested in purchasing eyeliner. You come to our page. There, you'll find a month's worth of research, writing, testing, comparing, and analysis to determine the top overall picks and the top picks for various types (waterproof, drugstore eyeliner, and more).
To get to those answers, we ingest and evaluate online reviews from every credible source, speak to makeup chemists, Hollywood makeup artists, and conduct surveys of eyeliner users. We also try the top picks ourselves in a variety of situations. For example, does that waterproof eyeliner stay on your face after 90 minutes of hot yoga or will you walk out of class resembling a circus clown? We'll let you know ahead of time.
Our focus moving forward is on reviewing consumer products. We've done some consumer products in the past, but there are many industries we haven't touched yet. Some of the categories we're focused on next are in technology, beauty, health and fitness, home products, and lifestyle products. We're pretty pumped to write about the stuff that we use everyday, and we'll be asking readers what they want to see on the site next.
We Make Money When You Use Our Site
All of our content is free to consume, and like many other websites similar to us, we make money through advertising and affiliate partnerships. Many of the products that we recommend on our site will have a clickable link that allows you to purchase that product from Amazon, other retailers, or the company itself. These partners pay us a small commission on the sale of products to someone who came from our website.
We never let the amount of the payment or the ability to monetize products sway our choices. We have no intent to sacrifice long-term trust and credibility for short-term gain. As a business, that's much more sustainable than getting a marginally higher payout on a product. We want to create valuable content that people enjoy -- content we would read ourselves. To do that, it must be based on the truth, with top picks backed by credible methodology. We don't rank products based on payouts. We earn revenue regardless of which product you select, even if it's not our top choice.
What about advertising? Starting in 2015, we'll put some advertisements on our pages. Our advertisements will always be marked as “advertisements” -- we aren't interested in putting anything on our site to trick or confuse you. Companies will often come to sites like ours and offer big payouts for excessive, full-page advertisements and pop-ups. We aren't interested.
Our ability to continue reviewing and updating new categories hinges on credibility, and how useful the content is to folks like you. If we're aiding you in purchasing the best product, we hope you'll do so from our site. We hope you'll share our name with friends. We hope to become a trusted partner when it comes to buy… well, anything.
Thanks for reading.
-Mike Jelinek, Executive Editor
GET IN TOUCH
Have a question, comment or concern?
The best way to get in touch with us is to fill out our contact form. If you have an urgent matter, problem, complaint you can reach us at talk [@] reviews.com.