A Look at Reviewer Ranking and “Helpful” Hits

So I’ve done a few more reviews since last I posted and have gotten slightly higher in my ranking. As of this posting, I’m 251,615, over 200,000 uh…places (?) higher the I was before. Interestingly, none of this is do to the big “Cyber Monday” deals on Amazon that gave my reviews more exposure. I did not rank up at all that week. Instead, it is mostly due to two things: I added four more reviews and got two more “Helpful”s. That’s all.

While I understand my ranking still isn’t very high, it rose considerably with those two things. It’s true that I added more info to my profile, such as where I am located, my birthday, and a very small bio (so far, I have not been murdered despite giving this info), but the “rules” Amazon gives says nothing about that helping my rank. The rules, however, are very vague and confusing. Here they are:

What does it mean “the more recently a review was written, the greater it’s impact”? Does that mean I’m going to go down over time as my reviews get older, or that as long as I have one recent review, I’ll rise in rank? And how does it decide that a ballet box is stuffed? you can’t rate your own reviews, so it isn’t that obvious. I am perplexed.

But ignoring the intricacies, it’s clear that the most important part of reviewer ranking is “helpful” hits. I am always very flattered when someone says my reviews are helpful. It may not be a big deal, but it is sort validation of how well I write as a reviewer. Of course, this feeling of flattery is slightly lessened when I see the “helpful bias” people have. by this, I mean the bias people have of finding reviews that are basically congruent with their own. OK, maybe that doesn’t make any sense. Here is are two examples found next to each other. They are reviews for the film “Plague Dogs” (which, if you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s uber depressing :)! ) :

Now, I hope I don’t come off as a snob when I say these reviews really, really suck. Really. I may have some bad grammar, but these are worse. My reviews may not be the most deep or probing, but these say practically nothing of worth. They say it’s sad….? Yet, despite the suckeyness of the reviews, they both got a “helpful” hit. Clearly, someone was going down the line of reviews and hitting “helpful” on all the positive high stared ones.

This calls into question the amount of weight these “helpful” hits carry. I would actually like it if the people hitting “helpful” had to write why they found it helpful. I suppose there would be a problem there, as then there might then need to be a “Was this explanation of why the review was helpful helpful?” button and then one for that and so on into infinity. Still, it would be nice to know what the people hitting “helpful” are thinking.

In the end, I guess what I’m talking about in this post is, again, the legitimacy of the reviews and more importantly reviewer ranking on Amazon. That, as well as begging you to find my reviews helpful and not “not helpful”. Or at least read them. That would be great! Here, again, is a link to my profile.


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