Amazon Changes That Impact All of Us

by James Durney on December 19, 2008 · 1 comment

Amazon determines who is a fan, are you?

Unless you do numerous reviews on amazon.com, there is no reason to follow how the ranking system works. The simplest explanation is you accumulate points for reviewing and helpful votes, while losing points of not helpful votes. Nothing is that simple and the system contains a number of “yes but” statements or “Catch 22” areas. For a number of years, the top 100 reviewer ranks were very stable which seems to have been the source of complaints. In October, Amazon reworked the calculations to determine rankings. They introduced a number of new features and changed the point system. This produced a huge change in the rankings, reviewers jumped or fell hundreds of positions. Some flew to unexpected heights while others fell into the abyss.

Many reviewers feel the worst feature is the creation of fans. Amazon says the following about this: “Fans are only people that like your reviews. People who vote negatively are not considered fans. As we hope the name implies, having fans is a good thing.” What Amazon does not say would fill a large book and has caused considerable comment among the reviewing community. When you vote that a review is helpful Amazon starts a counter. This counter records your ID as casting one helpful vote for the person who wrote the review. After you have voted that this person has written a helpful review six different times, you are a fan. No helpful votes you cast for that reviewer, today and forever, will count. You will see them but Amazon comes by later and wipes them out. Amazon does not intend to tell you that you can no longer vote for this person, they are just doing it. People that work in well-defined areas are accumulating fans at a rapid rate. As this happens, the number of votes on their reviews is dropping.

We are asking you to take the time to add a comment when you vote. It can be nothing more that “YES” or a couple of words but it will tell us how many votes the fan system is taking away. It is the only way you can be sure your vote is being recorded and kept. Thank you.

NOTE: Amazon’s new system moved me up from 1,383 to 589 in the rankings. I opened with 70 fans and now have 95, a 36% increase in about 10 weeks.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Durney December 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Amazon has developed a coded message that tells you if your vote counts or not. After voting, if you see: “Thanks for the valuable feedback you provided to other Amazon.com readers and reviewers. Your vote will be counted and will appear on the product page within 24 hours.” You are a valid voter and your vote counts. This message is usually in red. However, if the message returned is “Thanks for your feedback.” Sorry, Amazon has deemed you unfit to vote. You might wish to leave a comment about not counting or that you tried to vote for the review.

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