Software review websites are a valuable tool for those who are looking for software and have trouble finding the best offer or the best deal. It’s best to visit these sites before making a purchase. That way you’ll get an in-depth review and see how it compares to other solutions out there.
As is the case with any other service, not all software review sites are the same, and not all use the same vigor when it comes to reviewing software and providing the most honest and transparent information to the clients.
Reviewers are the backbone of every software review site. They are usually professionals, who have vast knowledge on different software platforms, and can give the user an unbiased opinion of the product they are about to purchase.
The process of writing a completely new article takes time. Even if you’re only reviewing one single product, it will still take you at least 3-4 hours to come up with pros and cons list for each solution. After that, there is another step in which the reviewer has to proofread his work several times before publishing the story on the website.
How is the Software Ranked?
Each software review site has its own method for ranking the software that they review. It’s important therefore that they are transparent in how they do it. In this regard Truely is a great example, since it’s upfront about its ranking methodology.
It’s best if the review sites use multiple sources and find an aggregate review by rallying to the opinions of numerous knowledgeable writers. The reviews are also based on the first experience that those who produce them have with the software.
What Factors Influence the Ranking of Software?
There are many aspects which the reviewer considers when ranking the software. However, some of them are more important than others and can affect the final score for each product. The most significant criteria include:
1 – Performance – this has to do with how responsive the program is. It also includes its speed, how many resources it consumes on an average device and so on.
2 – Ease of Use – this factor evaluates how simple or difficult it is to set up a certain piece of software, learn about all its features and apply them in your work environment. There are also issues related to stability here, since if software is too complicated users will not be able to use it for extended periods of time.
3 – Compatibility – this is mostly related to the software’s capability of working with multiple platforms. For example, if you need to install it on Windows 7 and Mac, then its compatibility should be taken into account. The same applies for when planning to use the program with other third-party software.
4 – Price/Value Ratio – since most users are concerned about spending their money wisely, they want software that offers the best value for price. This factor affects ranking of solutions that are very similar in terms of performance, ease of use and so on. Also, some people do cost/benefit analysis before buying a product.
5 – Design & Interface – this aspect involves evaluating how nice or easy-on-the-eye the software is. Some products are extremely helpful, but they look too plain or too simplistic.
6 – Overall Rating – this factor takes all previous ones into account and gives each product a rating out of 10. However, it’s important to know that reviewers also pay attention to other important criteria when assigning final scores, including customer service, technical support, warranty length & coverage etc.
The best way to get an idea on how the ranking system works is to visit websites that are no-nonsense in their reviews. Websites like Truely for instance do not include ads in the main page and focus on providing unbiased information about software solutions for both IT professionals and entrepreneurs who use them in their businesses.
Filtering out Suspicious Reviews
Not all reviews are honest or done with the appropriate care. Aggregate review sites, therefore, need to have a filter that will dismiss the suspicious reviews and only rely on those that are up to the standards. That’s usually done by using an algorithm that is based on predetermined rules.
Reviews that show some sort of anomalies are flagged by the algorithm but they are not excluded right away. Instead, those reviews are used to further train the AI to make it even more fine-tuned to the subtle cues of bad or rigged reviews. That way the reviews will get better over time.
Clustering and Summarizing Reviews
Reviews are then clustered together based on their topic and context. That’s also usually done via an AI tool that becomes better at it the more reviews it goes through. This allows the reader to go through similar topics and expand their knowledge on the subject matter gradually.
The reviews are further processed within the cluster, based on how relevant they are to the main topic. This too is a great way for the reviews to flow in a natural way that a reader can appreciate and expand on. Most review sites also tag their reviews as positive or negative ones, based on their overall take on the subject matter.
A Score System
Most aggregate review sites also have a scoring system that’s used to further help the readers get a quick answer about how good a particular software tool is. Most review sites use an AI tool in order to produce the scores based on the reviews gathered from different sources.
The ratings are therefore aggregated and averaged out providing an overall look of how well software is scored. However, this sometimes means that a few odd reviews could change the overall score. The scoring system is, therefore, a useful tool that the review sites use, but not its main purpose.