What Do Amazon's Star Ratings Really Mean?

Found on Wired on Sunday, 26 May 2019
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Five-star ratings from three years ago probably shouldn’t count as much as three-star ratings left just last week. But it also represents an additional layer of algorithmic secrecy, which can be frustrating for third-party merchants on the ecommerce site. Amazon's seller forums are full of merchants struggling to understand the black box of how their products are ranked and rated.

Star ratings aren’t only influenced by Amazon’s algorithms. They’re also sometimes manipulated by sellers who pay for glowing reviews in order to raise the rank of their products in Amazon’s search results.

Amazon ratings are pretty much useless thanks to an army of paid writers. There are so many reviews out there which either sound like perfect marketing, or don't seem to have anything to do with the product itself at all.