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Review Methodology

The following is an outline of our review methodology here at No1Reviews.com:

1. Choosing a Category

Some categories of products are worth reviewing, some are not. Making a choice on which categories to include and which to exclude depends on:

  • How distinct a category is. Is it easily defined?
  • The number of products or websites that belong to the category.
  • The volume of traffic that the most popular products or websites in this category receive.
  • General chatter and user interest in this category on the web (search engine keyword analysis, blogosphere, forums, other review sites, etc.)

Based on this, we short-list a number of categories and let our researchers and review writers choose the category they want to research and review next.


2. Category Research

Our researchers scour the web looking for the most popular products that belong to that category. Sometimes, this can be a tough job when a category is not easily defined and a company offers many services, only one of which is related to the category. Popular products and sites are included, low-traffic sites are excluded.

A draft top 10 list is drawn up, based largely on popularity (usually according to their traffic rank as provided by the website analytics company, Alexa). Other factors also play a role, such as first impressions when visiting the site, any significant chatter about the site or product on the news, blogosphere, etc.


3. Review Writing

Our review writers get to work - one is assigned to each category. Category-specific star rating criteria are agreed with our review writers, which are then used as a basis for comparison across all the products or websites in the category.

Apart from star ratings, our reviewer breaks down the pricing info for each site or product, summarises its major features and writes an in-depth review of it.

By reviewing an entire category, the review writer effectively becomes an expert on that category and is able to compare and contrast individual products or websites with the category as a whole.

All of our review writers have University level qualifications (in the arts, sciences, law, etc.) and some have also earned PhDs in fields ranging from Psychology to Computer Science.

Our expert reviews aim to give the reader a realistic idea of what to expect from the range of products in a category, as well as each individual product under review. The top 10 list of products is then finalised by the review writer according to the various star rating criteria, which usually include popularity, functionality, features, value for money and ease of use.

Finally, the buying guide is compiled, giving readers an explanation of the category and an indication of what features to look out for and which to avoid when making their choice.


4. Proof Reading

All our reviews and buying guides are diligently proof-read before going online. This is essential to ensure that our reviews consistently meet the highest editorial standards possible.


5. Review Updates

Our reviews are updated regularly. The extent and frequency of the updates depends largely on:

  1. The popularity of the products and how much traffic we get to the category. The more traffic we get - the more important it is to keep the reviews updated.

  2. The extent of change of the category - some categories change a lot, with new products coming along, and existing products offering new features and prices, etc. Some products change very little over time. It is obviously more important to update the reviews of the products that change the most over time.

All our reviews are updated regularly, either individually (if a product or website has changed a lot), or as part of a complete overhaul to the entire category (involving more category research, the addition of new products to the category, jettisoning products that are no longer that popular and complete re-writes of existing reviews). The ranking of our top 10 list can also change, as products change, new products are added, and others are removed.