ReviewMe Teething Problems

This is an update to my review of ReviewMe, the new pay per post system recently debuted by MediaWhiz. I have been exploring deeper into the site since posting my review and I’ve uncover some serious flaws in the way ReviewMe accepts sites and does its pricing.

While exploring a list of sites available to buy reviews on, I came across quite a few that made me ask, “How can this blog be worth that much?” ReviewMe based its pricing on theme, estimated traffic, link popularity, and estimated RSS subscribers. However, from the looks of things, only Alexa, Technorati, and estimated RSS are taken into consideration when assigning the blog its 1 to 5 star ranking.

reviewme5.jpg

From exploring the ReviewMe site, I’ve concluded the pricing system works like this:

  • 1 Star Ranking: $40
  • 2 Star Ranking: $60
  • 3 Star Ranking: $100
  • 4 Star Ranking: $250
  • 5 Star Ranking: $500

The problem with ReviewMe basing their pricing on this setup is their algorithm can be tricked. I came across several blogs with wacky pricing because the algorithm picked up the wrong Alexa and Technorati information. For example, this blog by a stay-at-home mom has a 3 star ranking because it’s hosted by Blogger, which has a 5 star Alexa ranking. Instead of finding the Alexa ranking for homemom3.blogspot.com (which is a N/A because it’s so low), the algorithm posted the Alexa ranking for Blogger. This means any blog on Blogger gets instant approval, even brand new ones.

The Technorati ranking is messed up as well. ReviewMe gave it 3 stars. A check at Technorati shows this blog with just 64 links. My blog has 1,235 links and was given only 2 stars.

What all this means is a blog with no traffic and a $100 price tag for a review.

On a positive note, it looks like ReviewMe is hand selecting the blogs they choose to do a review. ReviewMe has stated that every blog that signs up will get a chance to review ReviewMe but this doesn’t appear to be the case. Otherwise we would have seen a ReviewMe review at that home-mom blog.

Advertisers will look at the blogs they want to buy a review from. Since all the prices are fixed to the star ranking system, there is no way blogs like the home mom will ever get a buy. Who would pay $100 for it? ReviewMe needs to adjust their algorithm to account for blogs hosted by high-ranking blogging services.

I Can Claim Your Blog!

I read over at Deep Jive Interests that he tried to submit his blog to ReviewMe and was denied. I thought this was baffling because his blog should get in with no problems. Just for the hell of it, I submitted Deep Jive Interests as one of my blogs and it was accepted!

reviewme6.jpg

I now own Deep Jive Interests! It looks as if I can submit any other blogs and claim ownership over them as well. ReviewMe has no system for confirming blog ownership at this time. Claiming someone else’s blog doesn’t do anything for me except to block out the true blog owner from signing up. Shortly after the above screen shot was taken, I deleted Deep Jive from my list of blogs. Feel free to apply again Tony!

ReviewMe has generated a lot of buzz since their launching. However, like many new startups, they have some teething problems that need to be worked on. In addition to the pricing and blog ownership problems, the algorithm that decides which blogs to accept and reject requires work as well. Just for fun, I submitted Tech Crunch and got this message:

Sorry the blog you just submitted does not meet minimum acceptance criteria (traffic, other links to your site, etc) at this time.

Man, if Tech Crunch can’t meet the minimum requirements, God help us all!


24 thoughts on “ReviewMe Teething Problems”

  1. Tony says:

    Jaysus christ! But if TechCrunch had trouble, I guess I shouldn’t feel so bad … 😉

    Thanks for checking it out John — you’re a real mensch!

    I”ll let you know how it turns out though.

    Cheers
    t @ dji

  2. Tony says:

    Looks like all is a go — I can sell my blogging soul for $30/ post now! 😀

    On the other hand, with >1k inbound links your blog should probably be in the 1000’s of ranking.

    Have you tried “claiming” you blog on technorati yet?

    Cheers
    t @ dji

  3. Yikes. I wonder what other exploits there are.

  4. John Chow says:

    Tony – I can’t claim my blog at Technoranti for some reason. It always gives me an error message. I have emailed their tech support but they haven’t replied yet.

  5. Andy Hagans says:

    Is there an emoticon for slapping my hand on my head?

    John, you’re dead on with both of these bugs.

    The former is relatively easy to fix, fortunately — the latter is something we’re going to have to figure out…

  6. siong1987 says:

    You should claim your blog first before registering with ReviewMe. I think you will get another one or two stars extra for technorati ranking.

  7. Trevor says:

    I don’t think that not seeing a ReviewMe review on someone’s site necessarily means that they were not given the opportunity to earn money by doing it. I signed up for ReviewMe today after receiving an e-mail saying that my blog was pre-approved because it had already been reviewed at Text-Link-Ads. It took me a few minutes just to figure out that I had to click on the $25K campaign image to get the review offer extended to me. It was not an automatic review assignment upon successful approval of my blog.

    In addition, many sites may not consider it the best idea to review a site (ReviewMe) that is completely unrelated to their blog’s usual content, regardless of the easy money earned by doing so. I noticed that many blogs that are signed up have not yet done a review of ReviewMe. I found it difficult to review it myself because, after all, this service has just launched. It is hard to say how effective ReviewMe is without receiving any review offers except from ReviewMe itself.

  8. Tony says:

    Good luck with that John — I had a problem with Technorati as well, where it wouldn’t update my links for over two months. For two months it only gave me one inbound link.

    At any rate after, like, 4 – 5 emails, they eventually did catch up — but Technorati is pretty well known for its absolutely abysmal email support, or lack thereof.

    I’ve heard that if you email dave sifry directly he can help you sort things out a little faster. 😉

    Thanks again … and good luck with technorati!
    cheers
    t @ dji

  9. Wow… good job spotting those problems. I just signed up today and hadn’t look that deeply into things.

    @ Andy Hagans > Fixing the blog ownership issue should not be too difficult. Require a unique snippet of code on a blog then just spider the blog to varify code is in place.

    BTW, so far I love the ReviewMe platform! I really hope this takes off.

    🙂

  10. HMTKSteve says:

    I noticed that as well (about blogs on blogspot) when I checked the comments from the previous article.

    I submitted my blog and was flatly rejected yet others in the comments said they had success. Sure enough, some of them were hosted under blogspot or similar services.

    I figured it had to do with reviewme being unable to get accurate data for subdomains and your research looks to bear that out.

  11. engtech says:

    Hi Jon, I had some similar impressions (I also linked to your excellent post on how Alexa can be gamed).

    http://engtech.wordpress.com/2006/11/10/reviewmecom-reviewed-a-look-at-the-algorithm-from-a-bloggers-point-of-view/

    One teething problem I’ve noticed is that a lot of blogs have 2 star / N/A for Technorati rating when they should 4 star or higher.

  12. Vincent Chow says:

    I have mention about the Alexa ranking as well on my ReviewMe review. It’s totally unfair to bloggers who own their own domain. But since it’s still new, I’m quite sure that they will improve after collecting all the reviews from us.

  13. Seems the guys at ReviewMe did not do a thorough home work before hurriedly leaving the drawing board. It is not sufficient to major on the flaws of PayPerPost and manufacture an experimental model out of it.

    An itelligent and sophisticated audience on the web cannot be taken cheaply for granted. Let them go back to the drawing board. It is unfair to use us as guinea pigs of this ‘expefriment’.

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  15. John Chow says:

    Looking at it now, I can see I got ripped of on the Technoranti score. I should have received 4 stars for that, which may have boosted my overall ranking to 4 stars, which means $250 for a review. Oh well.

    Hopefully, Technoranti tech support will get back to me soon on why I can’t claim my blog.

  16. David Krug says:

    Actually I believe ReviewMe was in the works well before PayperPost launched.

  17. Eliza says:

    First I wanted to thank you John for pointing towards my blog. I’m actually still new at all this and must say that any way I can get traffic works for me at the moment. To be honest I just learned how to get your blog indexed, which I had no clue about. I’ve been learning as I go and hopefully in a few months I can get that technorati rating up there. 😉

    As far as me reviewing Review Me, I hadn’t done it yet because I thought we’d just get an invite in the little email box. I went back today and figured out you didn’t need one, however I didn’t want to review a site I hadn’t really got a chance to use yet. I will have one up very soon, probably before the weekend is over.

  18. John Chow says:

    Eliza – Thanks for posting. I recommend you accept the offer to review ReviewMe before their $25,000 budget runs out! At $50 net to you, you’re taking them to cleaners! 🙂

  19. HighMotor says:

    My blog has no stars in total ranking. It has only one in Technorati and no more either Alexa wether RSS and I will receive $15 for each review.

  20. John Chow says:

    Wow! Technoranti has fixed my blog claim problem! I have claimed my blog and my true Technoranti rank is now being displayed. This should add another star to my ReviewMe ranking.

  21. Eliza says:

    Will you be able to reclaim your blog with Reviewme? I hope you can.

  22. David Mackey says:

    Mmmm…That is a big problem, but not quite so big b/c the advertisers pick the sites they want to be on. I’m sure ReviewMe will quickly get a handle on it.

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