Review Site Series: 5-Star vs. Alternate Rating Scales

In this installment of our Review Site Series, we wanted to focus on the rating scales used by different review sites. Most review sites use a 5-Star rating scale, but others, such as Zagat use an alternate rating scale. (Zagat uses a 30-point scale.)

We at ReviewInc feel that having a scale other than the standard 5-Star rating scale can be a little confusing for consumers. People generally associate leaving reviews with a 5-Star system and it seems to be the simplest form of rating scale.

Interestingly enough, although Zagat operates on a 30-point scale, it’s still almost as if they operate on a 5-star scale.

Zagat Rating Scale

Essentially, ‘5 Stars’ would be “26-30 | Extraordinary to Perfection”, ‘4 Stars’ would be “21-25 | Very Good to Excellent”, ‘3 Stars’ would be “16-20 | Good to Very Good”, ‘2 Stars’ would be “11-15 | Fair to Good, and ‘1 Star’ would be “0-10 | Poor to Fair”.

Zagat, who was bought out by Google, used to aggregate its scores towards Google+ Local listings. However, Google has now switched back to the 5-Star rating scale.

Another example is a percentage rating scale used by sites such as Citysearch, which is determined by a simple ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’. (Or a 2-point rating scale, if you will). While this scale is far more simple than the 5-point rating scale, it’s important to note that when you have a scale like this, it takes a lot of people to participate in order for the data to be truly meaningful.

Citysearch Rating Scale

What do you think? Do you think that a 5-Star rating scale is the best form of rating scale? What are others that you think are more beneficial or accurate? Let us know in the comments below!

Zagat Releases New Website and Android/iPhone Apps

Zagat has now officially released an all-new website as well as new Android and iPhone apps. All of these will now allow you to browse the latest content from some of your favorite local spots. Also, you may now browse the ratings without having to log in.

According to Zagat, “Our new website and mobile apps feature the latest news and video content from our expert local editors and curated lists (think “10 Hidden Restaurant Gardens Around DC“), along with powerful search, helpful filters (like Neighborhoods and Cuisines) and map-based browsing to help you find the local gems.

Through our digital products – and the Google products you use every day like the new Google Maps for Mobile – you can rely on Zagat’s curated lists and summary reviews to cut through the clutter so you can find the perfect spot, every time.”