One of the more interesting and challenging aspects of creating Deep Content Websites is in the area of rating and prioritizing content. It is one of the items that make up The Three Main Areas of a Successful Deep Content Website. Sites that contain a lot of content need to have a way to sort out the wheat from the chaff, delivering high quality content quickly and efficiently.
These days everything from books, business, movies, articles, videos, reviews, blog posts, pictures, Tweets, and Facebook posts are rated. Indeed, rating and prioritizing content has become the way to bring the most popular and highest quality content to the attention of users. The less time website users spend searching around for what they are looking for, the more time they have to enjoy and use your website.
Rating content is a bit more complicated than it first appears. The desired goal of a successful content rating system is to serve your users by providing high quality and relevant content. Delivering relevant content saves your users time, and builds trust, so they keep coming back to your site. There are a variety of ways to approach the problem, all with advantages and disadvantages:
1) Content that is rated and reviewed by users.
Having your users rate and review content with star ratings, likes, comments, and so forth, increases your user’s involvement with your website, which is always a good thing. Many people trust ratings from a large number of everyday folks like themselves, over ratings from professional reviewers. But, this approach can be fraught with problems if not designed and curated properly. It has the potential of being easily manipulated by those who create false reviews. News articles abound about these problems. Amazon.com has had huge problems with this issue and loads of bad press as a result. Forbes did an entire series just about Amazon’s fake reviews. (Article 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
2) Rating content behind the scenes using analytics, and other techniques.
Another way to go about rating content is to do it behind the scenes using human and technological methods. Analytics, looking at user behavior, can identify how often, and for how long content is viewed. The amount of sharing via email, Twitter, Facebook and other sites can be kept track of, giving a good idea of the popularity of a certain item of content. The New York Times actually has a page that identifies their most emailed, viewed, blogged, and searched news articles.
Rating of content by actual people can be used, but this ability is limited by the staffing size of a company. Some websites let some of their members, who are proven and serious users, review and rate content. This increases the amount of people curating the content, while still keeping the quality of the results high.
The actual reality, is that most websites use a combination of all of these techniques. Whatever methods are used, the more your website takes responsibility for this process, the happier your users will be. You need to sort it out for them, so that they can spend more time enjoying your website, and spend less time searching on the site. In future blog posts I will be looking at specific rating techniques used by websites, analyzing their advantages and disadvantages, and how well they succeed in delivering high quality content to their users.Post a Comment