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

By October 2, 2013 June 10th, 2019 Online Reviews

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!