A Brief History of Online Reviews

In 1999, the world was a very different place. 

There was no Amazon (the way we know it now, at least), no Facebook, and definitely no such thing as an iPhone. (What?) There were, however, three websites which led the way to what we now know, as the online review. 

Together, rateitall.com, deja.com, and eopinions.com had a staggering total of 1,146,201 reviews for the year of 1999. (Anthill) For today’s online consumer, a million reviews on a review platform may seem trivial, but to the futurist, it was a pivotal moment. 

By 2001, Yellow pages, which had dominated the business directory market, added their own online review platform to their website. (LA Times) By 2007, the widget was invented which gave businesses the capability of showcasing their positive reviews on their online websites. 

By 2013, online reviews were becoming mainstream. People began to recognize the authenticity of hearing from their peers rather than relying on the ever optimistic business trying to sell themselves. Facebook had prevailed in the online world and was the leader of all online reviews holding the position of most reviews on any website.

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Not to be outdone however, Google claimed that position by 2017 and skyrocketed to the top with the most online reviews. A position they still hold to this day. As of this writing, Google accounts for more than 57.5% of all online reviews. (Review Tracker)

A lot has changed in the two decades since online reviews started showing up into our digital world. 

Since 2001, internet usage has doubled from 150 million users to 300 million. Smart phone users have gone up from 20% of the global public in 2010 to a whopping 69% in 2017. (Statista

What Does This Mean For You?

What does all of this mean for the small business owner? It means more people are checking their local listings at the drop of a hat before making a purchasing decision. Consider that today, more than 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision. 

So, are you collecting reviews and utilizing them to their full potential? For example, simply displaying them can increase conversion rates by 270%!

We’re ready to help you with all of these tips, tricks and more in order to get new customers and grow your business with the power of reviews and a great reputation. Select a plan on our pricing page to get your no-obligation demo today!