If you want to jump down to the page, you can click HERE to see my "review format" I intend to follow. But first,
A word about product reviews and the internet.
I started this site partly because I'm frustrated with so much of what I've seen in recent years with "product reviews" online.
So much of what I see passing for "review sites" lately really pisses me off. And I wanted to see something different. But the difficulty is that it's complicated. If you don't know what is behind so many of the reviews being written these days, you'll not appreciate the irony of how this has become an annoying landscape for honest people wanting to do real reviews.
You see, in many ways, for good (and for bad)...
Google has become the proverbial tail wagging the internet dog.
Don't get me wrong. I think overall, the behemoth of the search engine industry has probably done a lot of good for us as a society.
It's hard even to try to remember what the internet looked like even 15 short years ago. Being able to open a search window on your computer (let alone your phone) and find out anything you wanted to know about any topic was hardly even a concept to anyone.
But having the greatest content in the world and having people find it easily are two different things.
There are "rules" you must follow and compromises you must make in order for even the best content to ever make it to page one of a Google search.
In an ideal world, somewhere in time and space, if everyone had all the money they could want to buy all the crap they could want, then everything on the internet would be written for much different reasons.
But the reality of it is,
Most stuff you find when you search for product reviews is written to get you to buy stuff.
And while that might be obvious to some people, it's not obvious to everyone.
The reality is that many sites (like this one, I might add) post articles and reviews with what are called "affiliate links." If you don't already know what that is, an affiliate link is a link in a post to a manufacturer's website. But it's a link set up specifically to PAY A COMMISSION or FINDER'S FEE to the web site that wrote the article.
What that means is this: if you click on (some of) the links in my articles, and when you get there, you decide to purchase the products I've recommended, I get a "finder's fee," of sorts, from that company where you just shopped.
There are a lot of good products out there. But some of them are expensive, and they know you're not just going to plunk down your cash on a whim for everything that screams "I'm AWESOME." So if you take a chance because you trust ME (or, at least trust that my review means something) they figure they will reward a good web site for the referral.
The trouble is....
You can have the best damn review on the planet. But if no one sees it, it doesn't help anyone. And THAT is where the Google "rules" come into play.
Everyone and his dog wants all of his blog posts to show up on page 1 of the Google search result. And there are all kinds of rules Google uses to determine who gets that coveted spot of number one on the list.
Some of what Google looks for in deciding who gets to the top of the search engine food chain:
- Ya gotta have the right "keywords"
- Ya gotta have enough words in your article to convince the Google algorithm that you must have something of substance to say.
Look. I get it. Somehow, you have to decide who gets to be on top. But you have to understand this.
This is why I create long articles. And they have to have lots of the "magic words" that Google wants to see to conclude it's what you want to see.
You see, if I'm writing a review of a supplement for something - say, a prostate support supplement, I can have a laser focus on what you maybe want to know.
But the problem is no one from Google reads every article to say, "yeah. That's it." They use NUMBERS and FORMULAS.
These formulas count the number of "magic words" (the words on a list for a topic they think are pertinent). And the more magic words you have, the more Google speculates you're over the target.
They also assume longer is better. Well, maybe not exactly all the time like that. But let's just say in the web post writing industry, if the top article has about 2,253 words, ya wanna be kinda darn sure you've got at least 2,453 words (or so) to be "better," as in "more of the right stuff to be a better article."
The problem is this creates all kinds of BULLSHIT in web articles. Sometimes, it's almost endless bullshit just to get the word count up.
An example of the BS that is (almost has to be) done to get to page one on Google.
Let me give you an example of the crap that happens.
If you're wanting a review on "best prostate supplements," you type in your search. And every article you see come up in the first few pages of Google is going to have the same magic words - testosterone, natural ingredients, enlarged prostate, what causes prostate enlargement, and on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
I would LOVE for Google to be smart enough to see that those things are elsewhere on my site. But Google, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to determine whether my review of the specific products is good enough based on EACH PAGE BEING ANALYZED AS IF IT IS THE ONLY PAGE ON THE SITE.
If they weren't locked into this "more is betterer" mode, it would make for some really cool SHORTER articles being good enough to make it to page one without all the fluff.
But to convince Google that my comparison of 10 products is valid, I FIRST have to write all the crap in EVERY REVIEW about all this generic BS that you probably already remember from the first review you read about prostate supplements.
So, since the tail wags the dog, I have to put that crap in there or you'll never find my reviews in your search - even if THEY ARE the best reviews on the web.
So, to get around this problem, I try to put all the "generic" crap in the beginning of the article (each and every article) to convince Google that it's LONG enough to be taken seriously. And I also lace enough of the "key words" in there to convince them that the article really will help you. (Even though they don't really know whether or not you already know all that crap.)
But even though I have to put ALL THAT CRAP into EVERY article, I put links in so you can jump past most of the BS you already know.
Sometimes I put links to help you skip past the stuff that might be a waste of your time.
In other words, I will try to give you a chance at the beginning to jump past the refresher course portion of the review, so it doesn't waste your time if you already know it.
Here's the other thing to know.
Sometimes I recommend stuff.
I'm going to try to not be the guy who recommends something just because it earns an affiliate fee.
If I recommend something, it's because I believe in it. I've recommended stuff before. And I will tell you upfront, rather than pretending that it ain't happening. SOME of the stuff I recommend in here does pay me a "finder's fee," if you will, when you end up trying something because I recommend it and you try it because I said so.
Like I've said elsewhere, I also recommend stuff for which I don't get affiliate fees. But I figure I'd rather you get the real story rather than me just trying to "sell you" something.
So, read my recommendations with a jaded eye. (But read everyone else's the same way, please.)
Quite honestly, I think if I've provided good value by way of the research I've done to provide you valuable information, I'm assuming you're the kind of person who wouldn't begrudge the finder's fee.
So if you choose to test a product because you feel my advice has been worthwhile, just remember that if you get there because you clicked on a link somewhere on my blog, I will be eternally grateful.
Well, at least grateful for a few days. Ya know.
And if you have questions or comments, PLEASE reach out to me at the address below.
My intention to follow THIS consistent review format:
- A brief statement about what the review will be about.
- An "at a glance" summary with jumps to the various sections (so you can skip past the yada yada that google needs for you to ever see my reviews in the first place).
- A "why I wrote this review" (if applicable)
- The "need this section to make google happy so you have a snowball's chance in hell of seeing the post" stuff (which you probably already know, but I have to say to hit the word count).
- The generalities of the product class in question
- The SPECIFICS of what is unique to each product
- Testimonials (if I have one of my own or if I can find one that doesn't sound like a commercial)
- Recommendation between the products reviewed (if I truly believe one is better)
- AND / OR
- A different recommendation altogether if I think both products in question are sub-par compared to something else out there.
- A LINK to the product or products mentioned. (Affiliate link - if you want to help me out by clicking on it to order).
If you're wondering why that's important, check out the "about you" page. I don't always see those on websites. But I think it's important for my audience to know how I see them.