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Review Ethics Policy

Founded in 2004, Website Traffic Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

 We’re one of the largest traffic reviews websites in the USA, and growing fast.

We operate under clear principles designed to protect our editorial integrity and to preserve the freedom of our reviewers to say what they think about a product.

Earning our audience’s trust is central to what we do – it’s in our name after all – so here’s what we practice to ensure that.

Our values

Trusted Reviews lives by six core values which we apply across everything we do:

Integrity

We may be critical of products or companies that we cover. Because of this, we maintain a strict separation between our editorial and advertising teams. We always say what we think, not what an advertiser wants you to hear

Rigour

We make every effort to justify our opinions and views, and use standard tools to generate objective test data where possible.

Expertise

Products are tested and reviews written by experts in their fields. That enables us to make comparisons where applicable.

Helpfulness

We focus on what our readers need to know and seek to deliver that in all that we do. We actively look for new ways to aid our readers’ decision-making and understand that not every product is right for everyone.

Enthusiasm

We have a passion for technology and innovative products, and we’ll recommend those that we think you’ll most enjoy owning, too.

Balance

We understand that products cost money and that value is often an important consideration when buying something new.

We have policies designed to protect and ensure the above:

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct:

  • The final decision on what to review is the editor’s.
  • When covering a story, we don’t accept preconditions that restrict what we can say.
  • We don’t vet our review scores with PRs, advertisers or manufacturers.
  • Occasionally we may change a score due to a product changing. When this happens, we will make it clear within our review.
  • We never accept money or non-cash incentives to review or score something – ever.
  • We do allow our staff members to accept small non cash gifts, provided it does not create a conflict of interest, for example gift bags. Anything worth more than £100 must be refused.
  • We occasionally allow our staff to retain review units on long term loan, in order to improve product familiarity, enable updates to our reviews, and inform coverage over time. We don’t allow kit to be retained indefinitely.
  • Some kit cannot be returned after testing, for example, electric toothbrushes. In these cases we may recycle or give it away. Kit we have bought ourselves, may be re-sold.

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

In common with other USA-based sites, we allow our staff to go to product launches in order to cover the story or get access to the product. Sometimes this involves foreign travel paid for by the manufacturer.

How we help you make the right choice

Reviews are structured in a way that enable you quickly take stock of a product.

  • Score, key features and pros and cons are summarised at the top of a review.
  • Review introductions are also designed to provide a quick overview of the findings of a review, so you don’t have to read the whole thing if the product clearly isn’t of interest.
  • This is where we often provide links to other products that might be more relevant.
  • We end reviews with advice on other, similar products that are similarly priced, that might fit the bill.

What our scores mean

Numbers never tell you the full story by themselves, but we give every product we review a score out of five stars to give you an indication of how it performs and how it compares to similar products.

We also have two awards, the ‘Recommended’ award and ‘Highly Recommended’ award for the top-scoring products.

Our scoring system

5 Stars – Exceptional

A score of 5 stars indicates that the product sets the benchmark, or reference, from which to judge other products. Only the very best products receive this and Website Traffic Reviews evaluates every 5-star award very carefully. Any product that scores 5 stars overall must be approved by the Editor and is awarded the Website Traffic Reviews ‘Highly Recommended’ award.

4.5 Stars – Excellent

A score of 4.5 stars indicates the product is of an extremely high quality with only minor issues that don’t affect most users. Any product that scores 4.5 stars overall earns a Website Traffic Reviews ‘Recommended’ award.

4 Stars – Very Good

A 4-star score means most people will find little fault with the product and would be comfortable recommending it to a friend. Some products that score 4 stars overall can earn a Website Traffic Reviews Recommended Award if they score 4.5-stars for value.

3.5 Stars – Good

Most people should be satisfied with a product that scores 3.5 stars, even if it has a few faults that prevent it from scoring higher. This is a common score for innovative new products that don’t yet feel complete.

3 Stars – Adequate

A product that scores 3 stars may disappoint some buyers, though if the product is a simple, single-use item then the score should be taken to mean it does its job without excelling. If you can find it discounted and the flaws aren’t a deal-breaker for you then it will be a worthwhile purchase.

2.5 Stars – Below adequate

Any product that scores 2.5-stars will have some serious flaws. Any product that scores 2.5 stars or less, should be avoided.

2 Stars – Poor

A score of 2 stars is poor and means the product has very serious flaws that can’t be overlooked.

1.5 Stars or less – Very poor and worse

Don’t buy it. In this day and age it’s rare to discover products that are this poor.

What do our awards mean?

Highly Recommended

Only products that score 5 stars overall receive the Highly Recommended Award. No product receives the Highly Recommended Award without the Editor’s approval.

Recommended

Any product that receives a Recommended award is an outstanding product that we feel anyone will enjoy owning. All 4.5-star products – and some 4-star products – receive a Website Traffic Reviews Recommended award.

After publication, our licensing team may separately approach the applicable retailer or manufacturer, in order to sell them the right to reproduce our Award. This is to allow manufacturers to use our Awards logos and our verdicts in their promotional material. Awards can only be used for the specific products to which they apply.

You do not have to pay to benefit from the articles and reviews on Website Traffic Reviews.