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The Rise of Review Websites

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the rise of reviewing website
the rise of reviewing website

When you booked your last holiday, what websites did you use? Chances are you searched the web for holiday destinations that matched your particular needs, gathered a few locations which showed potential and headed towards your most trusted review website to check out what everyone else had to say about them.

It’s a hugely familiar pattern because, in 2019, most of us visit review websites for help on virtually every monetary decision.

Websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor tell us where’s best to eat, review websites for financial services tell us which banks offer the best rates and companies like TrustPilot provide user-generated reviews for millions of websites across the world. Similarly, the user-driven and independent casino review portal serves the burgeoning online casino sector.

According to Spiegel Research Centre, almost 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase and a product with at least five reviews will enjoy a 270% boost to conversion rates.

They’re convincing numbers which point to something that we already knew – we’ve become reliant on reviews to guide our purchasing and investment decisions.

But what factors have been behind the rise of review websites? Join as we take a look.

Basic human nature

It’s not hard to solicit an opinion from somebody about a place they’ve been or a product they’ve bought. Humans are natural storytellers, and our desire to give advice on what to do and not what to do is part of why we’ve proven so successful – we communicate the safest path. Whilst that might once have meant telling somebody how to get through a forest, today it might mean the best place to get crab in your city. That instinct to discuss and instruct is something which is inherent to our species, and review websites are simply a modern extension of it.

Social media

websites

Early review websites had a somewhat shifty history. Companies quickly figured out that they could flood them with reviews simply by creating anonymous accounts and writing positive notices for themselves.

Social media revolutionised the review website industry by tying real-life profiles into review accounts, adding accountability and dramatically reducing the chances of a company manipulating the reviews. Of course, social media websites (Facebook, in particular) have become review websites in their own right, with both formal and informal reviews populating virtually every page.

Search engines

We don’t need to tell you how search engines revolutionised the internet, after all, you almost certainly used one to find this website. However, search engines have been instrumental in pushing review websites to the very top of their listings in recent years.

Changes to the Google search algorithm in the last few years have meant that, today, most searches for a business or company will show customer reviews right alongside their website, a major change which has helped transform the search landscape. More than that though, review websites have been prioritised by each of the major search engines, appearing near the top for almost every relevant search term.

Together, these changes have ensured that review websites are a fundamental cornerstone of the internet and, consequently, a huge part of each of our lives.

Do you use online review websites? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liberals block ethics commissioner from testifying about SNC-Lavalin report

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The Liberal majority on the House ethics committee voted down an opposition motion to have Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion testify about his report which found that Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act over the SNC-Lavalin affair. Vassy Kapelos gets reaction from MPs on the committee. Plus, the Power Panel breaks down the Ford government’s changes to Ontario’s sex-education curriculum.

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Joshua Boyle worried about what his wife might tell police

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Joshua Boyle

After calling 911 to report that his wife was missing and suicidal, Joshua Boyle told an Ottawa police sergeant that he was also worried what she might tell authorities when she was found.

“He told me he was concerned, as any husband would be, with what Caitlan (Coleman) would say to us when we found her,” Sgt. Shane Henderson told court Tuesday.

Henderson was one of the first officers to respond to Boyle’s 911 emergency call late on the night of Dec. 30, 2017. A recording of that call was played in court Tuesday.

The 911 call was made at 11:47 p.m. from a Centretown address.

Boyle told the dispatcher that his wife was threatening to kill herself. He said she was alone in her room then ran outside, and was “screaming at the top of her lungs that she was going to kill herself.”

He said she had borderline personality disorder, PTSD, “extreme mental instability” and other issues.

“I am very worried for her right now,” he said in the telephone recording, played in court.

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Boyle told police his wife was wearing a hijab scarf on her head, but did not have a coat and may not have shoes.

Before she left the apartment, Boyle said they had an argument that “turned into rabid self-loathing, a panic attack, something, I’m not sure.”

“I had asked her to stay in her room,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be long,” the dispatcher told Boyle. “We’ll get some officers to see you there, OK?”

“OK,” Boyle replied. “Just try to be gentle with her: She is really going through a rough time.”

Sgt. Henderson was the first officer on scene, and went to Boyle’s apartment at 12:05 a.m.

Boyle repeated what he had told the dispatcher, and said his wife had initially raced up the stairs towards another apartment in the three-storey apartment block. Henderson testified: “He told me that he did not want to drag Caitlan back into the apartment or did not want to hit her.”

Henderson and another officer went to the second apartment and interviewed the young man who lived there. The tenant said he had heard someone banging on his back door 20 minutes earlier, but did not answer it.

Court heard that the officers searched the back staircase and yard but could not locate Coleman so they returned to Boyle’s apartment for more information.

According to Henderson, Boyle said Coleman was particularly stressed because her mother was in town, and she was worried about the state of their apartment. They had also argued, Boyle told Henderson, about drawing on walls and “Caitlan, as a wife, not performing her roles and responsibilities as a mother.”

Boyle told Henderson that he wanted Coleman to stay in her room and calm down. “He told me he kept the door open and at no time prevented her from leaving,” Henderson testified.

“He said he offered to have sex with Caitlan if she wanted to.”

When Henderson asked if Coleman had a cellphone, Boyle reached on top of the fridge and retrieved a flip phone.

Henderson asked what it was doing there. “Boyle said he took the phone away to make sure she did not break the phone as she had broken phones in the past,” Henderson testified.

Boyle is on trial on 19 charges, including assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

His wife Caitlan Coleman, with whom he was held hostage in Afghanistan, is the principal complainant in the case. She’s expected to testify Wednesday.

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Tanker crash kills one, injures nine near Cereal Alberta

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Tanker crash

“One of the semi trucks was hauling fuel and that fuel ignited,” said RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott. “So, that caused other vehicles in the collision to catch fire. A second semi was hauling butane and that’s caused a concern.”

A release from RCMP also confirmed the collision area is “consumed with flames.”

As a result of the second truck hauling butane, a preliminary evacuation order had been issued for the hamlet of Chinook.

By 9:00 pm, Alberta Emergency Alert officially rescinded the evacuation order for the community.

STARS Air Ambulance has flown one person to hospital in Calgary in serious, potentially life-threatening condition while HALO transported another individual in serious condition.

Brideaux also confirmed to Global News that six people have been treated at the scene and are likely to be released.

RCMP are also reaching out to anyone who was a part of or was witness to the domino crash, asking them to meet with officers in nearby Oyen.

“We’re asking those people to attend the Legion in Oyen,” said Scott. “Right now the Legion has been opened, food is available at the Legion, our Victims Services Unit members are at the Legion, and we have an RCMP member or members at the Legion. So, anybody who was a part of this collision, witness or needing some assistance in relation to the collision, is asked to go to the Legion.”

There is no word yet on the original cause of the fatal crash, as Scott added it will be several hours before a collision analyst is able to attend the scene.

“We will have a collision analyst attending,” she said. “But, I can tell you that collision analyst is not able and has not been able to look at the scene to do any examination or investigation.”

Traffic has since been rerouted from Highway 9 to Highway 884 eastbound and Highway 41 westbound.

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