ReviewMeta.com (RM) is a 5-year-old website that analyzes the product reviews for any product on Amazon (USA and international) and filters out reviews that are algorithmically deemed to be unnatural, giving users an "Adjusted Rating" that shows what real, unbiased shoppers truly think of each product… a rating that Amazon shoppers can trust! Users can view RM’s adjusted ratings on the ReviewMeta.com website, RM's browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox and Edge), and RM's mobile apps (Apple iOS and Android).
Please watch the short explainer video below for a quick overview of how ReviewMeta works and why it has gotten so much national press for its indispensable benefits to Amazon shoppers.
RM’s target audiences are 1) everyone who shops on Amazon worldwide, and 2) businesses that sell products on Amazon. While RM already gets massive amounts of daily traffic (17,817 sessions per day), it has an enormous amount of growth potential (as discussed below).
RM was founded by Review Honesty Inc, a Nevada corporation owned by Mr. Thomas Noonan. After 15+ years doing web projects, Mr. Noonan has decided to “retire” from building and operating websites and move into a more passion-based career. He is starting paramedic school soon and wants to devote 100% of his time and attention into becoming a paramedic, something he is very passionate about.
- Monthly organic traffic value of $164,000 (per Ahrefs.com)
- Averaging 17,817 sessions and 32,784 page views per day, all from organic and direct traffic
- 19,000+ Page 1 rankings on Google.com (USA), representing around 1.3 million monthly searches
- Thousands of additional Page 1 rankings for many other countries worldwide
- Steady and significant organic traffic growth over the 5 years since its launch
- Alexa worldwide website ranking of 37,421
- All key pages are available in 7 languages with auto-language detection and professional translations
ReviewMeta has gotten extensive national press over the past few years, contributing immensely to its reputation and building strong name recognition.
Good Morning America on ABC (watch)
Here is a video montage of several of the more notable national news stories and interviews about RM, and you can also click on any of the following logos to view that particular article.
RM’s rankings and traffic have steadily climbed over the 5 years since it was launched, and RM is now averaging 17,817 sessions per day (2020 average). The traffic report from Google Analytics below shows RM’s traffic growth over the period Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2020 (note: short-term traffic spikes are the result of national press coverage or major shopping events like Black Friday/Cyber Monday or Amazon Prime Day).
RM’s traffic breakdown for 2020 was as follows:
- Organic - 85.9%
- Referral (inbound links) - 2.4%
- Social / others - 1.8%
ReviewMeta doesn’t use any form of paid advertising. One hundred percent of its traffic is free organic, direct, referral and social traffic.
RM has built up a significant amount of brand recognition over the past 5 years, not only in the USA but also in several other countries. Following is the number of combined monthly Google searches for the ReviewMeta-specific phrases “review meta”, “reviewmeta”, “meta review” and “metareview” in various countries (and keep in mind that this only accounts for people who enter one of these phrases into the Google search bar rather than typing reviewmeta.com into their browser’s address bar and going directly to the site):
- United States - 28,200 monthly searches
- Germany - 10,250
- United Kingdom - 970
- Canada - 790
- Japan - 450
- India - 240
Following is the domain overview report for ReviewMeta.com from Ahrefs.com (dated January 6, 2021)...
This report shows (in the top-right corner) that RM’s current organic “Traffic Value” is $164,000 per month. This means that it would cost an estimated $164,000 in Google Ad spend per month to generate as much meaningful, keyword-targeted traffic as RM currently gets for free because of its strong organic rankings! And this doesn’t even account for the direct traffic and referral traffic RM gets.
The report also shows that RM currently has 3,030 referring domains (i.e. other sites out on the web linking to ReviewMeta.com). Literally 100% of these inbound links are naturally occuring links (exactly the type of links Google loves), since people are constantly name-dropping RM and journalists frequently reach out looking for information and quotes for news stories. These links have led to RM having a super-powerful URL Rating (UR) of 77 and Domain Rating (DR) of 67 (shown in the top-left corner of the report).
These incoming links, together with RM’s stellar user metrics, have led to thousands upon thousands of Page 1 Google rankings. The table on the next page shows RM’s Page 1 rankings for just Google.com (USA), per Ahrefs.com as of February 19, 2020.
|Google.com Rank (USA)||# of Search Phrases||Combined Monthly Searches|
In total, RM has over 19,000 Page 1 rankings for Google.com (USA). Collectively, these 19,000+ keyword phrases are searched for about 1.3 million times per month (per Ahrefs.com data).
Following is a sample of the search phrases for which RM ranks #1-2 in Google:
- amazon review checker - #1 - 38,000 monthly searches
- reviewmeta - #1 - 15,000
- fake reviews - #2 - 7,900
- review meta - #1 - 7,800
- fake amazon reviews - #2 - 6,700
- review checker - #1 - 5,600
- check amazon reviews - #1 - 2,000
- amazon fake review checker - #2 - 1,300
- fake review - #2 - 1,200
In addition to ranking high for the types of search phrases listed above, RM ranks in the top 5 for thousands and thousands of search phrases containing top-selling brand names and top-selling products on Amazon (i.e. search phrases like “[brand name]” or “[brand name] reviews” or “[product title/model] review”). In 2020, approximately 46% of RM’s incoming traffic was to a brand review page (example), 34% of visitors landed on a product review page (example), and 18% entered the site on the home page (with the remaining 2% of traffic going to other pages, such as blog posts and info/support pages).
Almost one fourth of RM’s traffic was from non-English-speaking countries, despite the fact that the RM site has historically only been available in English. Around nine months ago, Mr. Noonan engaged in a massive undertaking to make RM a multi-language site to make it more useful to its international audience. He got professional translations for French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Hindi to go along with English. RM’s code auto-detects each user’s location and language and 1) loads the page in the user’s native language; and 2) defaults to the Amazon marketplace that user most likely shops at (i.e. users in Australia are shown Amazon.com.au products by default). As of early January 2021, RM has analyzed the reviews for about 1.96 million products on international Amazon marketplaces (other than Amazon.com).
RM’s Page 1 rankings aren’t limited to just Google.com (USA). The following table shows its Page 1 rankings for several other countries throughout the world.
|Country||# of Page 1 Rankings||Combined Monthly Searches|
(data from Ahrefs.com as of January 6, 2021)
Note: Ahrefs.com reports are available upon request.
With the kind of highly-sought-after information RM provides and the amount of traffic RM gets, there are a whole host of monetization methods available. To this point, Mr. Noonan (the creator and owner of RM) has been focused on building up RM’s traffic and brand reputation and has only pursued a couple of the simplest, easy-to-implement monetization strategies (#1 and #2 listed below).
1. Google AdSense (implemented, but not optimized)
To help cover server costs, Mr. Noonan inserted AdSense code into various pages on the site early on. But to this point, he hasn’t done much A/B split testing with different types of ad blocks or different ad placements and layouts to maximize ad revenue. What’s more, he’s made it quite easy for users to turn the ads off completely.
2. Sponsorship (dabbled with this in the past, but not optimized)
From early 2018 until March 2020, RM partnered with an Amazon affiliate site and sent traffic to it from RM’s product review pages. This partnership generated approximately $8,000 of profit per month for RM, despite the fact that it was far from optimized. Revenues could be increased substantially by forming sponsorship relationships on a category-specific basis (rather than having a single sponsor for the entire site).
Having implemented only the above two monetization methods (and far from optimally), RM has generated $8,000 - $10,000 of revenue per month for much of its existence. But RM is barely scratching the surface of its earnings potential, given its massive amount of daily traffic. While $8,000 - $10,000 in monthly revenue is nothing to sneeze at, it represents a pretty meager Value Per Visitor (VPV) of just 1.67 cents (calculation: ~$9,000 average monthly revenue / ~542,000 monthly sessions). Implementing one or more (they are not mutually exclusive) of the following monetization methods would likely increase RM’s Value Per Visitor by a factor of 3x, 5x, 10x or more.
3. Affiliate Links to Non-Amazon Retailers
RM has a unique page for all products sold on Amazon. The majority of these products are also sold on other major retail marketplaces such as Walmart.com, eBay.com, Wayfair.com, Etsy.com, Jet.com, BestBuy.com, Wish.com, Bonanza.com, Cratejoy.com, Houzz.com, Newegg.com and so on. Most of these sites have affiliate programs that offer substantial affiliate commissions for referrals. Affiliate links to the product pages on these other marketplaces could easily (programatically) be added to the product pages on RM to generate significant affiliate revenue.
4. Category-Based Banner Ads
Sites like RM that get massive amounts of shopping-related traffic have enormous potential for selling ad space to retailers. People viewing pages on RM are clearly in “buying mode,” making them extremely valuable to product sellers. In addition to hosting Google AdSense ads (as discussed in #1 above), RM could generate a significant amount of additional recurring monthly revenue by selling banner ad space to retail sites on a category-by-category basis.
5. Subscription-Based Service for Amazon Sellers
RM pages currently show an enormous amount of data and analysis for each product and brand name (i.e. seller) completely free of charge. This data and analysis is extremely valuable to individuals and companies selling products on Amazon, especially since product ratings and reviews play such an important role in a) Amazon’s algorithm and b) shoppers’ decision-making process.
With some simple changes to the site, RM could restrict access to a portion of this valuable information to only those Amazon sellers who were paying a monthly subscription fee.
6. Subscription-Based Service for Shoppers
RM offers a hugely valuable service to Amazon Shoppers, helping them avoid wasting their money on low-quality products that have artificially inflated reviews. Many shoppers would be willing to pay a small monthly / quarterly / annual fee for access to the “Adjusted Ratings” that RM currently provides for free. The earnings potential here is enormous, as RM is currently averaging almost 16,000 unique users per day (89.6% of these being “New” users, per Google Analytics data).
7. Sell Review Data to "Big Data" Companies
Over the past five years, RM has amassed a huge amount of eCommerce data. As discussed in this recent article on MarketWatch, hedge fund managers are projected to spend over $1 billion per year on “alternative data” (precisely the type of data that RM has) to try to beat market averages and attract investors who would otherwise put their money into low-cost, passive investments. If packaged and presented in an appealing way, hedge funds, money managers and “big data” companies may be willing to pay huge sums of money for RM’s data.
8. Sell Access to Data to Amazon Seller Tool Providers
With Amazon being the largest retail site in the world, there is a large and growing market for Amazon seller tools. As of now, very few of these seller tools address product ratings and reviews (despite their importance and value), and none of them dive nearly as deep into the data as RM does. RM could offer API access to its ratings/review data to the providers of Amazon seller tools, creating another revenue stream for RM (and a very lucrative one at that). Note: Several Amazon seller tool providers have actually already reached out to RM about purchasing API access, but so far Mr. Noonan has declined to develop this.
9. Pair RM’s Review Data with Coupon Codes and/or Cash Back
Shoppers are primarily concerned with two things when they go to make a purchase: 1) that they’re getting a high-quality product that is what it’s purported to be and does what it’s purported to do, and 2) that they’re getting it for a good price.
RM currently only addresses the 1st of these two concerns. Meanwhile, sites like eBates (acquired by Rakuten) and WikiBuy (acquired by Capital One) that address only the 2nd concern have recently sold for billions of dollars. If you were to add coupon codes and/or cash back benefits to RM such that it addressed both of these concerns all on a single site, RM could become the primary all-in-one “shopping tool” that shoppers use, exponentially increasing its earnings potential and value.
10. Use RM as a Springboard to Launch Other Shopping Services
There is A LOT of money to be made in the shopping services space, which includes comparison shopping sites, deal sites, coupon sites, price drop alert sites, stand-alone trusted review sites, editorial review sites, and more. The challenge for any new start-up site, of course, is getting traffic to it and building up an audience of users. With the amount of daily traffic it gets, RM could be the perfect springboard to launch any number of shopping service sites.In addition to the massive earnings potential that could be realized by implementing one or more of the monetization methods outlined above, there are several other substantial growth opportunities that could greatly increase RM’s profits and value…
A) Add Reviews for Other Marketplaces (besides Amazon)
RM currently only analyzes reviews and provides “Adjusted Ratings” for Amazon products. While it’s true that Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world, it is far from the only large marketplace shoppers use. The algorithms and data analysis techniques RM has developed for analyzing Amazon products could very easily be applied to product reviews on other shopping marketplaces like Walmart.com, eBay.com, Wayfair.com, BestBuy.com, Etsy.com, Wish.com, Sephora.com and other retailers and marketplaces, as well as travel / hospitality / entertainment review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp.
B) Add Non-English Languages to Browser Extensions & Mobile Apps
While the ReviewMeta.com website is now available in seven languages, the browser extensions and mobile apps are still only available in English. Making the browser extensions and mobile apps available in other languages would make RM much easier to use for shoppers (and Amazon sellers) in other countries, which would undoubtedly improve RM’s user metrics in those countries (consequently improving its organic rankings) and lead to more traffic and more extension/app downloads.
C) Monetize the Browser Extensions
From a monetization standpoint, RM’s browser extensions are really more of a hindrance to the business than a help. They are not monetized at all, and they largely make it unnecessary for users to ever visit the ReviewMeta.com website (which is necessary - at least under the current monetization methods - for RM to generate revenue). Mr. Noonan has several ideas to update the browser extensions to turn them into a significant revenue source (all of which he’ll of course share with the new owner).
D) Monetize the Newsletter
To this point, Mr. Noonan has really only used the newsletter to announce changes and improvements to the RM site, announce the launch of browser extensions and mobile apps, and other news. He hasn’t made any efforts to use the newsletter to generate revenue, nor has he made much of an effort to encourage visitors to opt in to the newsletter. With the amount of daily visitors (who are in active “shopping mode”) that RM gets, there are plenty of growth opportunities revolving around mailing lists and newsletters.
Mr. Noonan (the founder and owner of RM) has chosen not to set an asking price for ReviewMeta and is willing to consider all offers. That said, the following valuation approaches should give you an idea how valuable ReviewMeta is as the 37,421st highest-trafficked website in the world.
Valuation Approach #1: Comparison to RM’s Only Competitor
The first valuation approach is to compare ReviewMeta to its only direct competitor, which is Fakespot.com. Over the past few years, Fakespot has raised $5.3 million in funding through outside investors, with its original founders presumably maintaining a sizable ownership stake in the business. Thus, Fakespot’s market value is at least $5.3 million and likely much higher (depending on how much ownership its founders have retained).
But how does ReviewMeta compare to Fakespot? Organic traffic-wise, ReviewMeta is about 19.7% superior to Fakespot. As you can see in the following screenshot (also taken from Ahrefs.com on January 6, 2021), Fakespot’s monthly organic traffic value is $137,000 (shown in the top-right corner of the screenshot below). RM’s monthly organic traffic value of $164,000 is 19.7% higher than Fakespot’s $137,000.
Valuation Approach #2: Traffic Value Estimate
Another approach to valuing ReviewMeta is based on its monthly organic traffic value of $164,000 (per Ahrefs.com - as shown in the Traffic and Rankings section above). This approach is dependent upon how much profit RM could generate for every $1 of free, organic traffic it’s getting, along with the annual earnings multiple used for the valuation (we’ll assume a 3.00x annual multiple, or 36 months of profit). If RM was monetized such that it generated just $0.20 of profit for every $1 worth of free, organic traffic it’s getting (an extremely conservative 1:5 profit-to-traffic-value ratio), its value would be $1.18 million (calculation: $164,000 monthly traffic value x $0.20 of profit per dollar of traffic x 36 months).
Valuation Approach #3: Potential Subscribers
In 2020 alone, RM received over 5,000,000 unique visitors. If only 0.1% of visitors (yes, that’s one in one thousand) subscribed to premium access at $4.95 per month, this would generate revenues of $297,000 per year, giving RM a valuation of $891,000 (using a 3.00x annual earnings multiple). Alternatively, if only 300 Amazon sellers subscribed to a seller dashboard at $99 per month, this would generate revenues of $356,400 per year, giving RM a valuation of $1,069,200 (using a 3.00x annual earnings multiple).
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