Citysearch Math

Ever notice that everything on Citysearch has a good rating? In scanning a few dozen ratings I have yet to find anything lower than 3.5 stars or a correlation with the rating and the review ratings. This Glass Doctor summary is typical. The average of the reviews is 2.17, but it gets 3.5 stars. Maybe there’s some hidden internal review with a heavier weight, but I haven’t been able to find any explanation at the site. All I can find is another confused user.

I thought maybe the low participation in this area was revealing some seed ratings from Citysearch, but even places with many ratings exhibit the strange math. Here’s a restaurant in Atlanta with 70 reviews averaging 3.86 but getting a full 5 stars.

The ratings don’t always go up — I found a couple of places with a one or two 5-star reviews but with 4 star ratings.

One thought on “Citysearch Math

  1. So that’s grade inflation I keep hearing about? (My 1st grader son gets graded on a binary scale).

    When you say “average” I guess you meant weighted average? Why not harmonic, geometric, etc.?

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