Each of our reviews, scores, and rankings is derived from our proprietary Ranking Criteria™. We do not have any relationships with companies that guarantee position, rank or score—and we never will. Like many sites, we are compensated through affiliate relationships with each company we review; however, our Ranking Criteria™, along with real customer reviews from people like you, ensure we remain honest and unbiased. Read on to discover more about how user review moderation and expert scoring is processed or select an industry to see our full ranking criteria.

How we rank for

20% Advertiser/Merchant Services

If you’re looking to get your products promoted on an affiliate website, you need to find a company that offers services to advertisers and merchants. Companies are scored on whether these services are offered, and if they’re willing to provide valuable tools to advertisers, such as:

  • Help with creative for advertisements
  • Search function to find affiliates/publishers you want to work with
  • Takes care of affiliate commission payouts so you don’t have to

20% Affiliate/Publisher Services

If you own a website or you’re looking to create one, and you would like to start earning commissions by including advertising on your sites, you need a company that provides these services. Companies are scored based on if they offer these services, as well as if they provide valuable tools to affiliates/publishers, such as:

  • A free membership and sign up
  • Search functions to find advertisers/merchants selling the products you want to promote
  • Ads that link directly to the product for sale rather than the home page, a.k.a. deep linking.

10% Support

As an affiliate or advertiser, you want to know you will have the help you need from the company through which you’re operating your services. We like to see companies that monitor their merchants and publishers for compliance with all guidelines. We also think it’s important they provide account management services to help manage your account. Do they offer training and other educational materials? Are their services available internationally? 

6% Cost-Per-Action

Affiliate marketing functions best when using the Cost-Per-Action, or CPA payment system. This means you’ll only pay, or get paid, when you make a sale. For advertisers, this means you’re only paying affiliates when they produce results for you. For affiliates, this means advertisers are willing to pay higher commissions. We’re looking for companies that are provide this payment option.

4% Real-Time Reporting

When running an affiliate marketing program, you want to see the results of your campaign without delay. We’re looking for companies that offer reporting of data and analytics real-time.

5% BBB Rating

Although not a perfect indicator, and sometimes biased (based on some things that we’ve seen in the industry), the BBB ranking is a very important data point for most consumers, and therefore we have given this a higher weight. Keep in mind that there are many companies that have very low ratings on their BBB score that are based on the industry they are in, and not consumer feedback.

15% Consumer Reviews

This site was created to provide a place for consumers to share their experiences. Validated consumer reviews are weighted heavily because your opinion matters.

[criteria percent=15 title="Consumer Reviews"]
This site is designed to let consumers share their experiences. Given our expertise in many industries and the knowledge that we have gained over the years, we know that some of the most important opinions come from real customers. That is why we have allocated so much of our overall rating to the voice of our validated customer reviews. The Consumer Reviews Score is broken down into three metrics:

  1. The Average User Score
  2. Total Number of Reviews
  3. Total Number of Reviews in the last 12 months

These 3 metrics not only help us understand what consumers are saying, they also help us gain an understanding of volume and recency. All of which are critical to understanding the value of a company in the eyes of the consumer.

Note: this is different from the user score that is displayed on each company profile. The “user score” that is publicly displayed is the average of all user scores published for a given profile.

User Review Moderation

In order to prevent fake and misleading user reviews, BestCompany.com has a review moderation team specifically assigned to moderating all user reviews for all companies listed on the site. This team follows a very specific and strict moderation process that has been designed by gathering learnings from mistakes other major review sites have made in the past.

This moderation process involves a “flag” system where a flag is assessed for each negative attribute associated with a user review. Too many flags result in a disapproval of a user review. Some of the things our moderation staff looks for and assigns potential flags to include:

  • Email address verification of the user
  • IP address duplication and region check
  • User review semantic verification
  • Is the user an employee of the organization?
  • Is the user associated with a competitor of the organization?
  • Foul language of any kind
  • Relevance of the content pertaining to the company and the review

As you can probably tell, we take our user review moderation process very seriously. We believe accuracy and authenticity is critical when it comes to user reviews, and as a result we are constantly finding new ways to evolve our user moderation process to make it better. Please note that while we do our best to manually moderate each and every user review, mistakes can be made; however, our dedication to resolving errors in our process is what sets us apart from other review sites in the industry.

20% Expert Review

Along with the criteria points mentioned above, we take into account a variety of other factors that help determine the viability, stability and trustworthiness of a company. As experts, we conduct an extensive research process specifically tailored to each industry that considers many additional factors including:

  • Financial Standing of the organization
  • The number of industry experts and professionals on staff
  • The company’s ability to scale
  • Historical revenue/growth
  • Past and current lawsuits
  • Customer service and transparency
  • And much more.

We consider this Expert Review process a vital component of how we rank and review companies. As a result, the factors included are always changing, adapting, and updating. We also reserve the right to voice our expert opinions as a part of each review.


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