Our central focus is on creating the best user experience possible - both for contributors and our visitors.
In our opinion, the success of any web-based service these days is going to hinge on being awesome and useful for the everyday browser. Specifically, creating and maintaining a positive visitor experience (the people who read your reviews) is the lifeblood of Ukritic.
When you have great content, the whole process just works beautifully. If you let it slide - as we've unfortunately seen happen to many well-meaning online communities over the years - over time, all of that momentum begins to unravel, which affects everyone (and not just the users contributing low-quality content).
That's why we have certain standards in place on Ukritic.com. It's also why it's not just a "free for all". By maintaining these high standards, it means that all of our good contributors will be rewarded for a long, long time. Because we simply don't let the "bad stuff" into our site to begin with.
Note: Just so you're not confused as you read below, here on Ukritic reviews are called "Krits", and contributors are known as "Kritters".
Key Guidelines for Ukritic Contributors (aka "Kritters"):
What we want - and what your visitors want - is the real scoop on the product you've reviewed. What was your actual experience? The good points and the bad? What are other real customers are saying? What kind of coverage/reception has it garnered in the media?
What nobody wants is a snake-oil style hard-sell, hype, or otherwise "cheesy" content - which won't accomplish anything for you, anyway.
Additionally, don't be too generic or vague. Draw a hard line, and be opinionated. That's what will provide the most value for your visitors - and it will also reap the greatest rewards. People crave sincerity and honesty, especially when it comes to making a purchase decision. If you're a straight-shooter, your recommendations will go a long way.
Yes, we realize that people are far more inclined to buy something with a glowing review. But don't make the mistake of misleading visitors with an exaggerated "review" just for the sake of making a buck. That's a short-term strategy at best (and keep in mind that we openly let visitors submit their own rating of the product and talk about it on your Krit as well, so be prepared for public backlash if you're stretching the truth).
Not to mention, a misleading Krit will quickly be voted down, or possibly even flagged as spam - which will negatively impact its visibility on Ukritic, or lead to its removal.
Telling it like it is will establish trust. And that is the most valuable currency on the web, especially when it comes to affiliate marketing. Besides, when you include less-than-positive reviews of lackluster products in your area of expertise or interest, you can always lead the visitor to a better option at the conclusion of the review (which, you'll find, is far more helpful and profitable than trying to sugar-coat a bad product).
Note: If you haven't used a product or service first-hand, we will only accept the review if you include a minimum of 2 legitimate & unbiased research sources to back up your position - just like a journalist.
We only accept 100% unique, original and compelling content. Ukritic uses both CopyScape™ technology and manual searches to filter out duplicated, plagiarized or otherwise unoriginal content.
Furthermore, our moderation staff are very skilled when it comes to detecting "spun" content or derivative works, and will squash any such content immediately. (The same goes for low-quality or poorly written content).
Warning: If you're caught submitting a single "spun" or duplicate review (existing elsewhere on the web), your account will be terminated on the spot.
Regarding content length: Unlike other community-driven product review sites, we have a minimum standard for how in-depth a review needs to be, in order to get published.
We adjust this minimum length policy from time to time, and the important thing to remember is that this is a win-win for everyone, because it ensures the universal quality of our site in the eyes of the major search engines, as well as with consumers as a whole. In short - maintaining a minimum word count will result in more traffic across the board for everyone, including you.
Everybody hates spam, spammers, and any other type of one-sided promotion. And Ukritic is no exception.
We'll cover the restricted activities in more detail in a second, but first, we should make a few things clear right from the start:
• Every single external link from Ukritic.com goes through our own masking and internal redirection system (ie. "http://yourlink.com" will become "http://ukritic.com/yourlink/"). This means that it is impossible to gain any SEO benefit whatsoever from creating a user profile on Ukritic, or from your reviews, including research sources.
Again, just to be clear - this isn't even a rel=nofollow designation. We literally use a redirection script on ALL outgoing links that are create-able by members, for the express purpose of not becoming an SEO spam target.
(Yes, we realize there's some collateral damage in doing this, but given the rampant abuse that happens on basically any user-driven site these days by auto-bot SEO & linkspam tools - not to mention low quality SEO content mills - we figure that what little egg-on-face we may incur from this policy is well worth not becoming a spam haven.)
• Everything is moderated before it goes live, anyway. This includes edits to existing Krits. So honestly - if you're from the dark side of the web or think that Ukritic is just another SEO dumping ground - it's just not worth your while.
• Guess what? We've been around the block more than a few times in this industry, and we know what's up. Ukritic was literally founded by people who've been successful affiliate marketers since the industry was just starting to gain traction. Especially with organic marketing and SEO.
So don't make the mistake of thinking that we won't see through any attempt to abuse the system. And even if it does happen temporarily, in no time we'll be all over it like a pack of dogs on a 3-legged cat, and your effort will have been for nothing. Bottom line: If you're not here for legitimate reasons, don't waste our time, or your own.
So with all that said (if you're still here), here's a summary of what we explicitly forbid on Ukritic.com...
Key Restricted Spamming Activities & Behavior on or via Ukritic:
Distributing malware/spyware/adware/viruses or any other type of involuntary application/script to visitors. Creating doorway/redirection pages. Creating misleading content. Creating multiple accounts. Accessing or manipulating Ukritic with any form of spidering software, or any other type of automated script/software that in any way interacts with our site (ie. Automatically creating accounts, clicking on ads, voting on Krits, or otherwise submitting signals or content of any kind). Hacking or modifying any page on Ukritic in any way, with the obvious exception of editing one of your own Krits. Using unsolicited email, traffic exchanges, low quality traffic services (ie. popup/pop-under networks) or disruptive social media tactics to drive traffic to any page on Ukritic. Creating largely similar content. Spamming/disrupting other members via commenting, reporting, voting, contacting or otherwise using Ukritic in any way to reach our member base beyond what is considered a normal interaction (as deemed solely by us). Mining or attempting to extract any member data, or for that matter anything from Ukritic, whether automatically or manually. Copying or using another member's content without their permission. Attempting to bypass our link redirection system and use Ukritic for any type of external SEO-related purpose, ie. trying to link from a Ukritic page to your site or a client's site. Using blackhat or spammy SEO tactics (as deemed by us, such as creating user profiles on different sites to gain backlinks) to promote your own Krits, or any page of Ukritic, for that matter.
Doing anything listed above will result in immediate account termination, and possibly even legal action. And if our team (or other members) even "smell" something fishy about you and your activities on Ukritic, chances are we'll just nuke your account to be on the safe side.
This rule is a little ambiguous, and our specific exclusion list will change as time goes on, but basically, we just don't want any "nasty stuff" on Ukritic.
This includes hard profanity, and obviously any "scandalous" images with nudity, or even translucent clothing, etc.
The general rule is this: Would you be comfortable showing this to your family (more specifically, your children - assuming you're a parent)? Your review should be something that could be seen by all audiences.
Additionally, we also don't allow certain "spam target" or controversial products on Ukritic, such as offshore pharmaceutical drugs, replica luxury items, certain weight-loss products, certain sex-related items/products, products related to illegal drug use, and so on.
An example of allowable "adult content" on Ukritic would be reviews of R-rated (but not X-rated) movies, bikini swimsuits, and tasteful relationship products - as deemed "tasteful" by our moderators. Please be aware that at any given time we may adjust or change our adult-content filter, and we also reserve the right to remove any content that our advertisers may find objectionable, even if the page has been published for a long time.
Please note: You can only publish approved adult content once you have reached a predetermined Reputation Score, which at this time we don't make public. Our system will notify you when you've reached this milestone, and at that point you will have more freedom on the Ukritic platform, including the option of publishing approved adult content.
You can't review the same product or service twice. It's that simple. (And you also can't create more than one user account - if that's where your mind was going.)
If you're caught reviewing the same product more than once, your account will be terminated on the spot.
Similarly - if you're caught opening and using multiple user accounts (which our system can easily track and flag automatically, by the way), all of those accounts will be terminated.
Important Clarification: This DOES NOT mean you can't review a product that another Kritter has already reviewed. On Ukritic, members can't "claim" or "own" a topic/product. Everyone gets one shot at reviewing any product, so long as it doesn't fall outside the realm of what we deem acceptable (see #4, above).
And - finally...
This may be the most ambiguous rule - but it's also the most important.
Simply speaking, "doing to others as you'd have them do to you" in the context of Ukritic breaks down like this:
• Make friends, not enemies. Being libelous, stirring up discord or otherwise just making the Ukritic experience unpleasant for others will likely result in your account being terminated. (Keep in mind that you are also solely responsible for the content you publish, so pick your words carefully).
• Treat your readers like gold. This means creating awesome content, where your primary goal is helping your readers, and not misleading or abusing their trust in any way. This will have far more mileage (both short term and long term) than any "tactic" or otherwise shortcut, and you'll actually see far more of your visitors buying what you recommend, as well.
In fact - our system is actually designed to naturally boost content that's truly helpful (based on a variety of user-behavioral factors, not just voting) - and we when see certain pages or authors getting flagged quite often, our general our reaction is to simply terminate those accounts, or pull those pages down.
Simultaneously, Ukritic creates far more exposure and navigational links towards great content that real visitors love - resulting in more traffic (and more profit), for authors who put in the effort.
• Get involved. This isn't so much a rule as it is a suggestion, but becoming an active member of Ukritic is only going to reap benefits for you, and build bridges. It means that you'll have more people following your Krits, more people voting up content (of yours) that they like, and in general, more support from others in your online journey.
The web is like any other community - what goes around comes around :-)
Congratulations! You've reached the end...
Basically, the bottom line is that if you just read through the above "gauntlet" (which is specifically designed to filter out certain types of members) and you're still excited about the opportunity that exists with Ukritic - then you have nothing to worry about.
Same goes if some of that was "over your head". That's totally okay - because it means you're not someone we're trying to filter out :-)
For the majority of Ukritic users, these rules are more or less just common-sense anyway, and not restrictive at all.
And by the way - here's a little secret: The people who really make the "big bucks" with Ukritic focus on two things - reviewing products that are actively researched by thousands of potential buyers, and then impressing them with an awesome, in-depth review and a solid argument for buying it - or not.
Awesome. We look forward to seeing you become one of our top Kritters!