It was announced in March that Angie’s List would be removing their paywall, and last week, they followed up on that promise. Anyone can now become a member without paying a fee, and reviews are accessible to all. This change has strong implications for the online reputations of many businesses, according to a press release.
Angie’s List has long been a staple in the home services market, but less than one percent of the U.S. population were members. This means not many people were actually seeing the ratings or reviews posted on company profiles. If your reviews were bad, it didn’t really matter that much. With the removal of the paywall, that has all changed for service providers for several reasons.
Angie’s List has a lot of content, and moving forward, it will rank better for company names. Previous members who were paying for the service typically gave “really meaty reviews,” and this depth is why people sought out information on service providers on the site. With the site opening up to everyone, those meaty reviews will help companies rank higher with search results. Because of this, it will be important to start building a strategy to get positive reviews on Angie’s List.
It will also be important to test your monitoring tools. Many tools may not be able to pull Angie’s List reviews. Since the site’s content was previously behind a paywall, they did not have to create an API to free up access for developers to see the review and rating data. This means that the review platforms may not be able to pull Angie’s List data in, at least initially. You will need to claim your profile to make sure you are notified when reviews come in and can quickly respond, if needed.
This change with Angie’s List will be interesting to follow, because more markets and industries may soon follow. For example, Yelp started out for just restaurants but expanded into other consumer businesses. Angie’s List may grow into other markets as well.