Amazoom is no longer working due to Amazon.com's decision to remove review data
from their product advertising API (you can read more about this situation here).
Find the Best Reviewed Products in the Amazon.com Catalog
- What is AmaZoom?
AmaZoom is a search engine that makes it easy to find the best-reviewed products in the Amazon.com catalog. For example, try searching the "Music" category with the keyword "Beatles" to get a quick summary of the best-reviewed Beatles records. See this blog post for more background on AmaZoom.
- Doesn't Amazon.com already have its own search engine?
Yes, and Amazon lets you sort your search results on the basis of average rating. But when you sort results by rating, you have to manually skip a bunch of products with a small number of very high reviews before you get to the products with a large number of good reviews.
What you'd really like to do is sort your results based on a "weighted average review", which takes into account a product's average rating AND how many reviewers contributed to that average rating. AmaZoom defines something called the Quality Factor, which is obtained by multiplying a product's normalized average rating (the average rating minus 2.5) by the number of ratings found.
The quality factor gives an estimate of the overall quality of a given product, as judged by an army of Amazon.com customers. In essence, it gives you a way to harness the "wisdom of crowds" when browsing the Amazon product catalog.
- How does AmaZoom work?
When you submit a search, AmaZoom retrieves a number (corresponding to the search depth) of bestselling items that match your search keywords. For example, if your search depth is 50, then AmaZoom requests the 50 bestselling products that match your selected category and keywords. AmaZoom then post-processes those results by calculating a quality factor (QF) for each result. The QF is obtained by multiplying a product's normalized average rating (the average rating minus 2.5) by the number of reviews. The results are sorted in order of decreasing QF in a table. The table can be re-sorted by clicking on any column heading.
Note that the quality of your search depends, in part, on the search depth (because the search depth dictates the number of results retrieved for QF analysis). Usually, the best selling products include the best reviewed products, but in some cases a well-reviewed product may not be amongst the bestsellers fetched in the initial search (and therefore may be missed by AmaZoom).
One way to improve the accuracy of your results is to use a larger search depth, however, this has the negative effect of increasing search response time. A better approach is to narrow the scope of your search by using more specific keywords to increase the relevance of the initial search results. AmaZoom generally does a good job finding the best reviewed products but it does not guarantee that it will always find the best products for every possible search.
- How can I provide feedback on AmaZoom?
I'm happy to hear about any suggested improvements, or any other feedback you might have. If you'd like to comment publicly on AmaZoom, click on the "Comments" link at the upper left corner of this page. If you'd like to send me feedback privately, click on the "Email" link.