Review Sites: Local or International?

With the number of e-commerce services that have gone global in the last decade, review sites are not slack in taking a stride. Many review websites that initially started as a voice for local business consumers – tech startups, have equally changed scale as the startup also grew. Trustpilot, for example, launched a niche review site that had a significant chunk of its users living in the Nordic region and subsequently went international as the organization grew in a financial capacity.

Beyond size, there several other things that set a local review site from a global one. Some of these factors are assessed below:

Local optimization on search engines

Have you noticed that each time search engines list results, they give preference to local content? Well, this is one of the advantages of a local review site. Local review sites offering the same information and content as a global one would be listed higher on SERP lists. Now, international review sites are starting to work around this bottleneck. What they do is to analyze international locations with high review traffics and establish local offices at those locations. Thus making such global sites enjoy similar benefits as other local review sites in the region.

By implication, an international site like Trustspot would be able to serve as much purpose as, if they had a local office in Norway.

Service coverage

The service or product being reviewed would be a determinant factor in choosing between an international or local site. Some services are domiciled to a geographical region; for example, you do not want to read reviews about the best ski resorts on an African review site. Likewise, there are niche review sites that cover all reviews, irrespective of geographical location, on some specific subject. For example, Themegrade allows users to review popular WordPress themes before making a purchase; Knife Rating is another niche site that provides pocket knife enthusiasts to drop reviews about the various products they have used.

In summary, international review sites have a farther reach and coverage, while local sites help to identify the best products near you.


When it comes to being held accountable for reviews posted on their sites, local review sites tend to be wary of having data virtual or sabotage users. The local laws may be burdensome on the companies, so local review sites are often mindful not to go against the rules of brand management; this is seldom the case with international review sites.


It is usually easy for some local review sites to help customers resolve cases of poor service experience. When obliged, they do this by contacting the company who offered the product and notifying them of the poor reviews posted by multiple customers on their page, thus helping the company to improve their customer experience and in effect their customer ratings.

Because international review sites like Amazon cover a wide array of products, from an innumerable number of companies located at various locations around the globe, offering such mediatory features becomes impossible.