Myths about the Avvo Rating
- The Avvo Rating is "arbitrary". Reality: Far from it. Unlike systems based entirely on the subjective input of peers, the Avvo Rating is based on an algorithm that is applied uniformly within each profession. This algorithm essentially performs a "résumé evaluation," taking into account numerous factors in a professional's background including years of experience, industry recognition, and absence of professional misconduct. The algorithm was created based on input from hundreds of professionals, thousands of consumers, and leaders in each professional field.
- Professionals can "game" the Avvo Rating. Reality: The sophisticated Avvo Rating algorithm takes into account dozens of elements in a professional's background. It is applied automatically and uniformly to every professional (read more about the Avvo Rating). While the Avvo Rating can be influenced by adding certain types of biographical information (positions held, publications, awards, etc.), the only way it can be "gamed" is through outright fraud. Avvo actively monitors profiles for fraudulent entries, and most professionals are subject to ethical rules that carry significant penalties for résumé fabrication.
- Professionals can shoot up to a "10" rating just by getting their buddies to endorse them. Reality: Uh, no. Unlike traditional ratings of professionals that rely entirely on peer endorsements, the Avvo Rating is a broader form of evaluation in which a professional's career accomplishments are weighted more heavily than what his or her peers have to say. For that reason, endorsements are only one small element of the equation, and there is a ceiling on how much peer endorsements can influence a professional's Avvo Rating.
- Client reviews impact the Avvo Rating. Reality: Nope. While endorsements from peers are a form of industry recognition - akin to being asked to speak at a professional seminar, or publishing an article - input from consumers is very different. It may reflect positively or negatively on a professional, and may include comments that are more reflective of approach than competence. As consumers often find other users' feedback very valuable, we have chosen to include such reviews in a stand-alone section in each professional's profile, but not have those reviews impact the Avvo Rating.
- Maintaining a high Avvo Rating requires a professional to constantly participate in Avvo. Reality: You do not even have to claim your Avvo profile--let alone maintain it - in order to receive a high Avvo Rating. There are literally thousands of professionals rated "Very Good" or higher without them having ever interacted with Avvo. Similarly, maintaining your Avvo Rating does not require constant participation. This is not to say, however, that your rating won't ever change. Adding new information may help increase your rating, and it is possible for it to decrease over time as certain types of recognition (e.g., publications, speeches and awards) become less relevant.