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Updated on: September 19, 2020

SW Score Methodology

With hundreds of thousands of SaaS products available in the market, it's nearly impossible to find the best one without any way to sort through them. That's where SW Score, or SaaSworthy score, comes in. The SW Score aims to capture the essence of a SaaS product to help users and businesses find the most useful and relevant product as per their needs. 

The SW Score ranks the products within a particular category on a variety of parameters, to provide a definite ranking system. These factors rely on the wisdom of the crowds, since that's a great signal to understand how good a particular software is. The algorithm takes into consideration the features offered by the product, user's ratings, social media presence, web presence, and the growth velocity. It’s worth noting that the SW Score is a relative scoring system, which means that the scores are calculated with respect to the competitors within a category. Hence, software from one category wouldn't be comparable to other software from a different category as far as their SW Scores are concerned. 

Product features

Every SaaS product offers a set of features that are either hygiene, trend-setter or enterprise-grade.  We take into account all these aspects while calculating the SW score. A product that doesn’t meet a baseline expectation in terms of feature set for that category will lose out. Similarly, a product that goes the extra mile by constantly innovating and offers features that cater to enterprise-level requirements scores extra. 

User ratings  

While it is important for a software to offer a rich set of features, it’s also equally important to measure how reliable and easy-to-use those features are. One of the best ways to measure customer satisfaction is to look at the reviews and ratings given by real users of the product.

We understand that SaaS products evolve fast, and hence we give more weightage to the recent ratings and decay the older ratings. The ratings and reviews that are older than three years aren’t factored in our calculation. 

Social media presence 

A SaaS product that’s well made and has high customer satisfaction tends to be widely talked about in social media. The same can be said about the product that offers a poor customer experience. Hence, we track the social media presence of a product as a proxy for popularity and social sentiment for the particular product. We measure both the absolute popularity as well as the velocity to balance out the "halo effect" (so that popular software doesn’t get the perpetual advantage). 

Web presence 

A SaaS product with a strong presence in search engines is a signal that the product has a good amount of brand search volume, garners organic traffic for core keywords, is mentioned and cited on content online, and generally has a robust domain authority. Therefore, we track the web presence by looking at the corresponding metrics from reliable third-party tools. 

Velocity  

While we factor in various user-generated signals and wisdom of crowds, we consider both the absolute performance and the velocity of the signals. This is to nullify the "halo effect" bias. While it’s possible to manipulate any of the signals temporarily or as a one-off basis, it’s virtually difficult to manipulate it forever. That's why we capture these data points available from publicly available sources on a near real-time basis for a 30-day period. 

Final calculation 

As is evident, the SW Score is a 360-degree effort to make sure that a SaaS product is scored across all the important aspects. That makes the SW score an unbiased and a solid indicator of "SaaS-worthiness" of the software. 

FAQs

1) Can I pay to improve my SW Score?

No, the SW Score isn't a paid feature and is independent of any manual interference since it's an algorithm-driven score to offer an unbiased way for businesses and users to find the ideal software. 

2) How can I improve the SW Score? 

The SW score can be improved if your product performs better with recent ratings, social media presence, and web presence. Since the SW score also has a velocity factor, any change with respect to the aforementioned parameters would reflect on a near real-time basis.

3) Last week, [Product] had the SW Score of 75, and now it's 67. What's up with that?

The SW Score is a relative ranking system, so even if your product continued to become better, if other software in your category grew faster in terms of ratings,  social media presence, web presence, and velocity, then that would impact your score. 

4) Why doesn’t my product have the SW Score? 

The SW Score is not given to the products if they: 

  • are new
  • are discontinued 
  • are in the beta stage 
  • lack data points for the calculation of the SW Score 

5) What are awards and are they based on the SW Score? 

To acknowledge the SaaS products that are doing a great job across the aforementioned metrics, we have the following awards: 

  1. Most worthy software: this is the most coveted award as it's given to top three software that have the highest SW Score in a given category 
  2. Highly rated award: this award is given to products on the basis of the highest user ratings in the past three years 
  3. Fastest growing software: this takes into account the growth in velocity factors only and not the historical numbers
  4. Most popular software: this award acknowledges software that have the highest number of reviews and the best presence on the web and social media in a category 

6)  My software is new, so how can I stand out against the established companies that would be ranking higher on almost all the aspects that are being used to calculate the SW Score? 

Along with heavily relying on the velocity factor, we have another award for newer SaaS products - the “Rising Star”. The Rising Star award is given to stand-out products that have been launched in the last 24 months.