Online application stores, e.g., that enable users to download software applications to a user device, include rating systems that allow users to provide ratings and reviews. Some application developers attempt to obtain favorable reviews for their apps by first asking users if they are enjoying the app, and requesting a review only from the users that answer affirmatively to provide a review. As a result, the ratings and reviews for such applications on the store may be skewed.

This disclosure describes a service for obtaining unbiased ratings directly from users. An application store that utilizes the techniques sends a ratings box to be displayed within an ad unit of the app. The user is provided with options to fill the ratings box within the ad to provide ratings for the app. This occurs without influence from the app itself. The ratings box is provided to a randomized sample of raters. Pre-emptive questions that filter out unfavorable reviews are avoided. The ad unit transmits the user-provided ratings to the online application store. Application developers that enable deployment of such direct evaluation techniques can be given benefits, e.g., better placement in the application store, a badge of approval, etc.

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