Can you trust Tripadvisor reviews?

When trying to locate a resort or other sort of lodging, it pays to do your research first. Let us face it, we are much more inclined to see a specific hotel over another when our close friends or relatives make a recommendation. But what if you don’t know anybody who has stayed at the resort you are thinking of staying ? The TripAdvisor website is most likely the very first place you will turn to for advice.

The meteoric rise of the TripAdvisor brand was remarkable and the statistics speak for themselves. Founded in 2000, TripAdvisor now boasts more than 570 million reviews. It comprises more than 7 million hotels and other tourist attractions around the world.

However with this growth there was much controversy. Primarily, any individual may render a negative review about a hotel with no shred of proof. Based on TripAdvisor, reviews have come from “trusted members of their travel community” and yet no tests are made about the individuality of the people who leave the testimonials. What is more, no evidence that you actually stayed at the resort is needed to leave a review!

Consequently, as soon as a hotel receives a negative review from a guest (they’re alerted whenever someone leaves a review)they can simply add a number of favorable reviews to push the negative critique farther down the page and from sight. Given TripAdvisor’s average rating visuals, the more positive reviews added can also trick the machine into displaying a higher average score than is really deserved.

It has led to a less scrupulous hotel proprietors actively attacking their direct competitors with a flurry of negative testimonials beneath a series of different aliases. Certainly, the aim here would be to discredit the contest and to make their own hotel look more attractive my submitting a large volume of favorable reviews. Other resorts bribe guests that leave positive testimonials with discounts on future remains, free bottles of wine or other such gifts.

To combat this, TripAdvisor proudly asserts that testimonials are not posted to the site instantly, but are subject to a confirmation process which considers the IP address and the email address of the author. The system also tries to detect any suspicious patterns and some other obscene language. The website also allows the ‘community’ of consumers to report questionable content, which is then evaluated by a group of quality assurance experts. The checks are clearly not working however!

TripAdvisor stays a fantastic service but only in the event that you can quickly weed out the fake reviews!

How to to sift through the bogus and fake testimonials:

Discount Single Reviews: Be suspicious of testimonials from people who have just left one review, particularly ones which were left a while ago but haven’t been followed up with reviews of another property. In this way, it is possible to quickly discount both positive and negative reviews which could be disingenuous. Start looking for unusual patterns though. A person who left a flurry of reviews over a short interval and then never returned to add more might not be a genuine contributor. (onlyreviews.com is popular product review site in UK )

The Superhero Test: Somebody who has remained at 51 properties in 20 distinct countries over a 10 day interval is obviously deluded. Either that or they are are Superman!

Poor Grammar: Although TripAdvisor has’auto translate’ software embedded within its website, some resort groups employ groups of people in overseas places to leave a steady flow of favorable testimonials with cloaked IP addresses to find past TripAdvisor’s fundamental quality checks. Typically, these will be abandoned by genuine travelers who have actually stayed at the resort. Be aware that some people use harmful photographs as a tool to get refunds. To assess for abuse, see if that person has left positive in addition to negative reviews. If they are utilizing TripAdvisor only to post negative reviews, this could signal an ulterior motive.

Make Contact: TripAdvisor allows you to make contact with others. If you see that a review that is very worrying, check its precision by sending an individual an email. If you receive a response, it’s very likely that this individual is a genuine traveller. If you do not get a reply and that person hasn’t been active on TripAdvisor for some time, it’d be fair to state that the review may be a fake. Hotels in Europe many need to pass rigorous checks to obtain and retain their star ratings. In the United Kingdom, look for certification from organisations such as ‘The AA’ and ‘Visit Britain’.

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Extreme travel is the name of my game and I love to get that adrenaline pumping. Blogging and blagging my way across the world one country at a time... come join me!

Hotels and Resorts, Traveling