4 ways to spot fake reviews on tripAdvisor

In 2020, TripAdvisor removed one million fake reviews (about 4% of the total), with 67% of them not even going up the platform. The company itself claimed that the phenomenon of paid reviews was detected in 131 countries.

Fake reviews have become a scourge, as on TripAdvisor (according to valid surveys, 35-40% of reviews are "fake and unreliable") but also on Google, where anyone can write, regardless of whether they have visited or not the hotel or restaurant.


Hotel/restaurant staff write complimentary comments about their employer, competitors write the worst, restaurants and hotels reward customers with a 5-star review, the visitor writes a complimentary review in exchange for a discount of 5%, ill-intentioned customers write a review just for fun.

There have also been cases where TripAdvisor did not publish negative reviews, so as not to upset hotels that are advertised on its platform.

All this composes a bleak scenario regarding the credibility of reviews. However, business owners, as well as users, in some cases can detect fake TripAdvisor reviews:

There is limited information about the user. Especially if he has an incomplete profile or has made few reviews (especially if this is his/her only review).

The review moves to both ends. There is only praise or only negative comments in a review. Impressive terms are often used, such as "Amazing, I highly recommend it".

Sudden outburst of reviews. Suddenly, within a few days or weeks, many reviews appear, almost simultaneously, negative or positive.

Short reviews, without much information. Fake reviews do not often go into detail. Short words (often misspelled) are used, with a short description of the hotel.

When such reviews arise, the company must "report" them to TripAdvisor (within 500 letters you must describe the situation) in order to act.

In case the review won’t be removed (even if it does, it won’t happen right away), you should respond immediately and tactfully (i.e. not with threats or irony - do not forget that you are actually responding to everyone who will read the review), in order to protect your online reputation.

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John Protopapadakis is a marketing and customer service expert. He is a professor, an author (has written 20 business books so far) and a seminar instructor.

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